Glenwood Springs Demons headed to Denver for Sweet 16 |

Glenwood Springs Demons headed to Denver for Sweet 16

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

DENVER, Colorado ” Glenwood Springs’ Sweet 16-bound boys and girls basketball teams learned their next playoff destination on Sunday. Both are headed to Denver Manual High School’s Thunderdome.

The 19-3 Demon girls will take on Pueblo East (17-7) at 8 p.m. Thursday in the third round of the Class 4A state playoffs.

Should Glenwood win that one, it’d head to Metro State College on Saturday to face either Broomfield or Western Slope League mate Moffat County at 6 p.m. in the Tanya Haave Region final with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

The Demon boys (18-6) will face Lewis-Palmer (17-7) at the Thunderdome at 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Should they win, they’d head to Metro State on Saturday to face either Windsor or Thomas Jefferson at 2:30 p.m.

Unlike in years past, the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) is holding 4A Sweet 16 and Great Eight games at neutral sites this season. Previously, schools holding their region’s top seed would host.

The neutral-site experiment is one Glenwood Springs boys hoops coach Greg Hire deems positive.

“In the past, a No. 1 would have such an advantage having home court,” he said. “Going to a neutral site is a positive thing. You get all the teams in one location as well. It’s neat for the environments to have a little more in the way of fans. It’s better for the boys.”

Hire’s team is on quite the roll of late. Saturday’s 71-53 second-round playoff win over Montrose ” the one that vaulted the Demons into the Sweet 16 ” was Glenwood’s 17th victory in 18 games.

The Demons started the season 1-5, playing the first week of their season without a number of athletes who also played on the school’s state-champion football team.

Since then, it’s been smooth sailing for the 4A Western Slope League champions.

Glenwood’s girls haven’t taken it easy on opposing teams in 2008-09, either.

Like their male counterparts, the Demon girls have won 17 of 18 and were league champs. They made the Sweet 16 with a 48-44 win over Evergreen on Friday, a game that was closer than head coach Bryan Derby and his Demons would have liked.

“Hopefully our nerves are a little calmer now,” said Derby, whose team made the Great Eight last year and the Final Four the year before. “Hopefully we settle in and start playing basketball.”

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