Glenwood’s Ximena Gutierrez earns girls 4A WSL Player of the Year
Following a terrific senior season at Glenwood Springs High School, guard Ximena Gutierrez earned the 4A Western Slope League’s basketball Player of the Year award after leading the Demons to a second-place tie in the league standings and a second-round playoff berth after an upset win over Littleton in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
Gutierrez, who played all four years with Glenwood on varsity, finished her senior season averaging 9.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.0 steals, and 3.7 assists per game under veteran head coach Rhonda Moser.
Senior Emily Worline, who helped form a formidable backcourt with Gutierrez, earned first team honors for the Demons after averaging 12.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.4 assists while shooting 32-percent from 3-point range.
Joining the two Glenwood seniors on the girls’ 4A WSL First Team was Rifle senior Masi Smith and freshman Jamie Caron. Smith led the young Bears with 11.7 points and 6.6 rebounds in head coach Eric Caro’s first season at the helm. Caron averaged 8.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game in her first varsity season.
Outside of the three first teamers, Glenwood saw senior Ashley Barragan (2.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.6 spg) and junior Qwynn Massie (7.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) earn all-conference accolades, while Rifle junior April Quinones (4.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.3 spg) earned honorable mention honors.
4A WSL BOYS
Capping off strong careers at Glenwood Springs High School, senior guards Kevin Ayon and Angel Garcia earned 4A Western Slope League First Team All-Conference honors.
Ayon and Garcia earned the honors based on the voting of the league’s coaches, as did Rifle junior guard Trey Lujan.
Together, the three guards represented Garfield County in the 4A WSL on the first team.
Ayon, who helped lead the Titans to a third straight league championship in the first year under head coach Fred Heisel, averaged 5.2 points per game, 3.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game for the 18-6 (12-2 in 4A WSL) Demons. The senior point guard also chipped in with 2.4 steals per game.
Garcia, a four-year starter for Glenwood, poured in 12.3 points per game to go along with 2.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game, finishing his career with 873 points.
Lujan led the Bears with 13.5 points per game, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.3 steals per game as Rifle went 14-10 (5-7 in 4A WSL) on the season, falling to Coronado in the 4A state playoffs at home.
Aside from the three guards on the first team, Glenwood senior guard Holden Kleager (3.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg), senior guard Wyatt Ewer (7.6 ppg, 2.3 rpg), and junior guard Mitchell Burt (6.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.0 spg) earned honorable mention honors for the Demons at the year-end voting meeting.
Rifle saw junior guard Garrett Robinson (3.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.3 apg) and senior forward Joel Lopez (6.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg) earn honorable mention accolades under head coach Kyle Daniell.
The All-State boys and girls basketball teams in all classifications were announced Thursday by the Colorado High School Activities Association. In 4A, Ayon and Garcia earned All-State honorable mention, while Coal Ridge senior center Kevin DiMarco earned All-State honorable mention honors in 3A. Although De Beque High School is just outside of the county limits, the Dragons swept the 1A Player of the Year award as sophomore Wes Ryan was named the state’s Player of the Year in 1A, while former Grand Valley girls basketball head coach and current De Beque boys basketball head coach Jake Higuera earned the 1A Coach of the Year award.
In the girls All-State teams, Gutierrez and Smith earned 4A All-State honorable mention accolades, while Roaring Fork junior Emily Broadhurst and Grand Valley senior Shaya Chenoweth earned 3A All-State honorable mention accolades.
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The teams aren’t vying to one up the other in the rankings or looking to get a leg up in the league standings this fall, but that will hardly make the stakes any less meaningful for Basalt and Glenwood Springs high schools when they meet on the football field Friday night.