Glenwood boys set tone for finale; Glenwood girls fall
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The overall tone during Tuesday night’s postgame meeting of the Glenwood Springs High School boys basketball team didn’t take the typical tone of a team that had just won at least a share of a league championship.
Then again, after all of the yelling and screaming was done, the Demons came to a simple conclusion.
“We expect great things from ourselves,” Glenwood senior guard Jake Gentry said.
The Demons took a step in that direction at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium with their 64-50 victory over Palisade, holding a double-figure lead for most of the game before closing it out at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. And with the victory, Glenwood (16-3 overall, 13-0 Class 4A Western slope League play) clinched no less than a share of the league championship headed into its regular-season finale against Steamboat Springs on Saturday afternoon.
And the Sailors (14-4, 12-1 league), who beat Battle Mountain 45-33 on Tuesday, will play at Summit on Thursday and at Glenwood on Saturday. Steamboat, which suffered its only league loss of the season against Glenwood in January, must win its remaining two regular-season games to win at least a share of the league title.
Glenwood, regardless of how Thursday’s Summit/Steamboat game goes, has other ideas.
“The good thing about tonight is that we at least won a share of the league championship,” Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock said. “But our guys aren’t interested in sharing anything.”
Cameron Horning finished with a game-high 15 points to go with an 11-point performance from Gentry, and Demons led by as much as 42-23 in the final minute of the third quarter. Palisade scrapped and clawed its way back into the game and was able to cut the demons lead down to single digits halfway through the fourth quarter, but a stellar performance at the free-throw line helped Glenwood pull away.
“I think that we have a pretty deep bench so if people get in foul trouble, we can still get guys on the floor who will get the job done,” Horning said. “Plus, it was senior night. We wanted to do this for the seniors.”
There were seven seniors who celebrated that on Tuesday. However, two of them — Will Gray and Brian Burbige — had fouled out in the first half of the fourth quarter. Even so, the Demons stayed aggressive and took advantage of Palisade’s foul trouble, finishing 18-for-22 shooting from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter and 28-for-37 for the game.
Zach Moore finished with 11 points and was the only player to finish in double figures for Palisade (8-11, 7-6 league). Still, the Bulldogs managed to outscored Glenwood 25-22 in the final stanza, including a 12-4 run to start the fourth quarter that pulled them within 46-37.
The Bulldogs never came closer, though, and Glenwood — despite hitting just one field goal in the final four minutes, hit 10-of-11 free throw attempts in that stretch to keep its distance.
GIRLS: PALISADE 52, GLENWOOD SPRINGS 30
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Aspen Guray finished with a game-high 13 points to go with 10 points from Casey Brown and nine from Ashlyn Brown, and the Bulldogs (17-2 overall, 13-0 4A WSL) beat the 10th-ranked Demons (15-4, 11-2 league) convincingly for the second time this year.
Palisade’s victory, according to Bulldogs coach Danielle Bagwell, marked the first time in 17 years that the program has won a league championship.
“Most of the girls hadn’t even been born yet the last time this happened,” Bagwell said. “They’re setting a standard that winning is an expectation now.”
Palisade did that by knocking off Glenwood, which was the defending league champion. And the Bulldogs did it by following the identical half-court, grind-it-out offensive game plan that helped them prevail when the teams met for the first time at Brownson Arena in Grand Junction.
“They are a very physical team, and we just haven’t found a way to convert against that,” Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said. “I don’t know it’s conditioning or what. Either way, I should have had them better prepared.
“Not taking anything away from them,” Gaddis continued. “That’s a great team over there that’s going to do something this year.”
Madi Spence finished with 12 points and Bella Diaz and Hailey Armstrong each had eight for Glenwood. Senior guard Jordan DeCrow, the Demons’ top outside shooter, was limited to two points and was held without a field goal. Everyone else was held scoreless.
Glenwood can shore up no less than second place in the league standings with a home victory Saturday afternoon against Steamboat Springs.
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Sophomore Logan Gross hits an extra-inning double. Senior teammate Gavin Peterson then hits a short gapper to get Gross comfortably across to best Evergreen 8-7.