Demons advance in boys 4A playoffs with 55-30 win over Weld Central

Mike Vidakovich
Post Independent correspondent

Senior guard John Iuele scored Glenwood Springs’ first eight points of the afternoon. From that point on, his Demon teammates came to the forefront as Glenwood ran away from the Weld Central Rebels by a score of 55-30 in a Saturday afternoon 4A state playoff basketball matinee at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.

“I didn’t really try to take control of things at the beginning,” Iuele said. “My team found me, and it just came off that way.”

Sophomore guard Blake Nieslanik helped Iuele out with a steal and a driving layup, as the Demons held a 10-5 lead after the first period was complete. It was the second quarter of the contest where Glenwood decided to take control of things for good.

Senior post A.J. Adams scored on a follow shot and fellow senior Adam Schrader hit a layup off a lengthy assist from Iuele. Seniors Will Narvaez and Mitchell Burt then stepped to the plate and gave the Demons an offensive boost. Narvaez hit a jumper and Burt notched a tandem of 3-pointers, the latter coming just before the sounding of the intermission horn, to give Glenwood a 17-6 second quarter scoring advantage and put them on top of the scoreboard at 27-11.

“I just got the shots and I was able to hit them today,” a confident Burt said. “I give credit to my teammates for finding me. We’re just getting started in these playoffs. The best is yet to come.”

The Demons continued giving it their best in the second half by outscoring the Rebels 16-2 in the third period.

Burt scored on a jump shot and Adams put in a banker from inside the key on a no-look feed from Iuele. Sophomore guard Aiden Nieslanik got into the scoring act with a twisting and spinning layup to give Glenwood a lead of 43-13 at the end of three.

With several Demons holding a hot hand, and with the rebounding of Narvaez, Adams and Schrader, Weld Central had little chance of overcoming a 30-point deficit with 8 minutes to play.

“Coach (Heisel) always tells me and the rest of the bigs that we need to control the boards,” said Narvaez. “If I’m not getting the rebound, then I’m blocking out so someone else on my team can.”

Senior forward Patrick Young got into some first half foul trouble for Glenwood, limiting his usual productive offensive output. Young still managed to jump into the fray with key contributions on the defensive end of the court and in the rebounding department.

The Western Slope League champion Demons got several reserves valuable game experience in the final quarter. Sophomores Reid Swanson and Stevie Vega each got baskets, and junior guard Alec Nykerk floated in a jump shot and scored on a drive to the basket, as Glenwood hardly missed a beat with the starters watching from the bench.

“Today’s experience was very beneficial for us younger guys,” Nykerk said. “We have some big shoes to fill next year.”

Following the lopsided contest, Demons coach Fred Heisel was very pleased with his team’s efforts on the day.

“We played great defense, especially Mitchell Burt. We controlled the boards and kept them off the free throw line. It’s a team effort and everyone is contributing,” Heisel said.

Iuele had 13 points, Burt came through with 12 points and Adams contributed nine points for the Demons.

Glenwood (21-3), the No. 2 seeded team in class 4A, will be at home again at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the state playoffs’ round of 16, facing No. 15 Green Mountain, 50-46 winners over Centaurus Saturday.

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