KMTS BASKETBALL: DEMONS FINISH LONG ROADIE BY SWEEPING BATTLE MOUNTAIN

EDWARDS (2/10/17) — There was a time when winning two basketball games at Battle Mountain wasn’t much of a challenge. Not so anymore with the dominating Devin Huffman and mighty mite Monique Stevens keeping both Husky teams in the upper half of Western Slope League play, each capable of taking over a game.

So mix in the end of a 3-games in 4 days road trip, and the Glenwood Springs boys and girls winning two on Thursday in the Huskies gym not only had both coaches and players looking forward to five days before concluding the regular season at Rifle, but moving up in the RPI playoff and WSL standings.

GLENWOOD GIRLS 55, BATTLE MOUNTAIN 42

Asked what happened at halftime to turn a 23-18 deficit into a sensational 23-7 third quarter on the way to a 55-42 win, Glenwood’s Maddie Bolitho said, “Coach (Rhonda Moser) gave us a little talk,” and nodded when it was indicated the locker room might have gotten a little heated.
The Demons had shot just 2-of-12 in being outscored 14-6 in the second quarter. After Moser’s “little talk,” Tatum Peterson scored 10 points on 5-of-6 shots, and the Demons not only made 11-of-20 attempts, but pounded the offensive glass, scoring five follow-shots and outrebounding Battle Mountain, 17-6, reversing the Huskies’ 19-16 first half carom edge. Peterson grabbed 9 of those boards and Saylor Warren 4.

Even though the Demons’ man-to-man defense held Stevens scoreless in the first half, both Stephany Hernandez and Lily DeMuth each sank their first 3-pointers of the season, back-to-back, as Battle Mountain overcame Glenwood’s 12-9 first-quarter lead.

Glenwood shut out the Husky 3-point shooters in the second half on five attempts and Bolitho made it three straight games with at least three treys, making one in each of the third and fourth periods.

For the game, Bolitho made 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and has now drilled 10-for-21 in her last three games. Peterson had season highs in points and rebounds with 22 and 17 respectively. Bolitho added 12 with 5 assists, Warren had 7 points and 8 boards, and Natalya Taylor and Dani DeCrow, who also grabbed 7 rebounds, each scored 6. Dylan Barker led the Huskies with 18, Stevens scoring 5 of her 7 points in the 4th quarter.

The win was the fourth straight for the Lady Demons (11-11, 7-4) who began with a two-point home win over Eagle Valley a week ago, won at Summit (in Frisco) Tuesday, at Steamboat Thursday, and broke a third-place tie at Battle Mountain (12-8, 5-5) Friday.

GLENWOOD BOYS 69, BATTLE MOUNTAIN 53

“It’s nice to have Aaron Smith back,” boys coach Cory Hitchcock said after the senior guard helped break open a close game with 21 second-half points in a 69-53 win at Battle Mountain. The Demons (12-10, 7-4) had lost 3-of-4, but now are just a half game behind first-place Eagle Valley (14-7, 7-3) and a half game in front of their next opponent, the Rifle Bears (9-11, 6-4).

Glenwood traded the lead ten times in the first half with the Huskies before a drive to the hoop by Angel Garcia put the Demons in front for good, 22-21 with 2:30 to go in the first half, igniting an 8-0 run that led to a 31-22 margin at intermission.

To that point the Demons, primarily 6-3 Holden Kleager, had limited Huffman, 6-8 and the league’s second-leading scorer (16.7 per game), to just two free throws, aided by the junior’s foul trouble.

An offensive rebound by Huffman helped the Huskies close to within three, 31-28, early in the third quarter. But a third foul on Huffman and Smith’s explosion (two free throws, an assist to Kleager, and back-to-back treys) helped ignite a 16-0 Demon run that put the game away.

With Glenwood leading 49-32 going into the fourth quarter, Smith scored 8 straight for the Demons on the way to a season-high 23 points. Kleager also set career marks with 13 points and 10 rebounds. “Holden came down to my office this morning and said, ‘Coach, what can I do?’ and I said, ‘Play aggressive at both ends of the floor,’ and he looked to score tonight and boxed out. He was a big difference for us.”

Crowley added 10 points, Garcia and Chano Gonzalez nine for the Demons. Huffman finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds. Junior transfer David Caballero led the Huskies with 17 and 7 boards.

“We weren’t happy with our performance last night (in the 54-51 loss at Steamboat), so our motto (for tonight) was ‘bounce back,’” Hitchcock said.

The Demons finish the regular season next Thursday at Rifle, then await CHSAA seeding for the 48-team state playoffs.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst

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