Demons split with Bears in rivalry matchup
In yet another installment of the Rifle-Glenwood rivalry on the hardwood, the Demons and Bears split Tuesday’s 4A Western Slope League matchups inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium as the Lady Bears rolled to a 54-30 win over the Lady Demons, while Glenwood topped Rifle in the boys game later in the evening, 45-41 in overtime.
Starting things off on the night, the Lady Bears and Lady Demons traded shot for shot in the first quarter. Rifle held a narrow 9-8 lead after eight minutes of play.
Rifle senior forward Samantha Hinkle started the scoring by hitting two free throws before Glenwood junior forward Tatum Peterson answered with a putback in the lane to knot the game at 2-all.
Junior forward Jessie Pressler would give the Bears a 3-2 lead after splitting a pair of free throws before Peterson would get another putback to fall to give Glenwood its first lead of the game.
From there Rifle junior guard Elly Walters sank two free throws before Glenwood freshman guard Natalya Taylor swished home a baseline floater to give the Lady Demons a 6-5 lead midway through the quarter.
Walters and Taylor would again trade buckets before Hinkle would cap off an exciting first quarter with a layup to send the Lady Bears into the quick break with a one-point lead.
Looking to keep up the entertainment, Peterson would hit one of two free throws to start the second quarter before Rifle went on a quick 5-0 run as junior forward Peyton Caldwell got a layup to fall in traffic and Walters splashed home a three-pointer to make it 14-9 Rifle.
Peterson and Walters would then trade a pair of free throws before Glenwood junior forward Dani DeCrow would hit a pullup jumper in transition from the wing and Peterson split a pair of free throws to pull Glenwood to within two, 16-14.
Junior guard Karly Manuppella, taking the place of her twin sister Katy, then got hot for the Bears, hitting a three-pointer, a layup and one free throw to give the Lady Bears a 24-16 lead before two free throws from Glenwood sophomore guard Ximena Gutierrez and a jumper from Peterson sent the two teams into halftime with the Lady Demons trailing the Lady Bears, 24-20.
Glenwood would start the second half with a layup from junior forward Saylor Warren to pull to within two points before Rifle went on quick 7-0 run to take a 31-22 lead as Katy Manuppella hit three of four free throws and got a layup to drop, while Walters banked home a driving layup to spark the Lady Bears’ offense.
A floater from Taylor and a layup in traffic from Warren stopped the Rifle run briefly before Hinkle and Katy Manuppella got going again, leading the Lady Bears on a 12-0 run to give Rifle a 43-28 lead after three quarters of play.
Katy Manuppella continued her hot shooting from last Friday’s game on the road at Grand Valley, where she went 6-for-6 from three-point range in the Rifle win, by stepping up in the third quarter to score 12 points, finishing with 15 points overall. Getting another scoring threat to spread the floor for Walters and Hinkle has led to a great deal of success offensively in the last two games for the Lady Bears.
“It certainly makes it more fun,” Rifle Head Coach Kristy Wallner said. “But I told the girls we just need to keep focusing on the process and believing in our roles because anyone in this offense can get hot. We’ve been waiting for Katy to get going, and now that she has it’s been a lot of fun because we’re harder to guard. We’ve been on the other side of things and it’s frustrating to not get anything going offensively, but we’re having a lot of fun now.”
Following Rifle’s big third quarter to stretch the lead to 15 points, the Lady Bears clamped down defensively in the final eight minutes of play, limiting Glenwood to just two points to close out the 54-30 win on the road.
“We didn’t execute well offensively,” Glenwood Head Coach Rhonda Moser said. “We didn’t hit any outside shots tonight, and they did a good job of adjusting at the half, where as we tried to force the ball to Tatum, and I think a lot of that had to do with us not hitting outside shots to open up the floor again. Rifle deserves a lot of credit, though; they did a great job against us in the second half.”
With the win, Rifle improves to 7-3 (2-1 4A WSL) on the season. On the night, Walters finished with a game-high 17 points, while Katy Manuppella (15 points), Hinkle (13 points) and Karly Manuppella (6 points) chipped in for the Lady Bears. Rifle will host Eagle Valley Thursday night with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m. inside Jack Smith Gymnasium.
With the loss, Glenwood falls to 4-7 (0-2 4A WSL) on the season. Peterson finished with 12 points, while Taylor (eight points), Gutierrez (four points) and Warren (four points) added scoring for the Lady Demons. Glenwood will take on Battle Mountain at home Friday night with tip-off scheduled for 6 p.m.
