Glenwood Springs girls open 5A basketball playoffs with 46-32 win over Golden
Coal Ridge boys playoff game at Severance rescheduled for Thursday
Special to the Post Independent
With a near capacity crowd on hand Tuesday night at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, the Lady Demons of Glenwood Springs rode the hot hand of senior guard Joslyn Spires to a dominant 46-32 victory over the Golden Demons in the first round of the class 5A girls basketball state playoffs.
It wasn’t always a thing of beauty, especially in a first half that was marred by as many turnovers from both teams as there were points. But Glenwood managed enough second-chance baskets, largely on the rebounding prowess of senior inside duo Mattea Enewold and Tori Taylor to amass leads of 11-4 at the end of the first quarter and 21-13 at intermission.
Spires, the probable Western Slope League player of the year, made Golden pay dearly for leaving her open from the right corner in the game’s first few minutes. Calmly draining two 3-pointers from that spot, Spires jump-started Glenwood to a 6-0 lead that Golden would never fully recover from.
“It was really fun out there tonight,” Spires said. “We all had the mentality coming into this game that we could win. We’re excited for the next one on Friday.”
Golden sophomore Kempley Wellman did manage to bring her team to within 13-10 early in the second stanza, but Glenwood senior guard Ruby Patch immediately thwarted the opposition’s momentum by scoring a back door cut layup on an assist from Spires to put the Demons back in the groove.
Taylor started off the second half with a pair of free throws for Glenwood. Those charity tosses were followed by an inside scoop shot off the glass by Enewold, and then it was Spires doing her thing again with another 3-pointer from the corner at the opposite end of the court.
Enewold scored again on a drive down the lane, swelling Glenwood’s lead to 30-14 and having Golden thinking about pointing their bus east over the mountains and beating the incoming snowstorm.
Patch scored again on a drive to the basket, and at 35-18 Glenwood had taken its biggest lead of the game at the end of the third period.
As is usually the case, Glenwood had many players contribute to the winning cause in a variety of ways. Spires had a game-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers. Enewold finished with eight points and five rebounds. Patch scored six points, and junior guard Taia Nykerk helped out the Demon effort with five points. Taylor had four points and led Glenwood with six rebounds. Senior point guard Breauna Sorensen chipped in with four points and five assists.
Eighth-seeded Glenwood (17-7) will now move on to host another state playoff game on Friday night. The Demons will face off with the No. 9 Green Mountain Rams in the 5A round of 16. Glenwood, playing without coach Rhonda Moser, dropped a 61-31 road decision to the Rams back on Jan. 4. Green Mountain defeated Denver North 51-41 on Tuesday night.
“At this point in the season, we are going to see good athletes in the playoffs, so we have to come ready every night,” Moser said after Tuesday’s win. “I’m very proud of these girls. Our goal was to get this far, but hopefully we’re not done yet.”
On the boys side of the 5A state playoffs, No. 16 Glenwood Springs (16-7) hosts No. 17 Green Mountain (15-8) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, also at Spencer-Chavez Gym. The winner of that game will take on either No. 1 Air Academy on the road or No. 32 Gateway at home.
In 4A tournament action Tuesday night in New Castle, the 14th-seeded Coal Ridge High School girls dropped their opener 31-29 to No. 19 Jefferson Academy. The loss concluded the Lady Titans season at 16-8 overall and marked the final game for four senior players: Jackie Camunez, Aceleigh Porter, Ashlynn Guccini and Mikayla Cheney.
Also Tuesday, the No. 27 Basalt girls lost 52-35 to No. 6 Eaton on the road. The Longhorns’ season ends at 12-12, with curtain calls for seniors Carly Gatlin, Sophie Hodgson, Emma Jeffries and Giselle Contreras.
The Coal Ridge boys head into the postseason as the No. 24 seed, playing on the road at No. 9 Severance (17-6) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday (rescheduled from Wednesday). The winner takes on the winner of Wednesday’s No. 8 Colorado Academy versus No. 25 Jefferson game.
Defending 3A state champion Aspen earned the No. 26 seed in the reconfigured 4A playoffs. The Skiers play No. 7 Eaton on the road, also rescheduled for Thursday. Basalt is also in as the No. 30 seed, playing at No. 3 Alamosa on Wednesday.
Roaring Fork boys, Grand Valley teams advance in 3A District tourney
Meanwhile, area Class 3A teams, Roaring Fork and Grand Valley, are in their District tournament this week, with three teams advancing from the opening round Tuesday to play for the championship Friday and Saturday at Grand Junction Central High School, with a bid to the 32-team 3A state playoffs on the line.
The second-seeded Roaring Fork boys defeated No. 7 Olathe 66-39 at home in Carbondale Tuesday to advance, behind the hot hands of senior River Byrne (25 points), senior Eddie Hernandez (15 points) and junior Noel Richardson (12 points). Also advancing were the No. 1 seed Grand Valley girls (73-8 winners over Aspen) and the No. 4 Grand Valley boys (62-40 winners over North Fork).
Roaring Fork is set to play No. 3 Meeker on Friday, while the Grand Valley boys play the top seed, Cedaredge. Grand Valley’s girls take on No. 4 Gunnison.
The Roaring Fork girls dropped their opening round game Tuesday at Olathe 55-37, concluding the Rams’ season at 6-14. It was the final game for seniors Katie Grijalva, Aleyda Loya and Corey Bollock.
Post Independent reporter John Stroud contributed to this report.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.