New gym rife with perks, like more space to sprint
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Something was a little different on Friday night.
Outside of the spacious, well-lit comforts of a new gym at Glenwood Springs High School, the style of basketball the Demons girls team was playing wasn’t what I was accustomed to seeing.
Usually Glenwood applies an unforgiving press, one that traps opponents and creates more turnovers than a bakery does on Sunday mornings.
On Friday, there was a short-lived press (lasting about four minutes into the first quarter) and then a half-court defense for the duration for the Demons.
It was surprising, especially since Glenwood was hosting rival Rifle, which is always looking for an upset and has tricks up its sleeve to occasionally pull them off.
As it turned out, the Demons didn’t need their press as they beat the Bears, 49-41. After the game, I was still curious about the full-court absence, so I asked Glenwood head coach Bryan Derby about it.
“Our game plan was to press, but the floor is a little bit longer and we haven’t had time to get on it and I didn’t want to wear their legs out,” he said. “I pulled it off because I could tell they were getting tired and I needed their legs at the end.”
Oh yeah, good call coach.
The new court is 12 feet longer than the 78-foot one in the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium. While 12 feet may not seem like much, it’s a lot more ground to cover. Just ask a player who has to run suicides, or in the case of the Demons, apply a full-court press.
After playing two games at the new digs this weekend and a few practices last week, Glenwood senior Chelsea Vallario said she could definitely feel a difference with the gym’s length.
“I think we are getting used to it because every other gym we play in is basically this long. I think it is really good for us,” Vallario said of the 17-3 Demons. “Hopefully, if we head on into state, we will be up to par with everyone else.”
That’s just one of the new gym’s benefits. Now that it can hold more spectators, the Demons can host regional playoff games if they earn it, whereas Chavez-Spencer was too small to fill the Colorado High School Activities Association requirement of 1,200 to host regionals.
The sound is better, giving the Demons more home-court advantage. People in the crowd don’t have to feel like the person in front of them is sitting in their lap.
Plus, it has advanced technology. There are music clips during timeouts and announcer Mike Wilde even has a portable headset to read lineups and say who just scored ” giving him freedom to roam and even dance ” which the longtime Demon voice joked about.
It also provides motivation for the Demon teams, which are eager to christen their new home.
“Here we are still working on trying to impress all of our coaches and our fans, especially in the new gym,” Vallario said. “We want people to be so proud of us to be the first ones to play in here.”
Contact Joelle Milholm: 384-9124
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