Screen, Demons roll into Sweet 16
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado” Kevin Screen worked a spin move to perfection, leaving a defender in his wake, and then banked a layup off the glass.
The shot snapped not only a 34-all tie, but also a scoring drought that spanned more than four minutes.
More importantly, the shot served as the pivot point for Screen and his Glenwood Springs boys basketball teammates in Saturday’s 71-53 win over visiting Montrose in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs.
Screen’s points, coming with 1 minute, 56 seconds left in the third quarter, were the first of a 10-0 run for the Demons, who went on to outscore the Indians 31-19 in the fourth quarter and surge into Class 4A’s round of 16.
“Kevin, he’s the leader of our team,” Glenwood senior Jordan Ciani said. “When he gets going, we get going and the crowd gets going. When the crowd gets going, we get going even more.”
Screen kept the home crowd rowdy much of the second half, when he dropped in 13 of his game-high 25 points.
“He kind of realized he needed to take over,” said Demons coach Greg Hire, whose team improved to 18-6. “He needed to take control of the game, and he’s a player that can do that. The light just turned and he made the decision.”
The speedy senior point guard isn’t quite sure what changed down the stretch.
“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “We just turned it on and the team played great. It was awesome.”
Screen had several partners in crime. Ciani hit for 15 points and Dakota Stonehouse added 13. Kevin Flohr came off the bench to score nine points, including a big fourth-quarter 3-pointer.
Ciani provided the highlight of the night, hoisting a 3-pointer from probably 30 feet away that somehow dropped through the net as time ran out on the first half.
The shot cut a four-point Montrose lead down to one heading into the break.
“That was just kind of a Hail Mary 3,” Ciani said with a laugh. “I can’t make it from the regular spot, so I stepped back about 10 feet. I just threw it up there and it went in. It definitely gave us momentum, but I still think we would have been able to come out fired up.”
Glenwood indeed came out of the locker room fired up for the second half, but it showed mostly on defense. The Demons held the Indians to just a field goal and a free throw in the third quarter, countering with just 10 points of their own.
Montrose coach Dwight Rawlings watched his team go 1-for-8 from the floor in the frame. That after the Indians hit four 3-pointers en route to winning the second quarter 22-15.
“I don’t know if it was inexperience, but we just couldn’t get our shots to fall,” said Rawlings, whose roster consists of two seniors, three juniors and seven sophomores. “The third quarter, we scored three points. That quarter hurt us.”
One of those sophomores, Nathan Robertson, scored 13 points to lead Montrose (14-10). Tim Koski added 12 points and Mac Alexander scored 11.
“Our kids worked hard and, you know, this was a good spot to be in, to be able to have an opportunity to go to the Sweet 16,” Rawlings said. “We’re disappointed, but the kids played hard. It was a good season and we’re proud of ’em.”
A year after a devastating 64-63 loss to Niwot and resulting first-round playoff exit in 2008, Glenwood is headed to the Sweet 16.
“You know, Niwot was a big loss for us,” Stonehouse said. “To be in the Sweet 16 is pretty sweet.”
The Demons will face Lewis-Palmer (17-7) in the third round of the playoffs on Friday at a to-be-determined neutral site. On Saturday, Lewis-Palmer defeated Alamosa 63-53.
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