Glenwood Springs basketball cruises to sweep of Grand Junction Central
Post Independent contributor
Starting to gain some mid-season momentum, coach Rhonda Moser’s Glenwood Springs Demons girls basketball team used stifling defensive pressure, and rode 18 first-half points from senior guard Emily Worline to cruise past the Grand Junction Central Warriors 51-43 on Saturday afternoon inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
Worline, who picked up her shooting touch right where she left off on Friday night against Rifle, dropped in three 3-pointers in the first half, including the first score of the game from the top of the circle to get Glenwood up and running against the taller Warriors.
Fellow senior guard Ximena Gutierrez converted a conventional 3-point play on a drive to the basket and a foul shot as the Demons took an early 16-12 lead. Junior forward Qwynn Massie then scored underneath the basket after a series of crisp passes from the Glenwood backcourt. Massie then got herself a basket on a putback underneath, and dropped in another score in the paint moments later to get the Demons out to a 28-17 advantage. Sophomore guard Maddie Moser got a steal and hit a layup, and Glenwood built a 38-23 lead at intermission.
With the Demons solidly in command, Gutierrez – the defensive spark plug for Glenwood – scored the first two baskets to start the second half and Worline flipped in a baseline floater to make it 42-25 for the home team.
“From the start of my career as a freshman, my role was to try and carry the team on defense,” said Gutierrez. “But now I have the confidence each game to help the team on the offensive end as well.”
Central made a brief run at Glenwood early in the fourth quarter. Central sophomore guard Mya Murdock dropped in a couple of baskets and a free throw, prompting Coach Moser to call a timeout to right the Demon ship.
Central got within 46-34 with 5:11 left in the game, but Glenwood immediately answered with two buckets and a free throw by Gutierrez to make it 51-34, stemming the Warrior tide.
“These kids come and grind each night and they’re learning new things as we go,” said Moser. “Now, the rest of our schedule is league games, and we’re taking things one step at a time trying to go up the ladder in the conference.”
Leaders on the afternoon for the Demons were Worline with 20 points, Gutierrez with 16 points, and Massie, who chipped in with 9 points.
Next up on the schedule for Glenwood (6-7, 2-0 WSL) is a home league contest next Tuesday against the Eagle Valley Devils.
Glenwood Springs 54, Grand Junction Central 45
Coach Fred Heisel’s fast-paced Glenwood boys put their sixth straight mark in the win column, upping their season’s record to 9-4 as they ran away from the Grand Junction Central Warriors, 54-45, in a non-league matinee on Saturday afternoon.
Glenwood found its range early and often from the 3-point line, jumping out to a quick 16-6 lead on the Warriors. Seniors Chano Gonzalez and Angel Garcia hit long-range shots, and senior Wyatt Ewer connected on a soft inside bank shot as the Demons forced the pace with their full-court defensive pressure and fast-break offense.
With a size advantage near the basket, Central started to look inside for 6-foot-6 seniors Isaac Cameron and Caleb Davis. Cameron delivered with two baskets inside and Davis helped the cause with a bucket, bringing Central to within 20-18 early in the second quarter.
Not to be outdone, Glenwood’s senior forward, Holden Kleager, scored on a shot from the left baseline, then promptly stepped a little farther out from the same side to drop in a 3-pointer to give the Demons back the momentum.
Then, off the bench came junior forward Adam Schrader to immediately help the Glenwood cause with a bank shot and a putback score off of a Gonzalez miss to put the Demons on top 29-24.
Gonzalez ended the half for the Demons with a driving layup off a picture-perfect assist from senior Kevin Ayon, putting Glenwood in the driver’s seat at the halfway break.
With Central beginning to noticeably tire in the third quarter, the Demons continued to press down on the accelerator. Garcia hit a 3-pointer to start a hard Glenwood charge. Kleager then scored on a nifty reverse layup, and Gonzalez popped a 3-pointer, and added a bucket on a baseline drive to put the Demons up 47-34.
“Our pressure really started to fatigue them (Central), especially their big guys,” said Heisel. “I was really proud of the way our deep bench went in the game and we had no drop off when we substituted.”
The score hit 52-34 in favor of Glenwood in the fourth quarter when Gonzalez struck again, this time with a corner 3-pointer to put the game out of reach for the visitors from Grand Junction.
Gonzalez led Glenwood in scoring with 19 points. Garcia contributed 12 points, and Kleager chipped in with 7 points.
Glenwood (9-4, 2-0 WSL) jumps back into league play on Tuesday night with a home game against Eagle Valley.
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