Demons struggle with fouls, turnovers in loss to Moose
One step away from achieving a goal of winning the Demon Invitational for the first time under third-year head coach Rhonda Moser, the Glenwood Springs Demons’ girls basketball struggled with foul trouble, maintaining possession of the ball and hitting shots in the paint, resulting in a disappointing 48-41 loss to the visiting Alamosa Moose Saturday afternoon inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
Senior guard Maddie Bolitho and junior guard Ximena Gutierrez fouled out in the loss, while sophomore guard Natalya Taylor received a technical foul late in the second quarter out of frustration, resulting in the sophomore sitting out the rest of the game, per team rules. The foul trouble in the backcourt left the Demons perilously thin against a strong Alamosa team down the stretch, resulting in Glenwood’s third loss of the young season.
“We went to the line three times tonight and they went 34 times and that really hurt us,” Moser said following the difficult loss to wrap up the annual Demon Invitational. “Twenty-one of their points came from free throws. When you have a pressing game on day three of a tournament, your kids are a little tired and aren’t moving quite as well as they should have. I felt like we were one step behind tonight defensively and reaching on things we normally wouldn’t do. That really hurt us for sure. That was the critical piece to the loss.”
Tipping off the game in front of an energized home crowd, the Demons and Moose battled to an 11-all tied after the first 8 minutes of play. The Moose took a 3-0 lead quickly as junior forward Slyvie Caton connected on a 3-pointer before Glenwood senior Dani DeCrow answered with a baseline jumper to start the scoring for Glenwood in a sign of things to come for the senior forward.
Glenwood took a 6-5 lead over the Moose a few minutes later following another DeCrow bucket and a baseline jumper by Taylor, but the Moose answered with a 3-point play by senior guard Katie Parkins off of a tough layup and the foul in the paint.
A steal and layup by Gutierrez and a big 3-pointer by Ellie Moser pushed Glenwood’s advantage to 11-8 late in the first quarter but Alamosa senior forward Emily Motz went 3-for-4 from the charity stripe to tie the game up at 11-all after one quarter of play.
In the second quarter Alamosa got rolling offensively, taking the biggest lead of the game to that point – a 23-17 advantage – behind a 3-pointer from Caton, two techinal foul free throws by Caton and a layup by sophomore forward Taylor Motz, putting the Demons in serious foul trouble before the half.
Despite the quick run by the Moose, Glenwood stayed composed, battling back to within 4 points at the half, 25-21, thanks to a tough bucket in the paint by sophomore forward Qwynn Massie and a putback by senior forward Saylor Warren.
Coming out for the second half, Glenwood and Alamosa traded early buckets as Demon senior center Tatum Peterson banked in a layup off of a great feed from Bolitho off of a pick-and-roll, while the Moose saw senior guard Alana Hackett splash home a triple.
DeCrow then converted a layup in traffic, but Alamosa cleaned up at the free throw line, hitting 4-of-6 shots down the stretch in the third quarter to take a 36-29 lead into the final quarter of play.
Glenwood battled back once again, starting the quarter on a 4-0 run as Gutierrez and Peterson converted shots down low, while DeCrow connected on her first 3-pointer of the game to pull Glenwood within one point at 37-36.
That would be as close as the Demons would get in the fourth quarter though as mounting fouls in the second half forced a number of key players to the bench down the stretch. Alamosa took advantage of the Demons’ foul trouble, hitting 6-of-8 from the free throw line, pulling away late for the 7-point win.
In the loss, DeCrow led the Demons with 12 points, connecting on two 3-pointers to provide good offensive balance, while Peterson added 8 points. Taylor and Gutierrez added 6 points each, while Moser added 3 points for the second straight game.
“Dani played great,” Moser said. “We’ve talked about it before; one of the nice things about this team is that it can be any player on any given night and today it was Dani. She stepped up in a big way for us.”
