Glenwood Springs girls win three at home invite

Jeff Caspersen and Joelle MilholmPost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kara K. Pearson Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Eighteen free throws, 15 of which came in the second half, were enough to hold off a Grand Junction comeback attempt as the Glenwood Springs girls basketball team held on to beat the Tigers 54-50 to win the Demon Invitational on Saturday.After beating Faith Christian and Alamosa earlier in the tournament, Glenwood was the tournament champ as the only undefeated team.”Obviously there is room for improvement, and it is early in the season, but three wins, you can’t ask for any more than that,” said senior Demon Sharaya Selsor.Despite an 11-point halftime lead, the Demons couldn’t seem to get out of the Tigers’ reach. Grand Junction continued to battle back behind 6-foot-6 Emily Stark’s scoring and Kershel Claussen’s aggressive play.

They could, however, hit their free throws. The Demons hit 15 of 21 free throws, including nine by Selsor and six from Kelsie Hert. “As a senior coach (Bryan Derby) kinda relies on me to get the ball and hit those clutch free throws,” said Selsor, who finished with 22 points.Selsor went four for four from the charity stripe in the final 23 seconds, making sure that a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Grand Junction’s Fawn Brady couldn’t hurt the Demons’ now-perfect record.Hert, Glenwood’s 6-foot-1 center who held her own against Stark, finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Stark totaled 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. She was the go-to player for the Tigers in the second half, but by the time they started consistently getting her the ball, it was too late.”When you got a 6-6 girl on the floor, you gotta get her the ball,” said Tigers’ head coach Sam Provenza of Stark, who only had five points in the first half. “But [Glenwood’s] a very good basketball team right there, a very good basketball team.”

By the time Friday night rolled around, Glenwood’s girls were plenty sick of practicing. While the majority of their peers had already played a game, or four, the Demons had yet to take the court for an official contest.”Yeah, they were tired of practice,” Derby said. “It helped us to finally have a game.”Glenwood shook off any rust mighty well, blasting Alamosa 70-46 on Friday and returning Saturday morning to hold off Faith Christian 52-48.Selsor poured in 23 points against Alamosa as the Demons used a 22-point third quarter to bust the game wide open. Chelsea Vallario chipped in with 15 points, and Kelsie Hert had 12.Things weren’t quite as smooth against Faith Christian, but a second-half rally and near-perfect performance at the free-throw line spelled victory for Glenwood.The teams traded blows early, with the Demons grabbing a 10-9 edge after one quarter. By halftime, Glenwood built a 24-18 lead.The tempo picked up to start the second half as the Demons started moving the ball around and creating open shots. Selsor fronted the charge, firing at a 4-for-4 clip from the floor and scoring 10 third-quarter points to open up a 10-point Glenwood lead (40-30) going into the fourth. The senior finished with a team-best 24 points.But the Eagles would not go away easily, thanks largely to the hot hand of Brittany Long, who poured in a game-high 28 points and kept her team in the game down the stretch. She nailed four second-half 3-pointers and six in all as Faith Christian made a game of it, closing to within three points of the Demons with 27 seconds left.It was at the charity stripe that Glenwood put the game away. The Demons were 6-of-6 from the line in the final minute and finished 18-of-21 for the game. Sharaya Selsor and sister Katrina led the way there, combining to hit 16 of 16 freebies.Katrina finished with 10 points, as did center Hert, who scored a double-double with 10 rebounds.

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