Rude awakening: Palmer Ridge ends ‘dream season’ for Glenwood Springs girls in 4A state tournament
PALMER RIDGE 50, GLENWOOD SPRINGS 32
PALMER RIDGE (50) — Michelle DeCoud 7 3-6 17, Ali Meyer 5 2-2 12, Sam Rippley 3 2-3 8, Rhyley Lane 2 2-2 7, Libby Acker 2 0-0 4, Laura McCarthy 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 9-13 50.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS (32) — Madi Spence 7 0-0 14, Jordan DeCrow 2 0-2 5, Makena Warren 1 2-3 5, Delaney Gaddis 0 2-2 2, Laura McDermott 1 0-0 2, Jamie Crowley 1 0-0 2, Bella Diaz 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 4-7 32.
Palmer Ridge 19 10 12 9 — 50
Glenwood 8 6 10 8 — 32
3-point goals — Palmer Ridge 1 (Lane), Glenwood 2 (DeCrow, Warren). Totals fouls — Palmer Ridge 13, Glenwood 14. Fouled out — None.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Delaney Gaddis choked away tears Saturday as she talked about the season the Glenwood Springs High School girls basketball team had.
“It was the best season we could have had, and the best team I could have ever asked for,” the senior point guard said.
Granted, the Demons’ season ended on Saturday with a 50-32 loss to Palmer Ridge in the third round of the Class 4A state tournament, but it was a season that not even Glenwood expected. The Demons’ 23-2 overall record was one of the best records in the program’s history, exceeding the 21-2 record the Demons posted in 1998 and the 22-4 mark Glenwood tallied in 2008.
“There’s a lot of emotion in the locker room right now,” Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said. “And that’s why it’s such a bummer to be so bummed about this because, really, this was a dream season.”
The season will continue for the Bears (22-3 overall), who reached the Great 8 round of the tournament for the first time in the Monument school’s five-year history. Palmer Ridge advanced to play Broomfield (25-0), the top overall seed in the 48-team tournament, on March 8 at the Denver Coliseum.
Palmer Ridge never trailed. It opened the game with a 12-0 run and never looked back. Glenwood was never able to mount a rally, as the Demons missed shots they typically made throughout the season.
“For the game, it couldn’t have started out any better for us,” Palmer Ridge coach Dennis Coates said. “We were able to choose what we wanted to do and force them into doing some things they probably didn’t want to do. And that was all the result of us getting off to a great start.”
Michelle DeCoud finished with a game-high 17 points with four rebounds and Ali Meyer added 12 points, 11 boards and a pair of blocked shots for the Bears, whose transition game helped open their early double-digit lead. The Demons, however, could never get on track offensively, as Palmer Ridge limited them to just 24.5 percent shooting (13 of 53) for the game.
To top it off, the Bears held Delaney Gaddis, the Demons’ leading scorer coming into the game, without a field goal. She finished 0-for-16 shooting from the field, with her only points of the game coming on a pair foul shots with 5 minutes, six seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“They were making their shots, and we weren’t,” said Glenwood junior Jordan DeCrow of the Bears, who finished 20-of-43 shooting (46.5 percent) from the field.
Madi Spence finished with 14 points and eight rebounds to pace the Demons. Gaddis finished with two points, six rebounds and six steals, while DeCrow and Makena Warren each finished with five points.
When Palmer Ridge wasn’t running with the ball, they were finding openings in the paint with its pick-and-roll plays. That’s where most of DeCoud’s points cam from, and the 5-foot-10 senior made the most of those chances in the third quarter.
Glenwood started to make a run, as Gaddis’ two foul shots, followed by a jumper from Spence with 4:42 on the clock, pulled the Demons within 31-20. DeCoud, however, scored the next two Palmer Ridge baskets, and a jumper from Libby Acker that followed upped the Bears’ lead to 17.
The Demons never came closer, and a jumper from Laura McCarthy with 3:08 remaining put the Bears up 45-29 and essentially sealed it.
Regardless, Glenwood, which only loses seniors Gaddis and Laura McDermott to graduation this year, doesn’t plan to have this year’s state tournament appearance be a one-time deal.
“We’re going to get in the gym and work really hard this summer,” DeCrow said. “Hopefully next year, we’ll bring home a gold ball.”
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