Demons see lots of room to improve
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — There was a common theme for both the boys and girls basketball teams at Glenwood Springs High School by the time the annual Demon Invitational tournament finished up Saturday night.
Following a disappointing finish for both teams following losses at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, the overlying theme for both Demon squads was to get better. That theme became emphasized when both teams suffered lopsided losses on their home floor to Montrose, including a 67-37 setback for the girls and a 64-35 loss for the boys.
Those losses followed lopsided setbacks that came early in the morning to Pueblo West, as the Cyclones won the girls game, 59-39, before winning the boys game 70-55. It’s a stark contrast from the 3-0 record both Glenwood squads posted in the tournament last season.
Then again, if you ask both coaches, there’s a definite silver lining to the losses.
“I would rather it be that we go through this now and find our way,” Glenwood girls coach Jacky Gaddis said. “That way we can have a successful end of the season. This way, we’re just going to crumble a little bit at the beginning, keep adding a little more flour, change the way that we do things and build up from there.”
For sure, both Glenwood squads came out of the proverbial gates cooking a season ago. The Glenwood boys won their first 10 games before losing, and the Glenwood girls were unbeaten until their regular-season finale against eventual Class 4A state champion Mesa Ridge. There won’t be that kind of a start for either team this season, as the Glenwood girls (4-2) have lost two straight and the Glenwood boys (3-3) went 0-3 in the two-day tournament.
“We started real hot last year and cooled off,” Glenwood boys coach Cory Hitchcock said. “I’d rather start building now so that we’re in a position to peak at the end of the season.”
Still, Hitchcock wasn’t thrilled about the effort his players put out against the Indians, who held them without a second-half field goal until Zack Peterson’s jumper with 2 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter. By then, however, Montrose had gone up 46-17 thanks to a 15-1 Indians run to start the second half.
“I told the boys [after the game] that they need to soul search,” Hitchcock said. “Some of them aren’t going as hard as they should, and some of them aren’t buying into what we need to do. The three things that we need to do on defense is close down on shooters, communicate and box out. We didn’t do any of that tonight.”
Glenwood junior Cameron Horning finished with 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting, and Peterson finished with nine points and six rebounds. The Indians, however, outrebounded Glenwood 36-15, including a 21-9 count in the first half. Jake Miller finished with 10 points and Johnse DeJulio and Kyle Freeburg each had 10 for Montrose.
For the Glenwood girls, Madi Spence finished with 12 points to pace the Demons, who fell behind 11-0 at the beginning of the game and couldn’t recover. Holly Brooks finished with a game-high 20 points, Michelle Tafoya added 12 and 6-foot-5 Elle Pace added 10 points for the Indians.
Spence was all over the place for Glenwood in its loss to Pueblo West in a game that started at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. She finished with a game-high 25 points and 18 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Cyclones from taking control in the second quarter with a 9-2 run headed into halftime. Madi Harris had 10 points to pace Pueblo West.
The Pueblo West boys didn’t pull away from Glenwood until the third quarter after the Demons pulled within three at 34-31 on a 3-pointer from Jake Gentry. The Cyclones, who got five 3s each from Billy Daugherty and Kenneth Tack, used those long shots to pull away and lead 58-45 by the end of the third quarter. Horning finished with a game-high 29 points to pace Glenwood.
Both Glenwood squads are off until Thursday when they begin Class 4A Western Slope League play at Delta.
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Thanksgiving seems to be ever-present here in the Roaring Fork Valley. I’m not talking turkey and gravy, I’m speaking to the gifts we receive constantly, throughout the seasons.