Glenwood boys drop into a tie atop 4A WSL with loss to Steamboat at home
Post Independent Contributor
In a head-on tussle for bragging rights in the 4A Western Slope League, the Glenwood Springs Demons and Steamboat Sailors met on Saturday afternoon inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium. It was the Sailors this time who got the upper hand with a 72-46 win to avenge a league loss to the Demons earlier in the year in Steamboat.
To say that the Sailors started off the game with a hot hand would be a classic understatement.
Senior Aden Knaus hit a baseline jumper to get Steamboat on the board first. Chano Gonzalez answered with a 3-pointer for Glenwood, but Knaus buried consecutive 3-pointers to give the Sailors a quick 8-3 advantage.
Senior Tyler Doyne got a basket and then an NBA range 3-pointer for Steamboat. Junior Ethan Pyles dropped in a 3-pointer for the Sailors to put the visitors up 16-3.
Junior Mitchell Burt scored on a nice drive for Glenwood and senior Erwin Rodriguez banked a shot in at the first quarter buzzer to give the Demons some life.
Talented Steamboat senior Mac Riniker then took the game over in the second period, giving the Sailors a big lead that would never be seriously challenged.
Riniker put up 15 points by halftime on a variety of outside shots and spinning drives to the basket. When Riniker got a steal and threw down a dunk with 4:33 to play in the third period the Sailors lead had risen to 45-24, prompting Demon Head Coach Fred Heisel to call a timeout to gather his team.
Foul trouble hit the Sailors near the end of the third period, and Glenwood did its best to gain some ground and momentum.
With Riniker and Doyne on the bench with 4 fouls each, Burt got the Demons going with two scores by driving to the basket. Wyatt Ewer converted a shot near the hoop, and when Gonzalez hit a layup with 6:10 to play, Glenwood had inched within 60-41.
As the hot Sailors suddenly turned stone cold, Glenwood looked to have some hope. But 3-pointers by Knaus and Pyles thwarted the Demon comeback attempt in a hurry.
Gonzalez was his usual steady self for the Demons, dropping in 19 points. Rodriguez had 11 points and Burt chipped in with 9 points for Glenwood. Riniker took game-scoring honors with 22 points. Pyles and Knaus had 19 and 14 points respectively for the Sailors.
Seniors Holden Kleager, Chano Gonzalez, Kevin Ayon, Wyatt Ewer, Angel Garcia, Erwin Rodriguez, Luke Gair, and Uzi Vera all played what could have been their final game in Glenwood, barring a possible home 4A playoff date.
The Demons (16-5, 9-1 WSL) hit the road to take on Battle Mountain next Tuesday.
Glenwood Springs 46, Steamboat Springs 29
The Glenwood Springs girls basketball team honored their six seniors on Saturday afternoon at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium and then took care of business against the Steamboat Sailors by a score of 46-29 to stay on course for a shot at a possible 4A Western Slope League championship when they face off with the Battle Mountain Huskies Tuesday night in Edwards.
Emily Worline, Ximena Gutierrez, Logan Nieslanik, Ashley Barragan, Sequoia Kellogg, and Afton Larsen were the deserved focus of attention in a pregame ceremony that recognized the service and dedication of these young women to the girls basketball program through the years on Senior Day at GSHS. From Harlan Spencer, who was the program’s first coach, to Rhonda Moser, the current Demon mentor, the Glenwood girls have an established tradition of success that continues to this day.
“These seniors were my first group when they came in as freshman,” said Moser. “I got to start with them four years ago and it has been neat to see how they have grown. They are special to me. I love those kids.”
Establishing a 10-7 lead after one quarter, Glenwood blew the sails right off the Steamboat ship in the second quarter by outscoring the visitors by a convincing 21-4 count to take a 31-11 lead at the game’s halfway point.
After Worline netted a couple 3-pointers to start the game, many key players stepped forward to contribute in Glenwood’s big second stanza.
Nieslanik got things going in Glenwood’s direction with a driving one-handed layup. Junior Kate Shanahan scored in the paint on an assist from Worline. Gutierrez and Larsen both notched baskets, and then it was junior Qwynn Massie’s time to shine.
Massie scored three inside baskets and a free throw, the last bucket coming off a bounce-pass assist from fellow junior Hadley Yellico. The Demons were off to the races, and there was no looking back.
Glenwood employed a stifling full-court pressure defense to create many of their scoring opportunities in the first half.
A deep score from Nieslanik in the right corner upped the Demons’ lead to 35-13 at the 4:46 mark of the third, a lead which would top out at 42-19 by the quarter’s end.
In the final period, junior Michelle Marshall, sophomore Graci Dietrich, and freshman Kenzie Winder all entered the game and helped the Demons march to victory.
Glenwood’s scoring ledger was topped by Worline with 11 points, Nieslanik with 9 points, Larsen and Massie each chipped in with 7 points.
Glenwood (13-8, 9-1 WSL) will meet Battle Mountain on the road next Tuesday in a game that could very well decide the 2019 4A WSL championship.
“We need to be ready to play. Be patient and take good shots. Next week is the seniors biggest week, facing Battle Mountain and Palisade,” said Moser.
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