Demons watch lead slip away
Post Independent Staff
WHEATRIDGE ” At halftime they had it. At the end of the third quarter, they were still up 39-36.
But in the fourth quarter, the No. 5 Demons came unraveled and No. 4 Greeley Central beat the Glenwood Springs boys basketball team 57-49 in Saturday’s Class 4A second-round state playoff game at D’Evelyn High School.
The biggest difference in the game was fouls, as Greeley Central made 12-of-16 free throws in the second half and shot more than 20 free-throws in the game. The high foul count resulted in the benching of Glenwood’s Tyler Thimsen and Nathan Moore, who both ended their high school careers by fouling out.
Glenwood shot 100 percent from the line, but they only had two chances
“Two free-throws for the whole game. The kids took shots and they were hitting their elbows down and no calls,” said Glenwood head coach Kevin Flohr. “But the kids played awesome, I just feel like they deserved a little more respect.”
After trailing 29-12 at halftime, Greeley Central came out ready to go in the third, scoring more points in the first four minutes than it had in the first 16. That performance included a 12-0 scoring streak that helped the Wildcats pull within three and make the score 39-36 going into the final frame.
Glenwood big man Ryan Foraker helped keep Glenwood alive in the second half, scoring eight of his 12 points and working hard in the paint.
Glenwood just couldn’t get the ball down the court as the Wildcats put on a fierce full-court press, causing 11 Glenwood turnovers in the second half.
“I just have to give the other team credit tonight,” said Michael Flohr, the coach’s son, who finished the night with 16 points. “They put a great press on us, put some great effort into it and got the ball by themselves basically, it seemed like, in that second half.”
Greeley Central’s Tyler McNeece, who was the key factor in Greeley Central’s full-court press, started the fourth with three steals, resulting in five Wildcat points and their first lead of the game. Then, with 5:20 remaining in the game, Greeley Central began to run a stall offense.
“We felt comfortable in the third quarter still, but when we got down by two points and they started holding the ball, and I think that’s when we started to panic ” that’s when the game turned around,” Michael Flohr said.
When Glenwood broke the stall and got the ball back over a minute later, Isiah Martinez stole it, ran down the floor and slammed it home. The Wildcat fans went crazy as Greeley Central captured all the game’s momentum.
The Demons’ Chris Benson, who totaled 11 points on the night, and Thimsen each followed with three-point plays, but Greeley Central kept getting steals and converting them into easy buckets. Any time Glenwood started to get back in the game, the referees blew their whistles and Wildcats ended up at the free-throw line.
After the tough loss, the Demons walked out of the locker room with tears in their eyes.
“They are all heart-broken and so is their coach,” Kevin Flohr said.
Despite ending the season earlier than when he hoped, Coach Flohr expressed his gratitude to his players and their parents.
“This is the greatest group of people you could be around,” Coach Flohr said. “Even if they never won a game all year, you couldn’t be around any better people.”
For four Glenwood seniors Moore, Thimsen, Flohr and Benson, the game was their last as Demons.
“You can’t describe them,” Coach Flohr said of his seniors. “I love every one of them. I’m going to miss them, especially when it comes to summer time and open gyms and all the fun we’ve had.”
Glenwood ends 2006 with a 17-7 overall record.
“It’s been a great senior year,” Michael Flohr said. “I love everyone I have played with this year. This is the best camaraderie we’ve ever had I feel. This is the best record we’ve had in 20 years now.”
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