Glenwood boys, girls down Battle Mountain to gain ground in 4A hoops league
Special to the Post Independent
The Glenwood Springs Lady Demons started the game at a torrid pace and kept their foot on the gas pedal throughout Thursday night’s 4A Western Slope League basketball contest at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, toppling Battle Mountain from the ranks of the unbeaten by recording an impressive 60-29 victory.
In the nightcap, the Glenwood boys hung on to also defeat Battle Mountain in a thriller, 46-44
The Lady Demons used the 3-point line to their advantage early and often, racing out to a commanding 30-7 lead by intermission. Junior forward Kenzie Winder dropped a pair of treys on the Huskies in the first quarter, and junior guard Pamela Rodriguez added a 3-pointer of her own to put league-leading Battle Mountain in a hole that would only grow larger as more Demons began to find their shooting mark.
The Huskies, with only a 3-pointer from junior Elizabeth Keiser to show for their first quarter scoring output, could only watch as Glenwood junior guard Ella Johnson swished two second-quarter 3-pointers to help the Demons outscore their opponents 19-4 in the frame.
Glenwood senior post Graci Dietrich scored on the block off an assist from reserve sophomore guard Breauna Sorensen. Junior forward Miah Suarez entered the game and promptly scored on three occasions to provide Glenwood with more of a spark.
With Dietrich controlling the rebounding department for the Demons, a steal and a full court layup by Sorensen sent Glenwood into intermission with an insurmountable lead.
The second half saw the Demons stay aggressive on both ends of the court. Senior guard Maddie Moser and junior guard Sophia Prieto each hit 3-pointers and Johnson added a driving layup to extend the Demon lead to 46-21 after three quarters of play.
Sophomore guard Joslyn Spires and junior Annalise Richardson got into the scoring column for Glenwood in the fourth period as every player on the Demons roster pitched in with points.
“I’m super proud of these girls,” said Glenwood coach Rhonda Moser. “When we started the year at 1-3, the kids could have dropped their heads and made excuses, but they just kept coming to practice each day ready to work and trying to get better. They listen and are continuing to grow as a team.”
Glenwood (4-3 overall, 4-1 WSL) was led in scoring by Johnson with 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Suarez and Winder each chipped in with 8 points. Spires, Dietrich and Moser contributed 6 points, and Prieto had 5 points.
Glenwood hosts Steamboat Springs on Friday night in another WSL tilt.
Boys: Glenwood 46, Battle Mountain 44.
Senior guard Omar Bonilla scored on a driving reverse layup in the final minute of play and then hit four free throws to seal the critical 46-44 home win over the Battle Mountain Huskies.
The game was nip and tuck for its entirety, as neither team could ever manage to gain a decisive advantage. Junior Aiden Nieslanik and senior Anthony Avilles scored on driving layups and senior Reid Swanson swished a corner 3-pointer to give Glenwood a slight advantage at 10-9 in the game’s opening stages.
Battle Mountain guard Elijah Morales kept his team close by battling Glenwood under the boards and scoring twice on put-back shots, and teammate Roshawn Reid threw down a two-handed dunk to put the game in a 14-14 deadlock to close the first quarter.
Aiden Nieslanik and Avilles each hit 3-pointers in the second stanza to help push the Demons ahead by a scant 25-23 margin at the halfway break.
Sophomore guard Reece McMillan came off the bench in both halves to ignite the Glenwood momentum. McMillan scored on a drive to the basket and senior Alec Nykerk hit a left-handed backdoor layup on an assist from junior Blake Nieslanik to give Glenwood a 35-32 lead entering the final 8 minutes of the game.
Swanson hit a 3-pointer and McMillan scored on another layup, as the Huskies could never quite manage to get over the hump, now trailing Glenwood 40-34 with 4:21 left to play.
Daniel Redinger scored a basket in the paint for Battle Mountain, but it was Bonilla who helped the Demons to victory with his late-game heroics.
“We managed to keep control of the game there in the second half when they made some runs at us,” Demons coach Fred Heisel said. “The effort is always there with these boys. We make some mistakes, but they are never due to lack of hustle.”
Glenwood saw Avilles score 10 points, with Bonilla, Swanson, McMillan and Aiden Nieslanik each dropping in eight points in the win.
Glenwood (3-4, 2-3) hosts the Steamboat Sailors on Friday night.
In other Thursday night action:
Boys: Aspen 56, Roaring Fork 23; Rifle @ Palisade (no score reported).
Girls: Palisade 37, Rifle 26; Grand Valley 52, Coal Ridge 41; Basalt 48, Eagle Valley 30; Roaring Fork @ Aspen (no score reported).
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Rifle High School wrestling won its matchup with Glenwood Springs Tuesday at the Glenwood triangular, while the Palisade Bulldogs took down both local teams.