Glenwood boys win season opener; Basalt takes girls game honors
Special to the Post Independent
In an eerily quiet Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, the masked Glenwood Springs Demons hosted the Basalt Longhorns Tuesday to kick off the Covid-shortened 2021 high school basketball season.
The ladies got things started on the night, as Basalt managed to hold on late in the game for a 36-29 win. The nightcap saw the Glenwood boys jump to an early lead, en route to a 50-42 win.
Lady Longhorns start strong
Basalt senior guard Gracie Reardon took matters into her own hands to start the game by hitting a couple of quick 3-pointers and two shots from the free throw line to give her team an early 8-0 edge.
With the Demons playing a bit tentative and trying to shake off a cold shooting start, veteran head coach Rhonda Moser called a timeout with 3:38 to play in the first quarter when her team had yet to get on the scoreboard.
“We were playing really hesitant and passively,” Moser said. “When we got behind, we kind of got that deer in the headlights look and couldn’t seem to shake it.”
Glenwood senior post Graci Dietrich got the Demons going following the timeout with a turnaround jump shot in the lane. A quick scoring answer from Longhorn senior forward Chandra Bohannan came in the form of two foul line makes and a bank shot in the lane to put Basalt ahead by double digits at 12-2.
Demon senior guard Maddie Moser lofted in a banking 3-pointer, and Glenwood sophomores Mattea Enewold and Breauna Sorensen provided a spark off the bench by tallying three free throws and a basket to put Basalt’s halftime lead at 18-10.
Glenwood’s full-court press began to bother the Longhorns to start the second half, as scoring opportunities began to present themselves for the home team.
Junior Miah Suarez scored in the lane as Glenwood looked to gain some much needed momentum, but Basalt’s Reardon notched her third 3-pointer of the night to keep the Demons at bay.
In the game’s final quarter, senior guard Riley Dolan scored twice inside to put Basalt up 34-18. Moser and sophomore Joslyn Spires hit 3-pointers for Glenwood, but with time as its biggest adversary, the Demons came up just short as the clock ticked away.
“We’re still trying to find our player rotations and rhythm. It’s a young team,” Moser said.
Basalt coach Amy Contini was very pleased with her team’s season-opening victory.
“Being in the gym with these kids since August and seeing all of the hard work they have put in is gratifying. They’re good kids and they are driven to get better each night,” said Contini.
Maddie Moser and Spires led Glenwood in scoring with eight and seven points, respectively. Basalt was topped by Reardon with 11 points and Dolan with 10.
The Glenwood girls swing back into action on Friday night with a short trip to Coal Ridge High School to take on the Titans. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Demon boys off to encouraging start
Glenwood senior Omar Bonilla provided an early lift and junior Blake Nieslanik carried the Demon torch just after halftime, as Glenwood raced out to an early 20-6 lead on visiting Basalt, then withstood a furious Longhorn comeback en route to a 50-42 win to open the season.
It was junior guard Aiden Nieslanik who dropped in a 3-pointer to put Glenwood up by the 14-point margin early in quarter number two, but Basalt senior Teegan Card got a couple of baskets in the paint and fellow senior Alonso Silva hit a 3-ball to key a 12-7 second period scoring advantage as the Longhorns trailed just 24-18 at intermission.
With Glenwood’s lead a scant 27-23 in the third period, Blake Nieslanik scored off an inbounds play and hit a basket on a follow shot to put Glenwood up 31-25.
It was Nieslanik scoring again on a nice assist from Bonilla to help stem the Basalt comeback hopes.
In the decisive fourth quarter, junior guard Reid Swanson dropped in a couple of baskets for Glenwood, including a 3-pointer, to go along with baskets by junior Stevie Vega and senior Anthony Aviles. The Demons increased their margin to 44-35 with 4:16 to play, and cruised to victory .
Blake Nieslanik and Bonilla tied for Glenwood’s game scoring honors with 11 points each. Swanson tallied 8 points, with Vega hitting for 7. Basalt was led by Card with 11 points.
Glenwood is back in action for a 7 p.m. game Friday night at Coal Ridge High School.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.