PREP ROUNDUP: Elizardo hits game-winning FT as Bears upset Huskies; Glenwood sweeps Palisade; Glenwood hockey knocks off Summit | PostIndependent.com

PREP ROUNDUP: Elizardo hits game-winning FT as Bears upset Huskies; Glenwood sweeps Palisade; Glenwood hockey knocks off Summit

Josh Carney
Post Independent
Rifle head coach Eric Caro and the Bears bench reacts to Mackenzie Elizardo's game-winning free throw Saturday inside Jack Smith Gymnasium. The Bears defeated the Battle Mountain Huskies 40-39.
Theresa Hamitlon / Garfield Re-2

The Rifle Bears girls basketball team is on some sort of special run in the last few weeks.

Saturday night inside Jack Smith Gymnasium was no different for the Bears under first-year head coach Eric Caro, as sophomore Mackenzie Elizardo hit the game-winning layup late in the game to lead Rifle to a 40-39 win over the visiting Battle Mountain Huskies in 4A Western Slope League action.

Prior to Elizardo’s heroics, the Bears lost standout senior Masi Smith to foul trouble as the center fouled out in the third quarter, leaving the Bears without their best player. That was no problem for Elizardo and freshman Jamie Caron, as the impressive freshman guard poured in a game-high 23 points, hitting five 3-pointers to pace the Bears to the win.

“Jamie played out of her mind tonight,” said Caro following the win.

With the freshman guard scoring more than half of Rifle’s points on the night, it was more than enough in the end as Elizardo hit the game-winning free throw, finishing with 2 points, but none bigger than the final free throw of the night.

Joining Caron and Elizardo on the scoresheet was Smith with 7 points, junior Delaney Phillips with 4 points, and senior April Quinones with 4 points.

Rifle (4-11, 4-2 4A Western Slope League) hosts the Basalt Longhorns Tuesday in a non-league matchup at 6 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Glenwood Springs 50, Palisade 40

In a game that was previously scheduled to be on the road at Palisade, the Glenwood Springs Demons girls basketball team bounced back from a tough loss Friday night at home against Battle Mountain by defeating the visiting Palisade Bulldogs 50-40 Saturday inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.

After shooting 3-for-34 from the field Friday night, and 5-for-19 from the free throw line, the Demons fared much better Saturday, scoring 17 points in the first quarter, 10 points in the second quarter, 9 points in the third, and 14 in the fourth to pull away from the Bulldogs.

Against Palisade, junior center Qwynn Massie led the Demons with 12 points, scoring 4 points in the first and 4 points in the fourth to pace the Demons. Junior Michelle Marshall came off the bench to add 8 points for the Demons, while senior guard Ximena Gutierrez added 8 points of her own. The state’s leading 3-point shooter in 4A in Emily Worline added 6 points in the win, hitting two 3’s.

Glenwood (9-8, 5-1 4A WSL) hosts the Summit Tigers Tuesday night in 4A WSL action. Last time out against the Tigers, Glenwood won by 53 points.

Coal Ridge 54, Olathe 39

On the road Saturday for a league matchup against the Olathe Pirates, the Coal Ridge Titans girls basketball team bounced back from a tough loss Friday night at Grand Valley by defeating the Pirates by 15 points.

One night after seeing a combined 48 fouls and 60 free throws in Parachute, the Titans again found themselves in a high-fouls contest, recording a combined 45 fouls and 59 free throws in Olathe.

Senior guard Alyssa Wenzel shot 18 for Coal Ridge’s 39 free throws on the night, leading the Titans with 16 points in the win, 14 of which came from the charity stripe. Along with Wenzel, junior forward Lyanna Nevarez chipped in with 14 points, with 8 points coming in the fourth quarter as the Titans pulled away, scoring 23 points as a team.

Sophomore center Taylor Wiescamp added 10 points in the win for Coal Ridge.

The Titans (9-5, 3-2 3A WSL) have a week off before hosting Cedaredge next Saturday at 4 p.m.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Glenwood Springs 55, Palisade 52

In a push for the program’s third straight 4A Western Slope championship, the Glenwood Springs Demons boys basketball team pulled out a 3-point win Saturday at home inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium against the visiting Palisade Bulldogs, coming out on top 55-52 to remain in the driver’s seat in the league championship race.

Against Palisade, senior guard Angel Garcia led the Demons with 19 points, hitting four 3-pointers on the day. Along with Garcia, senior guard Chano Gonzalez chipped in with 10 points, eight of which came in the third quarter, while senior guard Wyatt Ewer added 10 points of his own.

The senior trio’s output was enough to hold off Palisade’s Watts Erb, who poured in a game-high 25 points, hitting four 3-pointers for the Bulldogs. Senior Zane Hass added 14 points for the Bulldogs.

Glenwood ( 13-4, 6-0 4A WSL) hosts the Summit Tigers Tuesday in 4A WSL action.

Coal Ridge 81, Olathe 58

The Coal Ridge Titans boys basketball team got back on track in a big way Saturday night in 3A Western Slope League action, taking down the Olathe Pirates on the road 81-58.

Against the Pirates, senior center Kevin DiMarco led the Titans with 18 points, while senior guard Aaron Arreola came off the bench to add 14 points in the win. Senior Payton White chipped in with 11 points for the No. 4 Titans, while junior Austin Gerber added 9 points, and senior Kevyn Flores and sophomore Hank DiMarco added 8 points each.

Coal Ridge (11-3, 2-3 3A WSL) are off for a week before returning to its home court on Feb. 2 against Cedaredge.

Battle Mountain 51, Rifle 50

Despite 18 points from standout senior guard Omar Chavez, the Rifle Bears boys basketball team dropped a tough 51-50 decision inside Jack Smith Gymnasium Saturday night to the visiting Battle Mountain Huskies in 4A Western Slope League action.

Chavez scored nine of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as the Bears nearly pulled off the win.

Along with Chavez, junior guard Trey Lujan added 12 points, and senior Joel Lopez added 6 points in the one-point loss.

For Battle Mountain, Liam McKenny led the Huskies with 17 points, while Fernando Reyes added 16 points, hitting three 3-pointers.

Rifle (10-6, 2-4 4A WSL) hosts the Basalt Longhorns Tuesday in non-league action.

HOCKEY

Glenwood Springs 4, Summit 1

Traveling to Summit Saturday night for a matchup with the Tigers in varsity hockey action, the Glenwood Springs Demons picked up a big 4-1 win, thanks to an impressive 42-save performance from goaltender Hunter Hadsock.

With Hadsock standing strong in net, the Demons did just enough offensively as Ryan Kotz opened the scoring at the 6:43 mark of the second period, finishing off a feed from Robbie Wier and Colter Strautman to give the Demons a 1-0 lead.

Strautman then stretched the Glenwood lead to 2-0 at the 13:13 mark of the second period on an unassisted goal, before Dylan Webster made it 3-0 at the 7:57 mark of the third period.

Summit’s Dart Barson got the Tigers on the board at the 9:50 mark of the third period to try and spark a Summit rally, but Glenwood’s Nolan McPherson finished off the Glenwood win at the 14:03 mark with a goal off of an assist from Sean Mooney.

Glenwood was outshot in the win, 43-29, but the Demons held the Tigers scoreless on the powerplay on the night as Summit went 0-for-6.

The Demons travel to Colorado Academy on Friday for a matchup at 8:45 p.m.