Glenwood Springs girls too big for Titans
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Coal Ridge High School’s girls basketball team isn’t very big. But Madi Spence’s big play gave the Glenwood Springs Demons a lead too big to catch up to.
Spence, a Glenwood junior center, finished with nine points and 13 rebounds to help the Demons dominate the glass on both ends of the floor on their way to a 57-45 season-opening victory over the Titans in front of a big crowd at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
“Power in the paint is what we call it,” the 6-foot Spence said. “We definitely had a height advantage. So when we had all three posts in, Lauren [McDermott], Hailey [Armstrong] and me, we could dominate the boards. And it made a big difference, especially getting second chances like that.”
For the game, the Demons (1-0) outrebounded Coal Ridge, 45-23, and seemingly took control of the game in the first half thanks to Spence, who outrebounded the Titans on her own, 8-6. Armstrong, who is also a 6-footer, finished with seven boards and four points to accompany a four-point, nine-rebound outing from McDermott.
“Normally when you have a size advantage, you don’t have speed,” Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said. “We were talking before the game about how quick Coal Ridge is, and the first thing I thought of was how our bigs are pretty darn fast. That made things nice.”
Jordan DeCrow finished with a game-high 20 points and a pair of 3-pointers, and Delaney Gaddis added 14 points and two 3s for the Demons, who jumped to a 35-12 lead at halftime.
Alicia Hampton and Paige Ryan each finished with 13 points to pace the Class 3A Titans (1-1), who won their season opener over another Class 4A school, Battle Mountain, 55-30 on Tuesday. They really weren’t able to get on track, however, until 6-foot junior center Britini Allen came into the game in the second half. Allen didn’t play the first half since she was fighting a flu virus.
“We knew that they were taller than us, and their tall girls are athletic, too,” second-year Coal Ridge coach Damon Martinez said. “We also knew that we had to box out, and we didn’t do that. We talked about it, we tried to prepare for it, but we didn’t execute it.”
Still, it didn’t keep the Titans from trying to claw their way back into the game late even after the Demons had taken as much as a 48-26 lead with just a minute gone in the fourth quarter. With Anderson and Spence both in foul trouble, Coal Ridge ramped up its transition game and pulled within 52-42 in the final two minutes on a steal and layup from Ryan. The Titans, however, were forced to foul, and the Demons sealed the game on foul shots down the stretch run.
Glenwood’s second-chance opportunities in the first half — thanks to that rebounding — helped the Demons shoot 50 percent (13 for 26) in the first half, including a 4-for-7 performance from beyond the arc. A jumper from Spence with 2 seconds remaining in the first half gave Glenwood its halftime lead, which turned out to be its biggest lead of the game.
“We wanted to come out intense,” Spence said. “We wanted to be that team that people look at and say, ‘OK, they’re here to play.’ I think we did that.”
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