With the loss, Glenwood falls to 3-3 on the season. The Demons will travel to Greeley Thursday through Saturday for the Greeley Invitational, which will be the last basketball action before winter break.
“I was so proud of the girls tonight for how they scraped and stayed close to them all game long despite the free throw difference,” Moser said. “Losing two of my guards really hurt us, so we have to make some adjustments. It’s a good growing game for us; frustrating for sure, but good to learn and grow from.”
ALAMOSA 54, GLENWOOD SPRINGS 43
In search of the program’s first Demon Invitational championship since 2013, the Glenwood Springs Demons’ boys basketball team came out of the gates slow Saturday afternoon inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, struggling to get stops on defense while struggling to convert consistently on offense in a foul-filled 54-43 loss to the visiting Alamosa Moose.
Alamosa held an unheard-of advantage in the free throw department, firing up 28 attempts from the charity stripe to an astounding zero for Glenwood.
“I think we were slow in our rotations tonight and Alamosa obviously played more aggressive than we did tonight,” Glenwood head coach Cory Hitchcock said following the frustrating loss. “It’s hard to win ballgames when one team shoots 28 free throws and the other doesn’t shoot any. We have to do a better job of attacking the hoop and getting to the free-throw line; we can’t settle for jumpers.”
Despite scoring the first two points of the game on a putback by junior forward Luke Gair, the Demons found themselves in a quick 7-4 hole as Alamosa senior guard Ry Adams connected on a 3-pointer, while senior forward Angelo Ramiez took over in the paint to pace the Moose’s offense on the day.
Glenwood senior guard AJ Crowley connected on a 3-pointer of his own to tie the game at 7-all, but the Demons couldn’t find their footing defensively, allowing the Moose to trade bucket after bucket with the fast-paced Glenwood attack.
Fortunately for Glenwood, a jumper late in the first quarter by senior forward Gabe Suarez gave the Demons a 14-13 lead after one quarter of play. The lead would be short-lived though as Alamosa out-scored Glenwood 10-8 in the second quarter to take a 23-22 lead into the half following a quarter in which Glenwood really struggled to put the ball through the hoop.
“I think Alamosa did a really good job of switching on screens and rotating into gaps defensively,” Hitchcock said. “In the first half I thought we did a decent job getting the ball down low to Holden [Kleager], but we got away from it. Then we over-dribbled the ball a lot, and as a good offensive team you need to eliminate that and get better movement. When we did that, we got good looks. But everything starts with our defense, and we didn’t have a good defensive showing tonight. We’re known to play good defense as a team and tonight we just didn’t show up on that end and have a good effort. That rests on my shoulders.”
Riding the momentum found offensively in the first half, the Moose stretched its lead to 29-22 early in the third quarter as Glenwood came out cold from the floor offensively while being unable to stop Ramirez in the paint. A 3-pointer by Glenwood junior guard Angel Garcia seemed to steady Glenwood offensively midway through the third quarter as junior guard Chano Gonzalez followed with a layup in transition, but two layups from the Moose late in the quarter gave Alamosa a big 37-31 lead heading into the final quarter of play with Glenwood in foul trouble.
The final quarter turned into free throw practice for the Moose as Alamosa converted 13-of-18 free throws in the final 8 minutes of play, slowing Glenwood’s preferred pace of play significantly in the fourth quarter.
Garcia tried to keep the Demons in the game, drilling two 3-pointers in the quarter, but the foul trouble and the continuous trips to the line for the Moose allowed Alamosa to pull away for the 11-point win, handing Glenwood its second loss of the season.
In the loss to Alamosa, Crowley led the Demons with 10 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter, while Garcia and senior guard Aaron Smith added 9 points each. Gonzalez added 5 points, while junior forwards Holden Kleager and Gair chipped in with 4 points each.
Glenwood (4-2) will travel to Greeley Thursday through Saturday for the Greeley Invitational in the last basketball action before winter break.