Spots still up for grabs in 4A Western Slope
It’s the final weekend of the regular season and there is still plenty to be decided in the boys’ 4A Western Slope League Standings.
Rifle, undefeated in league play, can seal the regular-season league title with a win tonight against at second-place Moffat County (8-2, 12-2) or Saturday at home against fourth-place Steamboat Springs (5-5, 11-6).
And, with the Southwestern League guaranteed the Nos. 2 and 5 seeds at the district tourney, that top seed means plenty. Montezuma-Cortez, the defending state champion, will take the two spot with a 8-1 record in the 5A league (15-3 overall), while Montrose (0-8, 7-11) has the fifth seed.
The Bears edged Moffat County 48-46 in their previous meeting this season and had little problem with Steamboat, winning 46-32. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m.
Glenwood Springs’ situation is slightly more tenuous than Rifle’s. The third-place Demons (6-4, 8-9) also play Steamboat (on the road) and Moffat (home), and, with a weekend sweep, could pull into a tie for second place in the WSL with Moffat County. After inserting Cortez and losing the tiebreaker to Moffat, Glenwood would still end up with a fourth seed, but the momentum wouldn’t hurt headed into districts.
“It’s bragging rights,” Glenwood coach Roger Duroux said. “We just want two victories and to end on a positive note.”
If Glenwood doesn’t end on a positive note, the Demons could find themselves on the bottom looking up at the rest of the district field from the sixth seed.
The big game is tonight at Steamboat. The Sailors trail Glenwood by one game and would pull even with the Demons with a victory, leaving Saturday as an important night in the tiebreaker scenario.
Although the game is on the road for Glenwood, Duroux likes his chances in what he calls “a shooter’s gym” in Steamboat – primarily because his team is a shooting team.
“If we go up and hit our shots early I think we have a good shot (tonight), I really do,” Duroux said. “One of the reasons is that my teams usually shoot well up there.”
It will be the third meeting between the two teams this season, with Steamboat knocking off the Demons 56-42 in a preseason tourney and Glenwood winning the more important conference tilt 50-45.
The victory over the Sailors may have been Glenwood’s strongest performance of the season, with the team getting out to a quick lead and holding off Steamboat down the stretch.
Against Moffat, Glenwood fell 64-49 in their previous meeting. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
The Rifle girls face the only two squads ahead of them in WSL standings this weekend, and, with a weekend sweep could make a move into a tie for first place with Moffat County.
Of course that would entail Moffat County losing its first league game of the season.
The Bears (8-2, 12-5) face Moffat County (10-0, 14-3) tonight on the road and Steamboat Springs (8-2, 15-2) at home on Saturday.
Moffat County has steamrolled through the league this season, with only two games decided by less than 13 points. Steamboat’s only two losses this season came against Moffat by margins of 13 and six points.
Rifle lost to Moffat and Steamboat 56-39 and 44-33, respectively, in their meetings earlier this season.
A positive for Rifle is that the Bears can’t fall any lower than third in the league even if they do drop both games this season. The finish will be good for the fourth seed, with Montrose taking the No. 2 spot.
The Demons (4-6, 8-8) will have a tough time picking up any ground in the conference standings this weekend, particularly with the the first- and second-place teams in the league on the schedule.
A sweep over Moffat and Steamboat could push Glenwood in front of fourth-place Palisade, but the Bulldogs would have to lose to Battle Mountain (1-9, 1-15). So it’s unlikely Glenwood will change its current standing, which puts it in the No. 7 seed in districts.
“We’re definitely not worrying about where we end up,” Glenwood coach Deb Henderson said. “I just want to come out with my girls doing the right things. Where it takes us it will take us, whether we win or lose.”
The Demons fell 57-46 to Steamboat in the previous meeting and lost to Moffat 60-37.
Friday’s game is in Steamboat, while Saturday’s game takes place at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium. Both games begin at 6 p.m.
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