Demons top Alameda, 71-58 |

Demons top Alameda, 71-58

Jeff CaspersenGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. By the time Kevin Warkentin threw down a two-handed jam in transition, the game was in reach. But the Kevin Screen-fed dunk, which incited the crowd and gave Glenwood Springs a 10-point lead, proved to be the nail in Alameda’s coffin.”I like dunking,” Warkentin playfully said after his Demons’ 71-58 Class 4A state playoff-opening win over visiting Alameda on Tuesday. “Every time I get a chance, I try to do it. It gets the crowd going.”Warkentin and fellow big man Ryan Foraker matched 15-point ledgers as Glenwood Springs (18-5) vaulted into the second round of the boys basketball postseason, earning a meeting with Longmont (14-9) on the road Saturday.

“We feel we got (Glenwood) ready for Longmont,” said Alameda coach Rex Terry, whose team finished the season at 8-17. “We’ve played about 14 or 15 teams in the playoff, like Longmont, Windsor. A few breaks here and there and we could have been hosting this game.”The visiting Pirates showed mettle, many times battling back within striking distance in a game Glenwood trailed only twice at 3-2 and 9-7. But the Demons scrapped out a scoring spurt whenever they needed it, the biggest coming in the fourth quarter.After letting Alameda creep to within two (50-48) early in the fourth, the Glenwood Springs offense came alive, launching an 11-2 run. Warkentin and Screen capped the burst with the assist-and-slam connection to put the Demons up 63-53 with 1 minute and 35 seconds remaining.The Pirates’ Chris Otto answered with a 3-pointer, but Alameda followed with a series of desperation chucks from beyond the arc and Glenwood Springs hit 8 of 11 free throws down the stretch to ice the playoff win, the first for coach Greg Hire.

Though it took the late push to seal the victory, Hire felt his team controlled the game from start to finish.”I don’t know if there really was a turning point,” the first-year Glenwood coach said. “I felt we were really in control of the game the whole night. (Alameda) played a very tough game.”Alameda stayed in the game with its 3-point shooting. The Pirates hit four third-quarter triples and nine on the night. Keeping a high-tempo pace might have helped the visitors hang around longer.”I don’t think they wanted to run with us any more,” Alameda’s Terry said.

Thanks to their size in the post, the Demons did not have to. On top of his 15 points, Foraker pulled down seven rebounds and blocked three shots. Warkentin added 11 boards as Glenwood outrebounded the Pirates, 38-16.”We definitely had to slow it down,” Foraker said. “We had to be more patient. Tonight, especially, was a good night for offensive rebounding.”Conner Riley chipped in 14 points and Dakota Stonehouse 10, to join Foraker and Warkentin in double figures. Saturday’s game at Longmont tips off at 1 p.m.”(Longmont’s) a good team that plays in a tough league,” said Warkentin, who hopes to make a statement on behalf of Western Slope schools. “Everyone thinks down on the Western Slope, but we’re going to bring it.”

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