Dogs hold off Demons down stretch
GRAND JUNCTION — Slow and steady won the race between the Glenwood Springs and Palisade high school girls basketball teams on Tuesday. And because of that, it’s the Bulldogs, not the Demons, who are winning the race to the 4A Western Slope League title.
Palisade led for the duration of the game and countered Glenwood’s up-tempo offense with an effective ball-possession attack that paved the way to the Bulldogs’ 51-44 victory at Brownson Arena on the Colorado Mesa University campus.
“We sometimes have these frantic moments,” Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said. “And at this time of year, frantic moments can lead to some pretty negative things.”
And because of that, a 1 1/2-year run of only positive final results came to an end for the Demons (13-3 overall, 9-1 4A WSL), who saw their 23-game league winning streak come to an end. Meanwhile, Palisade (14-2, 9-1 league play) took an early lead and guarded it, milking the clock on every possession in an attempt to slow down Glenwood’s fast-paced offensive attack.
“Which we never do,” Palisade coach Danielle Bagwell said. “But we knew that’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to limit their possessions and control the ball.”
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And the Bulldogs did that by not only milking 45 seconds off the clock on every possession, but by finding open seams in the Demons’ defense that led to easy layups. As a result, Christa Brown (14 points), Casey Brown (12 points) and Ashlyn Brown (16 points) accounted for all but nine of the Bulldogs’ points.
Glenwood got 15 points from Madi Spence and 10 points from Hailey Armstrong and Bella Diaz. But when the Demons couldn’t hit their shots early on, it resulted in turnovers during their comeback attempt.
Despite their early dominance on the offensive boards and their inability to convert, the Demons still pulled within 14-11 after a running jumper and a pair of foul shots from Jordan DeCrow with 5:54 remaining in the first quarter. Palisade answered, though, holding Glenwood without a field goal for nearly 6 minutes during the initial stages of a 10-3 run, and the Bulldogs led 24-16 after Bella Diaz hit a jumper for Glenwood to cap the Demons’ first-half scoring.
From there, Glenwood pulled within 24-20 on buckets from Armstrong and Spence. Bagwell called a timeout and, afterward, Palisade reeled off nine unanswered points and went up 43-28 with 6:35 remaining on a jumper from Abby Thiessen.
Glenwood rallied, though, going on a 9-0 run of its own to pull Glenwood within 43-37 with 4:15 on the clock. The Demons never came closer, though, and Palisade sealed the game on foul shots in the final minute.
BOYS: GLENWOOD SPRINGS 61,
GRAND JUNCTION — Glenwood senior post player Zack Peterson had his best game of the season, scoring a game-high 16 points with 13 rebounds to help the Demons (13-3, 10-0 league) pull away from the scrappy Bulldogs and remain on top of the league standings.
Palisade (6-10, 5-5 league) hung right with the Demons through three quarters, getting 16 points from Quincy Campbell and eight from Brad Baker. But after the Bulldogs had pulled within four points at the end of the third quarter at 41-37, Glenwood outscored Palisade 20-9 in the final stanza to pull away.
The biggest bucket of the night for the Demons came from Peterson as Glenwood pulled away. His slam dunk with less than three minutes remaining in the game not only game Glenwood a 55-41 lead, but it brought the Demons’ bench players — along with the fans who made the trip from Glenwood — to their feet in celebration.
“He’s been wanting that dunk all year, and he finally got that opportunity,” Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock said. “I’m just proud of our boys. They played their tails off tonight. They deserve the day off [from practice], and we’re going to come back on Thursday to prepare like crazy for Eagle Valley.”
Cameron Horning added 13 points and Mason Yellico added 10 for the Demons.
Both the Glenwood boys and girls host Eagle Valley on Friday in another league matchup.
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The teams aren’t vying to one up the other in the rankings or looking to get a leg up in the league standings this fall, but that will hardly make the stakes any less meaningful for Basalt and Glenwood Springs high schools when they meet on the football field Friday night.