Demons’ title dreams dashed |

Demons’ title dreams dashed

Joelle Milholm
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

BOULDER ” Equipped with the guards, the posts, the coaching, the talent and the determination, Glenwood made it all the way to the Class 4A girls basketball tournament Final Four.

The Demons were only missing one thing on Wednesday at the University of Colorado’s Coors Event Center ” rebounding ” as Harrison ended Glenwood’s state playoff run, downing the Demons, 57-41, in a game that was much closer than the score indicated.

Despite the loss, it was the furthest a Glenwood Springs basketball team had made it since 1980, when the girls, who were in Class 2A at the time, took third place at state.

“Just to make it this far, to make this run, to have the team I have, it was good,” said senior Demon Sam Ciani. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Harrison, with 6-foot and 6-foot-1 posts, out-rebounded Glenwood 42-33 in the game, but 20 of the 42 were offensive boards.

“They out-rebounded us. They got four or five opportunities on the offensive end and that’s what hurt us,” said Glenwood head coach Bryan Derby. “We couldn’t box out and couldn’t get any rebounds.”

The Panthers scored 17 second-chance points and another 14 off turnovers, always staying up on the Demons. Many of Glenwood’s turnovers came at the hands of speed guards Tracee Hamacher and Myecha Taylor.

“We told them coming in that that’s what they were going to do ” man us full court the whole game,” Derby said of Glenwood’s game plan. “They did and sometimes we would adjust and sometimes we wouldn’t. They were a lot quicker than us.”

Harrison came out on fire, building an 11-2 lead over the Demons halfway through the first quarter. Kelsie Hert completed a three-point play, but Panther 6-footer Alystia Moore tore the Demons up with rebounds and putbacks as Harrison took an 18-10 lead at the end of the first.

“The other team came out and they jumped on us early and we just couldn’t recover,” Derby said. “We knew they were quick, but, man, they were pretty darn quick.”

Katrina and Sharaya Selsor started feeding Ciani, who scored eight points in the first half, but Glenwood still trailed 28-19 at half.

“We just wanted to play our game and run our offenses and rebound and unfortunately they shuck that game plan,” Ciani said. “They out-rebounded us all four quarters and they stopped us from running our offense.”

In the third, Glenwood started to make a comeback. Sharaya hit a 3-pointer, and Kelsie Hert started piling up points in the paint to pull within five points with 2:22 left in the frame.

But Moore continued to attack the Demons on the boards and under the paint. That, combined with jumpers from Paige Ricker, helped Harrison rebuild its lead with six minutes to go in the game.

Katrina hit a left-handed hook shot, Ciani followed on the next play with a putback and Glenwood again pulled with in five with 3:15 remaining in the game.

The Demons, who were 9-for-15 from the free-throw line in the game, then began to foul Harrison, who made 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch. Glenwood never got closer than five.

“They were fast. Not that we didn’t adjust to that come the second and third quarter, but they were just fast,” said Ciani, who had 12 points.

“I was tired and so were some of the other girls, but we just kept fighting and we did. We came within five, we just couldn’t get over that hump.”

Kelsie Hert led the Demons with 16 points, while Sharaya scored 11 and Katrina had two.

Going into the game, Harrison had a game plan for the Demons, one it executed well.

“We knew the two Selsors were tough and we knew the post No. 44 (Ciani) in the paint was real tough and they actually score 70 percent of Glenwood Springs’ points,” said Harrison head coach Tamie Hollan. “We just figured, if we can knock out one or two of them, it knocks out 20-30 percent of their scoring.”

The Demons wrap up their season with a 20-5 record and will only lose seniors Ciani and Deborah Collins to graduation.

“Sam is a great kid. She fought all season long for me. She is going to be a hard spot to fill and that’s one of those spots were I don’t know if you ever fully fill that spot,” Derby said of the team’s captain.

“And Deborah has worked her tail off all year long.”It may not have ended as the Demons wanted, but Derby, a first-year head coach, was proud of his players.

“I couldn’t have asked for anything better. Win or lose, these girls have been great,” he said. “They’ve fought for me all year and they’ve just done a tremendous job. This is the first time anybody’s been here in a long time and I owe the girls all the credit because they worked their tails off.”

In Class 4A’s other semifinal matchup, Broomfield topped Berthoud, 56-43, on Wednesday. Broomfield was led in scoring by Adrianna Prins with 22 points.

Broomfield (26-1) will now take on Harrison (24-3) for the state title on Friday at 6 p.m. at the Coors Event Center.

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