Glenwood Springs basketball cruises to lopsided sweep of Summit in league action | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood Springs basketball cruises to lopsided sweep of Summit in league action

Josh Carney
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs Demon Kate Shanahan fights to keep possession of the ball during Tuesday night's game against the Summit Tigers at Glenwood Springs High School.
Chelsea Self / Post Independent

Preaching the mantra of “one game at a time” in its quest for a league championship, the Glenwood Springs Demons girls basketball team poured all of its effort and focus into Tuesday’s matchup with the Summit Tigers inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium. That paid off in a big way in 4A Western Slope League action as the Demons cruised to a 67-34 win.

“It was good to be able to have that kind of performance tonight and get some of the younger girls into the game,” said Rhonda Moser, Glenwood’s head coach.

After the Demons buried the Tigers by 53 points in a win on the road on Jan. 8, the Demons put up a similar performance Tuesday in the 33-point win as Glenwood raced out to 14-0 lead just over two minutes into the game, putting the Tigers on their heels early.

Junior Qwynn Massie started the game with two tough buckets in the paint for Glenwood, before senior Ximena Gutierrez stole the ball and hit a layup off the full court press, making it an 8-0 game.

Senior Emily Worline then got into the act for the Demons, stealing the ball, converting the layup through contact and hitting the ensuing free throw for the 3-point play before hitting another layup to make it 11-0, forcing a Summit timeout.

Senior Logan Nieslanik then banked in a 3-pointer after the timeout for the Demons to make it 14-0, igniting the rout.

A pair of 3-pointers from Worline and junior Hadley Yellico pushed the Demon lead to 24-7 after one quarter of action as everything came up Glenwood on the night.

Things snowballed quickly to start the second quarter for Summit as Glenwood embarked on a 10-0 run to make it 34-7, thanks to layups from senior Ashley Barragan, junior Kate Shanahan, Gutierrez and Worline, before a jumper from Nieslanik closed out the run.

A layup from sophomore Graci Dietrich sent the Demons into the half with a 40-13 lead on a night in which it appeared Summit couldn’t get much of anything going.

That quickly changed in the second half as the Tigers came out fast, rallying to within 16 points thanks to junior center Anna Tomlinson. The Summit captain hit a pair of tough shots in the paint, and converted three free throws to spark the Tigers, forcing a timeout from Moser.

“We kind of had to regroup,” said Moser. “Unfortunately, when you play a pressing game like we do and you pull your horses back, it’s hard to get players to settle in. So we just had to get back to basics. Credit to Summit; they really worked hard.”

Following the timeout to right the ship, Glenwood found its footing in the third quarter and pulled away again as senior Sequoia Kellogg got a tip-in to fall, Shanahan hit a right-handed hook shot in the low post, and Gutierrez converted two free throws to take a 51-34 lead into the final quarter of play.

Emptying the bench in the final eight minutes, Glenwood got a glimpse of the future in freshman Kenzie Winder. The underclassman came off the bench and lit up the scoreboard in the final quarter of action for the Demons, pouring in eight points, hitting a jumper and a layup while hitting 4-of-6 free throw attempts in the quarter.

As Winder went off, the Demons locked down defensively, holding the Tigers scoreless in the final quarter of action to close out the 67-34 win.

In the win, Worline — the state’s leading 3-pointer shooter in 4A — led the Demons with 13 points, hitting two 3s. Nieslanik added a career-high 11 points for the Demons, while Gutierrez added 11 points, giving Glenwood three scorers in double figures on a night in which the offensive output was very balanced.

“We’ve been really talking one game at a time,” said Moser. “We have to take care of business every night or we won’t be where we want to be. Right now we’re focusing on Rifle.”

The Demons (10-8, 6-1 4A WSL) travel to Rifle Friday night for a rivalry matchup with the Bears at 6 p.m.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Glenwood Springs 79, Summit 55

Much like the girls game earlier in the evening, the battle between the Glenwood Springs and Summit boys basketball teams was over quickly as Glenwood locked in defensively midway through the first quarter and shook loose from the Tigers, turning a 12-10 lead into 23-10 after one quarter of play on the way to a 24-point win at home in 4A Western Slope League action.

On Jan. 8 on the road, Glenwood rolled to a 26-point win over Summit. Knowing the success the group had the last time out against the Tigers, the Glenwood coaching staff knew the team needed to come out focused with an attack mentality.

“We talked about how in the previous game, we also had a pretty good win, and not letting that affect how we play or our mentality of how we play,” said Fred Heisel, Glenwood’s head coach. “I think we came out and did that. We attacked them early and really played well defensively.”

The Demons held an early 11-5 lead as senior guard Wyatt Ewer splashed home a 3-pointer from the left wing, but Summit pulled to within two thanks to a 3-pointer from junior guard Ben Rider. From that point on, Glenwood simply overwhelmed the Tigers in every facet of the game.

Following Rider’s 3-pointer, the Demons went on an 11-0 run to close the quarter as senior Angel Garcia hit a big 3-pointer on his birthday, while junior Mitchell Burt took over defensively, stealing the ball on an inbounds play and laying it in, before hitting a putback shot on the next possession, giving the Titans a 13-point lead after one quarter of play.

Glenwood stretched the lead to 33-10 early in the second quarter to cap off a 21-0 run as Burt hit another putback in transition, and Garcia hit a layup, two free throws and a 3-pointer, putting the game well out of reach of the Tigers.

Summit snapped the lengthy run with a jumper from Rider, but the Demons kept the pedal down as senior Chano Gonzalez hit a jumper, junior John Iuele hit a 3-pointer, and junior Patrick Young hit a layup through contact off of a steal at the buzzer, converting the 3-point play to send the Demons into the half with a 49-21 lead while shutting down Summit standout senior guard Wyatt Buller in the game’s first 16 minutes.

“We went into the game knowing that they had one of the top players in our league, and a player that’s capable of going on to play at the next level,” said Heisel. “Our focus was on him defensively. We executed our defensive strategy, and in that first half we did a really good job.”

Coming out of the locker room with a 28-point lead, the Demons stretched the lead to 30 points after three quarters, thanks in large part to a number of reserves.

Senior Erwin Rodriguez hit a cutting layup off of a slick feed from Garcia, while junior AJ Adams hit a layup late in the quarter. As the Demon offense clicked, so too did the Tigers, as junior Corbin Furrey hit a corner 3-pointer, and Buller hit two 3-pointers and three jumpers in the quarter to get going offensively.

Holding the monumental lead heading into the final quarter of action, Glenwood emptied its bench as Adams hit another jumper along the baseline, and junior Adam Schrader hit a turnaround jumper in the paint.

The highlight of the night for the student section, though, came in the game’s final minutes as freshman Aiden Nieslanik hit a free throw to get on the stats sheet, and senior forward Uzi Vera hit a layup at the buzzer, capping off the 79-55 win at home.

“I was not surprised at all [about the underclassmen’s success],” said Heisel. “I know what they’re capable of, and I’m very much excited about the future of Glenwood basketball. They work so hard and always step up for us and provide a spark, either defensively or offensively.”

In the win, Garcia led the way with 20 points on his birthday, while Burt came off the bench and added 12 points. Gonzalez chipped in with eight points for Glenwood, while senior guard Kevin Ayon added six points.

For Summit, Buller led the way with a game-high 25 points, scoring 17 of his 25 points with the game well out of reach in the second half.

Glenwood (14-4, 7-0 4A WSL) travels to Rifle Friday night for a rivalry matchup with the Bears at 7:30 p.m.

jcarney@postindependent.com