Demons leave little doubt
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Eagle Valley High School’s boys basketball team took Glenwood Springs by surprise during the initial meeting between the teams in early January. On Friday, the Demons made sure that didn’t happen.
Zack Peterson finished with a game-high 17 points with seven rebounds to pace Glenwood, which left nothing to chance at Chevez-Spencer Gymnasium en route to an 81-36 class 4A Western Slope League victory against the Devils.
“They haven‘t won a game all year, so we knew that they wanted to come out and beat us as bad as anything,” Peterson said. “We talked about it before the game about how badly they’ve always wanted to beat Glenwood, and that really motivated us to really take it to them tonight.”
That definitely wasn’t the case the last time the Demons played the Devils in Gypsum on Jan. 6, when Eagle Valley led 17-14 after one quarter before Glenwood eventually rallied for a 68-44 victory. This time around, Eagle Valley was limited to just 13 points in the first half as league-leading Glenwood (14-3 overall, 11-0 4A WSL) put the game out of reach early.
Getting off to a fast start was the basis of coach Cory Hitckcock’s pregame speech.
“I basically said to the guys that we needed to put a run on their boys and let them know right away that in the first time we played them, we didn’t play our best game,” Hitchcock said. “The first time we played them, I think our guys saw their record, then came out lackadaisical and not very focused.
“We’re coming down the stretch run and we’re in the driver’s seat right now,” he continued. “I told the guys they can’t look past Eagle Valley because they’d love to knock off the league’s No. 1 team. That would make their season.”
On Friday, the Devils (0-17, 0-11), who have a roster that includes seven sophomores, never had a chance.
The Demons shot 54.4 percent (31 of 57) from the field, including 18 of 28 in the first half and 8-of-10 shooting in the first five minutes. They also outrebounded the Devils 43-14, taking full command of the game in the second quarter when Glenwood’s 18-3 run — capped by a 3-pointer from Matt Osier — put them up 35-9 with just a little more than two minutes remaining before halftime.
Brian Burbidge finished with 12 points and seven rebounds to go with the performance from Peterson, who finished 7-of-8 shooting from the field. The Demons’ starting five didn’t play at all from the middle of the third quarter on, when Glenwood’s lead had surpassed 40 points.
GIRLS: GLENWOOD SPRINGS 59, EAGLE VALLEY 43
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Madi Spence finished with a game-high 18 points and 15 rebounds to go with a 12-point outing from Bella Diaz, and the Demons (14-3, 10-1 league) rebounded from their first league loss in two years by pulling away from the scrappy Devils (13-4, 8-3 4A WSL) in the second quarter.
Hailey Armstrong added 10 points and nine boards, and Diaz shot 50 percent (6-of-12) from the field for Glenwood. Eagle Valley, which had won seven of its last eight games, was paced by Kylie martin’s 17 points and a 10-point outing from Taylor Martin.
A layup from Ashley Floyd at the tail end of the first quarter staked the Devils to a 13-12 lead at the end of the first quarter. It turned out, however, to be the last time Eagle Valley would lead, as a 3-pointer from Jordan DeCrow sparked a 17-3 run that staked the Demons to a 29-16 lead with 1 minute, 12 seconds remaining before halftime.
The Devils began to chip away at the lead, pulling within 48-39 on a pair of foul shots from Mariel Gutierrez with 6:27 remaining. DeCrow, however, helped the Demons answer with four foul shots in the next two minutes, giving Glenwood enough of a cushion down the stretch to hold on.
Glenwood continues league play today when it renews its in-county rivalry with the Rifle Bears in Rifle. Start time is 4 p.m. for the girls game and 5:30 for the boys game.
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It was a close game, but after some thrilling back-and-forth plays the Rifle Bears were able to pull off the 28-20 victory over The Academy on May 1.