PUEBLO (2/25/17) – Pueblo West is the defending 4A state champion “for a reason,” Glenwood Springs coach Cory Hitchcock said after his team witnessed the Cyclones’ furious style of play in a 100-49 second-round state tournament elimination Saturday. “They’ve got scorers, size, and a chance to win it all again,” Hitchcock observed.
David Simental exceeded his season average of 25 points a game, pouring in 32, including 5-of-9 three-pointers, as the Cyclones, pressing from start to finish, topped 20 points in all four quarters.
Glenwood (14-11), seeded number 39, to 7 for the Cyclones (22-2), never had a look at the game as Pueblo West raced out to a 19-2 advantage in the first four minutes. Simental hit three, 3-pointers and scored 13 in the 27-9 first-quarter.
The Demons, after shooting 3-for-14 in what Hitchcock called a “nervous” opening period, began to get a feel for the pace played by the Cyclones, and with AJ Crowley scoring 15 points, put up 16 each in the 2nd and 3rd quarters – but Simental tallied 17 as West led 55-25 at half and 77-41 after three.
“This loss won’t define our season,” Hitchcock said afterwards, calling it a good experience for his young squad that will return all but two players, Carlos Nolasco-Montes and Nic Isgrig. “I’m very proud of these kids; we were the only team (from the Western Slope League) to get out of the first round.”
Crowley led the Demons with 21 points, followed by 10 from Angel Garcia. Pueblo West, which shot 37-for-64 from the floor and made 11-of-22 treys,
will play the winner of Silver Creek and Palmer Ridge Wednesday, March 1st, in the Sweet Sixteen.