Rifle, Glenwood need winning runs at district tournament
If the Rifle and Glenwood Springs basketball teams have been waiting to go on a winning streak, now is the optimal time.
Neither team has won more than three straight games this season, and that’s all that’s needed to win the boys Class 4A District 6 title, which starts today in Grand Junction.
But this is the postseason, so any patsies will be weeded out early.
The Bears and Glenwood enter the tournament with the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively, and will likely have to pull off an upset or two in order to finish as one of the five state tournament qualifiers.
Rifle opens today at 4:45 p.m. at Palisade High School against a familiar foe in Moffat County.
The two teams split their regular-season games with each winning on their home floor, but the Bulldogs have been coming on late in the season.
Moffat County (12-7) enters the tournament with a five-game winning streak on the line, while the Bears (8-11) will be trying to end a three-game skid.
Glenwood (8-11) has an even tougher task in its 8:15 p.m. contest at Central High School (Grand Junction) against Montezuma-Cortez. Playing in the predominantly Class 5A Southwestern League, No. 2 Cortez enters the tourney with a 12-7 record.
The teams have not faced each other this season, which could be a benefit for Glenwood. The Demons rely heavily on the scoring of Sean Flohr, ranked third in Class 4A, and if he’s left unattended and allowed to get hot the Demons can surprise anyone.
The teams do have two common opponents in Delta and Montrose.
The Demons swept Delta with wins of 65-54 and 65-59, while Cortez blasted the Panthers in their only meeting by an 80-37 margin. Cortez also handled Montrose, winning by nine and 14 points in the two meetings. The Demons played Montrose in their season opener and fell 56-48.
The winners of the opening round advance to the semifinals for an 8:15 p.m. game at Fruita Monument High School on Friday night. The losers fall to the elimination bracket and play at the same time at Palisade.
On the other side of the bracket, No. 1-seed Steamboat Springs takes on No. 8 Battle Mountain at 8:15 p.m. at Palisade High School and Palisade takes on Montrose of the Southwestern League at the same time at Grand Junction High School.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.