Glenwood Springs falls to Lewis-Palmer in Sweet 16 |

Glenwood Springs falls to Lewis-Palmer in Sweet 16

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DENVER ” Glenwood Springs boys basketball coach Greg Hire fully expects to suffer symptoms of withdrawal come Monday.

That’s because, after Friday’s season-ending 58-37 loss to Lewis-Palmer in the Sweet 16 of the Class 4A state playoffs, there won’t be a practice to report to.

“These are tough,” Hire said. “You win games, you lose games, but this is the last game for so many seniors. That’s tough. I know I’ll go through withdrawals. Monday I planned on going to practice and now I don’t have a practice to go to. I don’t get to see those guys and all their quirks. That’s the tough part.”

Hire’s spent the last three seasons coaching Demon seniors Jordan Ciani, Dakota Stonehouse, Kevin Screen, Bennett Nicola and Patrick Hailey and welcomed Coal Ridge transfer Evan Wagstrom into the fray this school year.

It’s safe to say Hire’s grown pretty attached.

Glenwood Springs, tripped up by a 13-of-58 shooting performance on Friday, accomplished big things in 2008-09, winning the school’s first league title since 1993-94 and finishing 18-7.

“It’s amazing,” Hire said. “It’s been so long since Glenwood had been to the Sweet 16, since the boys won league. They’ve accomplished so much.”

On Friday, though, a Glenwood team that had won 17 of 18 coming in had trouble with its shot.

The Demons hung with the Rangers (18-7) for a quarter, trailing 14-10 after one. But then Lewis-Palmer kicked it into gear.

Contesting shots on defense and heavily outboarding Glenwood on both sides of the court, the Rangers won the second quarter 16-7 to take a 30-17 advantage into the break.

A hot start to the second half at at Denver Manual High School’s Thunderdome pulled the Demons to within seven points (32-25) early in the third, but that’s as close as they’d get.

Lewis-Palmer won the rebounding battle 48-24 and went 20-of-26 at the free-throw line. By comparison, Glenwood was 6-for-16 at the stripe to go along with the poor performance from the field.

“Everyone just shot cold,” said Screen, who, along with Russell Collins, led Glenwood with 12 points. “We had open shots, but we just couldn’t knock them down.”

And Lewis-Palmer, knowing the Demons have the potential to shoot lights out when all is clicking, made a point to shut down that part of their game.

“We worked hard playing great perimeter defense,” Rangers coach Russ McKinstry said. “We wanted to make them shoot contested, to have a hand in their face. We spent a lot of time watching film and drilling them to make sure we’d have defensive discipline.”

And, on offense, Lewis-Palmer got the job done. Kyle Engelhardt led the way with 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting and Cole Schumacher added 13 points. Both were beasts on the boards, too, with Engelhardt ripping down 14 rebounds and Schumacher 12.

Lewis-Palmer moves on to face Windsor (22-3) in today’s Great Eight at Metro State College.

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