Strong post play will drive Demons
GSPI Sports Editor
The getting-to-know-you period is over for the Glenwood Springs High School girls basketball team.
With a year under their belts playing for head coach Deb Henderson, the Demon players know the system and what is expected of them. And Henderson is more familiar with her players than a year ago, when Glenwood finished fourth in the Class 4A Western Slope League and was knocked out of districts in the second round.
“I know the girls and they know the system,” Henderson said. “I can throw more things at them and they understand more. They are hard workers and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Henderson, in her second season with the Demons, lost a pair of all-league players to graduation in Megan McKinnie and Jeri Polowchena, but she will have five seniors back this season to fill the leadership void.
“I did lose a few players from last year, but I’ve got the brunt of the team back and I think they all contribute in great ways,” Henderson said.
Nakita Daniely (5-foot-11) anchors the squad after earning all-league honorable mention kudos as a junior last season. She will be joined in the post by fellow senior athlete Amber Sutherland (5-10), who has signed to play for the University of Colorado volleyball team next year.
“We’ve got great post players and that’s a nice thing to have, but if the guards don’t come out and do their job it doesn’t matter what kind of posts we have,” Henderson said.
Senior Keegan Nadon and junior Juri Salvidrez will both see time at point guard and the whole team has been working on its outside shooting to take some of the pressure off the inside, according to Henderson.
Along with Nadon and Salvidrez, senior Amanda Whiting can get hot from the outside, and senior Marina Flores is a solid shooting guard.
Henderson also expects a substantial contribution from newcomer Sam Ciani. The freshman has the ability to score from outside, according to Henderson, and, at 5-11, could turn into an impact player down low as well.
The Demons are taking the season one stage at a time and, for now, are setting their goals for the pre-WSL schedule. Once league play starts, Henderson said the squad would evaluate where it is and adjust its goals.
“We look to be up there (in league standings), but we’re not looking at those goals yet,” Henderson said. “We’re looking at getting through the (pre-league schedule) and working hard and being productive and having a winning record (headed into league play).”
The Demons will be tested early at the Brenda Patch Tournament in Carbondale. Glenwood faces host Roaring Fork High School, ranked fourth in Class 3A by the Rocky Mountain News, to open its season Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.
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The Coal Ridge High boys suffered their first 3A Western Slope League loss of the year Thursday night on the road at Gunnison, falling to the defending league champion Cowboys 65-45.