Glenwood having fun at state tourney |

Glenwood having fun at state tourney

Post Independent Photo/Kara K. Pearson Glenwood's Sam Ciani (44) fights with Eagle Valley's Stacie Santoro (50) as Glenwood's Courtney Sutherland (34) gets ready for an outlet pass during the first game in the Western Slope League Tournament Friday afternoon. Glenwood lost, 64-59.

The Demons are playing relaxed, playing with confidence and having fun in this year’s Class 4A Girls State Basketball Tournament.And it seems to be the right approach. Glenwood Springs has been the underdog since the playoff opener, yet finds itself as one of 16 teams still alive in the tournament.Tonight’s third-round matchup at Colorado State University-Pueblo will be no different as the No. 11-seed Demons take on No. 2 Regis at 6 p.m.”In all of our minds, we were going to go out there, no matter the outcome of the game, and have fun,” said senior guard Yuri Salvidrez. “So we set out in our minds that we are going to have fun no matter what and work our hardest.”The formula has worked twice so far. Last week Glenwood polished off No. 6 Mesa Ridge and No. 3 Pueblo Central in back-to-back playoff games. The victories advanced the Demons to a showdown against the Continental League Raiders, who fashioned a 16-7 record this season, mostly against Class 5A opponents. Salvidrez said the wins boosted the Demons’ confidence, and she feels good about the team’s chances against No. 2 Regis, who knocked off Pueblo County 73-50 in its lone playoff game. “We’re peaking at the right time right now. We’ve worked so hard since the beginning of summer, and it’s starting to pay off,” Salvidrez said.

It’s also getting the Demons some respect.”I’ve heard some of the teams who play on the eastern slope watch us play and they say, ‘That Glenwood team, they are really hustlers and they are really competitive,'” said Salvidrez.”I can’t believe they said that, because we’re used to being pushed around by Rifle and Moffat County. It’s amazing to hear that. I guess playing against Rifle and Moffat has improved our game.”A look at the remaining teams in the 4A playoff bracket heading into tonight’s games back up Salvidrez’s point. Glenwood, Rifle and Moffat County all have advanced to third-round games.According to Rocky Preps statistics, Regis has one big scorer in Katie Mihalco, who averages 15.2 per game. The Raiders’ next-highest scorer is Andrea Hendee at eight points per game.Salvidrez’s main contribution as the Demons’ point guard is to set up the offense for her teammates, a job she’s done well the past two seasons.This year, Salvidrez leads Glenwood in assists and has given the team additional help as a defensive rebounder.

Three players have taken change of putting the ball in the hole. Freshman Sharaya Selsor averages 12.3 points a game. Center Sam Ciani, a sophomore, scores at an 11.2 clip, and junior Emily Hauptli completes the double-digit trio with a 10.8 scoring average.”Selsor and Sam Ciani mean a lot,” Salvidrez said. “They stepped it up, and they’ve pushed this team. It doesn’t matter what grade level we are, what matters is how much we love this game. It brings us all together.”When looking at Regis, Salvidrez has been impressed with the Raiders.”(Regis is) going to be tough to play with. They have some of the fastest guards I’ve ever seen. They have a couple of pretty good shooters from the outside and a couple of strong girls inside the post.” What the Demons have in their favor going into tonight’s game is confidence. “The girls are starting to believe and finally understand anything’s possible. Anything’s possible if you set your mind to it,” said Salvidrez. “They don’t want the season to end. They don’t want to go out with a (loss). They want to go out with a winning streak.”

Class 4A Girls State Basketball TournamentSweet 16 roundGlenwood (12-12) vs. Regis (16-7)6 p.m. Thursday at CSU-PuebloRadio: KMTS-FM (99.1), 5:55 p.m.Leading ScorersGlenwood – Sharaya Selsor, 12.3; Sam Ciani, 11.2; Emily Hauptli, 10.8Regis – Katie Mihalco, 15.2; Andrea Hendee, 8.0

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