Prep basketball: Glenwood boys, girls top Rifle in Denver
Glenwood Springs 67, Delta 51
DELTA — Cameron Horning finished with 21 points and Zack Peterson added 12 for the Demons, who snapped a three-game losing streak by winning their Class 4A Western Slope League opener on Friday.
Mason Yellico added 10 points and Brian Burbidge added nine for the Demons, who finished with 42 rebounds as a team.
Roaring Fork 46, Basalt 30
CARBONDALE — Roaring Fork’s boys basketball team won its Class 3A WSL opener on Thursday thanks in part to a big second-quarter run.
The Rams (4-2, 1-0 league), who were up 13-11 after one quarter, outscored the Longhorns (1-2, 0-1) 13-2 in the second to pull away. Roaring fork is off for the holiday break until Jan. 10 when it plays at Basalt.
Glenwood Springs 73, Delta 64
DELTA — Jordan DeCrow finished with a game high 20 points and four 3-pointers to go with an 11-point, 12-rebound performance from Madi Spence that helped Glenwood snap a two-game skid and win their league opener.
Hailey Armstrong added 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting and Megan Uren chipped in 14 for the Demons. Spence also had seven blocked shots.
Roaring Fork 64, Basalt 55, OT
CARBONDALE — Emily Fisher finished with a game-high 22 points and Lyndsay Hansen chipped in 14 for Roaring Fork (2-4, 1-0 league), which held off a big comeback attempt from the Longhorns after holding a 25-16 halftime lead.
Fisher finished with seven 3-pointers, with all of them coming in the second half. The Rams outscored the Longhorns 13-3 in the four-minute overtime.
DENVER — As victories go, this one was not especially aesthetically pleasing.
But Cory Hitchcock and his Glenwood Springs High School boys basketball team will take it in a heartbeat.
The Demons grounded out a 35-25 win over Rifle on Friday in a prep showcase game at the Pepsi Center prior to the Denver Nuggets’ game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
What pleased Hitchcock and his players most was that it was the Demons’ second Class 4A Western Slope League road victory in less than 24 hours.
Traveling in opposite directions, Glenwood took a tough victory at Delta on Thursday before busing to Denver on Friday morning.
“I feel pretty happy about that,” Hitchcock said of starting the WSL season 2-0 with road wins.
Glenwood actually started out on fire, hitting six straight shots to go up 12-5 five minutes into the game.
Then the Demons went cold as Rifle’s defense took them out of sync. Glenwood hit only one field goal during a nearly 13-minute stretch spanning the first and third quarters. That allowed the Bears to hold the lead until Glenwood tied the game at 24 at the end of the third.
Then it was Rifle’s turn to go cold. The Bears scored just one point in the final 13 minutes.
It was defense that triggered Glenwood’s offense, as the Demons (5-3 overall) forced eight turnovers from the mid-point of the third quarter and held Rifle to 0-for-8 shooting from the field. Avery Lujan finished with 10 points and a pair of 3-pointers to pace the Bears (3-3, 0-1 4A WSL) in scoring.
“They were really solid defensively,” Rifle coach Roger Walters said, tipping his cap to the Demons.
Glenwood guard Cameron Horning, who helped trigger Glenwood’s comeback, said the team just turned its attention in another direction when the offense wasn’t clicking.
“We just had to focus on defense,” said Horning, who finished with a team-high 14 points.
“Our defense is the key to our offense,” Hitchcock noted.
Glenwood hadn’t defeated Rifle in two years, which made the victory sweeter for the Demons.
Hitchcock and Horning both alluded to the “ugly” factor.
“It was not a pretty win, but a grind-it-out win,” Horning said.
“Down the stretch, we battled and fought,” Hitchcock said. “We escaped with a win today because of our fight, our grit.”
GIRLS: Glenwood Springs 54, Rifle 26
DENVER — Glenwood (6-2 overall, 2-0 4A WSL) used a second-quarter surge and some cold shooting by the Bears to handily defeat previously unbeaten Rifle.
Like their male counterparts, the Glenwood girls were coming off a tough road victory in Delta on Thursday in which the Panthers’ full-court press took its toll, despite Glenwood being able to pull out the victory.
The Demons struggled to find the center of the hoop at the Pepsi Center early. A second-quarter run, again fueled by the defense, allowed Glenwood to take control.
Much of that centered around the work on the boards by post players Madi Spence and Hailey Armstrong, who frequently got the rebound before initiating and completing the fast break.
“This is very rare that I get to coach a team who gets down the court so well,” Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said of her post players leading the break. “For us to get up and down the floor, it’s great.”
Spence finished with a game-high 20 points and an even more impressive 23 rebounds, almost her second 20-plus rebound effort of the young season. Her first nearly came this past Saturday against Pueblo West, when she had 19.
“I just like to get the offensive rebound,” Spence said of her mind-set. More than half of her rebounds came on the offensive end.
“We always think we can control the board,” she said of a goal the team has set this season.
Rifle (5-1, 0-1 league) was paced by an eight-point performance from freshman Elly Walters. The Bears trailed 9-3 at the end of the first quarter, but the Demons had opened a 28-7 lead by halftime.
The victory closed out the December portion of Glenwood’s schedule. On tap, Gaddis hopes, is lots of self-motivated running and conditioning during the down period during the holiday break.
Gaddis hopes the team continues to recognize the importance of how well the Demons, as a team, continue to run the floor.
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Thanksgiving seems to be ever-present here in the Roaring Fork Valley. I’m not talking turkey and gravy, I’m speaking to the gifts we receive constantly, throughout the seasons.