Glenwood girls inch closer to league title defense with 32-25 win over Rifle
Special to the Post Independent
The Rifle and Glenwood Springs girls tangled on Tuesday night at Glenwood’s Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in a 4A Western Slope League contest that carried major implications in the conference standings.
In the end, it was the host Lady Demons who vaulted into a tie for first place with a 32-25 win.
Coach Rhonda Moser recognized the importance of the late season encounter with the rival Bears and said her team was up for the challenge.
“Our focus tonight was to get a win no matter how we got it done,” stated Moser.
“We missed a week of our season and the kids were fired up tonight,“ she said of last week’s quarantine due to COVID-19 rules. ”They came out hungry.”
Glenwood took the lead early on in the contest and never looked back. Controlling the rebounding department and getting several second chance opportunities was key in the Demons’ domination of the game.
“Glenwood got to shoot the ball more than we did tonight,” Rifle coach Eric Caro said. “They got three rebounds on their first offensive possession of the game, and that just continued throughout. Glenwood did a good job tonight.”
The Bears managed to hang close to the Demons, but could never quite make a decisive run to cut the Glenwood advantage.
A picture-perfect fast break that saw Kenzie Winder and Gracie Dietrich play keep away from the Bears and then spot sophomore guard Breauna Sorensen for a layup, gave Glenwood a 28-19 lead in the fourth quarter. It was an indication of the Demons running game that had shown brightly since the game’s beginning.
Jamie Caron, who led Rifle in scoring with 15 points, brought the Bears to within 28-23 when she was fouled while swishing a 3-pointer and then stepped to the line to convert the charity toss. A layup by junior guard Ella Johnson and a couple of free throws by sophomore Joslyn Spires helped to seal the win for the Demons.
Glenwood (6-4, 6-2 WSL) was led in scoring by Dietrich with 8 points. Seniors Dietrich and Maddie Moser could have played their final home game of their careers, depending on next week’s state playoff seedings.
Glenwood closes out the regular season at Eagle Valley on Friday night and at Battle Mountain on Saturday.
Boys: Rifle 56, Glenwood 50.
Though not in a battle for league supremacy this season, the Rifle and Glenwood Springs boys staged another in a long line of hard-fought and down-to-the-wire games on Tuesday evening, with the Bears managing to hold on for a 56-50 WSL win.
Glenwood led after each of the first three quarters of play, but Rifle came on strong when it was needed most in the final stanza, outscoring the Demons 23-15 to complete the season sweep of their rivals.
Tido Ruiz, who led Rifle in scoring with 21 points, came up big in the fourth quarter for the Bears, as did Kade Bishop with his work under the basket.
It was actually a 4-point play by Brock Caldwell to close out the third period for Rifle that started the rallying spark and pulled the Bears to within 35-33 with 8 minutes to play.
With Rifle up 50-44 in the closing minutes, Glenwood got a couple of quick scores underneath from junior forward Blake Nieslanik to pull the Demons to within a basket of the visitors.
Glenwood could get no closer as Rifle managed to hit some late free throws and the Demons were unable to convert from the field.
Nieslanik and junior guard Reid Swanson topped Glenwood’s scoring with 11 counters each.
Seniors Alec Nykerk and Anthony Avilles played their final home game for the Demons who hit the road for weekend contests at Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain to close out their season.
In other action Tuesday night: For the girls, it was the Grand Valley girls over Grand Junction, 53-28, and the Moffat County girls, 66-22, over Roaring Fork. And, for the boys, Roaring Fork nipped Moffat County, 52-51, and Grand Junction defeated Grand Valley, 53-40.
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