Both Demons boys, girls earn wins over Bears
Post Independent Correspondent
In a game that was rescheduled due to last week’s potent snowstorms, the Glenwood Springs boys continued their torrid pace toward a Western Slope League championship with a 56-39 win over the rival Bears from Rifle on Wednesday night at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in Glenwood.
Sophomore Reid Swanson would change the complexion of the game completely when he entered the contest for the first time in the fourth period with the Demons clinging to a 39-31 advantage. What happened from that point on could have easily been borrowed from a Hollywood script.
Swanson dropped in 13 straight points on a variety of outside jumpers, including three 3-pointers to break the game wide open and give the Demons a commanding 52-32 lead late in the contest that sent the Bears reeling.
“Everyone on our team knows what Reid is capable of,” said Glenwood head coach Fred Heisel. “He’s so fluid and athletic, it’s fun to watch. He scored 30 points last year in a “C” team game, so what he did tonight is not that surprising.”
Prior to Swanson’s heroic effort, the Demons were carried early in the contest by the senior duo of Patrick Young and Mitchell Burt. Young, who tallied 15 points at halftime and Burt, who contributed 8 points at that juncture, helped Glenwood start the second period on an 8-0 run that erased an 11-10 Rifle lead at the end of the first quarter.
Trey Lujan, Carter Pressler, and Garrett Robinson hit baskets for the Bears to keep things close, but Glenwood guard John Luele scored and senior post Adam Schrader opened the third period with a drive to the hoop and a bucket to put the Demons up 31-20.
Burt and senior Will Narvaez, who got his hands on 12 rebounds on the night for Glenwood, scored early in the fourth period to give the Demons a bit of breathing room, but Rifle was still within shouting distance until Swanson entered the game to provide the highlight reel finish for the Demons.
The Glenwood scoring ledger had Young with 15 points, Swanson tallied 13 points, and Burt dropped in 10 counters. Luele dished out 10 assists for the Demons. Lujan led Rifle in the scoring column with 12 points.
The league-leading Demon boys (16-3, 8-0 WSL) will be back on their home court tonight at 7:30 p.m. when they will square off with the Eagle Valley Devils in another league tilt.
Girls: Glenwood 37, Rifle 31.
Looking to keep their hopes alive for a high seeding in the upcoming 4A girls’ state tournament bracket, the Demon girls survived a scrappy effort by the improving Rifle Bears for a hard fought 37-31 Western Slope League win.
The first half of play was anything but a fireworks display on the offensive end of the court, as the Demons would take leads of 8-6 after one quarter and 19-13 at intermission.
Glenwood starting post players Qwynn Massie and Michelle Marshall gathered in several offensive rebounds in the initial quarter when multiple Demon perimeter shots went astray. The opening points of the contest came when Glenwood senior guard Natalya Taylor floated in a right handed jump hook in the lane to give the Demons a lead they would never relinquish. Sophomore Jamie Caron got the Bears on the board with a free throw, but Glenwood forward Graci Dietrich hit two soft jumpers along the baseline to stake the Demons to an 8-1 advantage.
A couple of charity tosses by Rifle senior Delaney Phillips and a 3-pointer by Caron at the first quarter buzzer put the Bears right back in the thick of the battle.
With the iron being unkind to both teams, senior Kate Shanahan stepped to the plate for Glenwood in a big way. Two baskets by Shanahan, one coming off a rebound and a put back in the painted area, paved the way for a 17-10 Demons lead. In the turn of an unfriendly card for Rifle, Caron would pick up her third foul with 3:15 until halftime and be forced to watch the proceedings from the bench.
Senior Hadley Yellico keyed a 5-0 run to open the second half for Glenwood with a 3-pointer from the top of the circle. Rifle came right back with baskets from Caron and April Quinones to make it 24-17 in favor of the Demons.
Glenwood’s largest lead of the night came with 5:23 left in the game when Marshall converted a 3-point play by scoring off the glass and dropping a free throw. Again, the resolve of the Bears came to the surface when junior Mackenzie Elizardo made repeated trips to the foul line and converted the shots to bring Rifle within 34-29 with 52 seconds remaining in the contest. The Bears would get no closer, but their coach, Eric Caro was pleased with his team’s effort and progress on the season to this point.
“We played well tonight, but we still have room to grow,” stated Caro. “We looked good a times, but not great. There are some simple things that we need to take care of in order to look great.”
Taylor led Glenwood in scoring with 10 points. Elizardo posted the exact same number to lead Rifle.
With the rivalry win, Glenwood (16-3, 8-0 4A WSL) stays all alone on top of the conference standings with a home date Thursday evening against Eagle Valley on tap. Rifle (7-12, 5-3 WSL) will travel to Palisade on Friday night to take on the Bulldogs.
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Local teams just missed out on qualifying for state as teams but will be sending individual representatives following Friday’s regional meets.