GLENWOOD 45, RIFLE 41, OT
Looking to put Saturday’s tough loss to Palisade behind them for good, the Glenwood Springs boys basketball team came out determined Tuesday night inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium against the rival Rifle Bears, playing some inspired defense to pick up a pivotal 45-41 win in overtime over the Bears.
“We talked about coming out and showing we were better than the way we performed on Saturday,” Glenwood Head Coach Cory Hitchcock said. “The boys worked their tails off in practice yesterday and really came out with a ton of energy tonight at both ends of the floor.”
Despite having plenty of energy coming out of the gates, the two teams battled to a 4-4 tie after one quarter of play as Glenwood junior guard AJ Crowley and Rifle senior forward Jacob Boone scored both buckets for each team.
With both teams deploying a zone defense, the Bears and Demons had trouble knocking down outside shots on the night, as Rifle finished just 3-for-22 from beyond the arc, while Glenwood hit just five on the night.
“I thought our kids played hard,” Rifle Head Coach Roger Walters said. “Glenwood was rightly trying to take our inside away, and to get them out of that we have to make some shots. We got a ton of decent looks tonight, we just have to hit them.”
After the slow first quarter, both teams found their offensive footing in the second quarter as Glenwood sophomore forward Luke Gair got the scoring started with a tough layup in traffic to give Glenwood the lead before Boone answered with a baseline jumper.
Sophomore guard Angel Garcia was then able to splash home a three-pointer coming off of a screen to give the Demons a 9-6 lead before Rifle junior guard Jacob Seeman answered with a three-pointer of his own to tie the game at 9-all.
Glenwood then went on a quick 5-0 run as senior forward Carlos Nolasco-Montes got a layup to fall in traffic thanks to a terrific up-and-under move, before Garcia sank another triple to give the Demons a 14-9 lead over the Bears.
Boone would then answer by splitting a pair of free throws before junior guard Aaron Smith hit a jumper in the paint to stretch Glenwood’s lead to six, 16-10.
Smith would hit a three-pointer following a Boone free throw to make it 19-11 Glenwood, but Boone would have the final say of the half, hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the two teams into the half with Glenwood holding a slim 19-14 lead.
Coming out of the break, Rifle would get off to a fast start by utilizing its bigs in Boone and junior forward Evan Gray to take advantage of their height as Gray hit a tough layup in traffic to start the half before Boone got a layup to fall, drawing the foul to cap off the three-point play.
Boone would then give Rifle a 21-19 lead on a layup before Glenwood found its footing as sophomore guard Kevin Ayon, making his first varsity start, got a floater to fall over the bigs to knot the game up at 21-all moments later.
Gray would then go to work on the baseline again, backing his way in for another layup under the rim, leading to an eventual eight points in the quarter. A Garcia three-pointer and a Nolasco-Montes layup late in the quarter sent the two teams into the final eight minutes of regulation tied at 28-all.
Not much would change in the fourth quarter as Rifle and Glenwood traded shot for shot as Crowley and Smith gave Glenwood a brief 32-28 lead before Boone hit a jumper and sophomore forward Joel Lopez hit four straight free throws to force overtime.
In the extra session, Glenwood would clamp down defensively, leading to forced turnovers, which then led to opportunities at the free throw line to close out the game.
“I thought we did a good job of buying into the defensive approach, playing with our hands up and being patient,” Hitchcock said. “Overall, I’m really, really happy with the energy we had as we seemed to be having fun. Both teams played great defense and it was a great game.”
With the win, Glenwood improves to 6-5 (1-1 4A WSL) on the season. Crowley led the way with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists. Smith chipped in with 11 points, while Garcia added 10 points.
“I thought both AJ and Aaron did a great job for us tonight, as did Angel,” Hitchcock said. “We needed those guys to step up for us, and they knocked down some big shots. It was great to see those guys bounce back.”
With the loss, Rifle falls to 2-9 (1-2 4A WSL) on the season. Boone finished with a game-high 21 points, while Gray (eight points) and Lopez (four points) provided some additional scoring.
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The Rifle and Glenwood Springs girls tangled on Tuesday night at Glenwood’s Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in a 4A Western Slope League contest that carried major implications in the conference standings.