KMTS Basketball: DEMONS SWEEP TWO AT BATTLE MOUNTAIN

EDWARDS (2/9/13) –With under five seconds remaining and his team ahead by three points, Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock  called time out and chose a strategy few of his colleagues would have the moxie to try — intentionally sending Battle Mountain to the line, so the Huskies couldn’t attempt the three-pointer needed to tie the game.  The decision paid off with a 49-46 win when Joe LyBarger missed a one-and-one free throw with 1.5 seconds to go, and a meaningless follow shot also failed.

The victory, which halted a three-game slide for the Demons (5-12, 4-8 WSL), was a see-saw battle from the start by two teams fighting for position in the Western Slope 4A district playoffs.  Battle Mountain (7-10, 3-9) scored the first seven points, but Jared Gambrel hit a pair of three’s and a free throw to close the gap, and a steal and layup by Pete Ray tied it with 2:30 left in the quarter.  Both teams went  scoreless the rest of the way and entered the second stanza tied at 9.

Gabe Yen’s free throw gave Glenwood its first lead, 10-9, which they protected through halftime.  A 3-pointer from Brian Burbidge at the end of the quarter put the Demons ahead, 22-17.

Glenwood has suffered through some abismal third quarters this season, including Delta scoring the first 13 points after halftime Friday, so when the Huskies started with a 6-0 run to regain the lead, the trepidation among the visiting Glenwood fans was palpable.

But a technical on Battle Mountain’s Jack Kamby put Grant Fegan on the line, where he made one of two, then, retaining possession, Fegan found Logan Holmberg for a lay-up and a 25-23 lead.  That pivotal moment not only stopped the Huskies’ run, but initiated an 11-0 answer by the Demons.  Ray assisted on a pair of Burbidge baskets, the second a 3-pointer, then Fegan concluded the momentum shift with a deep trey for a 33-23 lead with 3:10 left in the quarter.

The Huskies’ first three of the game, by Alex Banegas helped his team outscore Glenwood 11-6 in the final minutes of the period, closing the gap to 38-34. 

For the first four minutes of the final quarter, neither team could gain an advantage, as the Demons were called for two offensive fouls and Battle Mountain turned the ball over four times.  Ray’s jumper was the only score in that time.

Glenwood’s next possession demonstrated the Demons’ will to win as  Ray and Yen battled on the offensive boards, with Yen’s second rebound in the series finally resulting in Burbidge’s third trey of the game and a 43-34 lead.

Following three free throws by Cody Brown, Fegan — a standout wide receiver during football season — played quarterback from under the Demons’ defensive basket by finding Burbidge beyond all theHuskies’ pressing defenders for a layup and a 45-37 lead with three minutes to play.

LyBarger’s steal and layup, then a 3-pointer helped Battle Mountain come within two with 1:37 to go, 45-43, while Glenwood was missing the front end of a pair of one-and-one attempts. 

That trend ended as first Gambrel, then Burbidge made 1-of-2 at the line before Banegas was fouled on a trey and dropped in all three free throws with seven seconds remaining in the game.

Gambrel was trapped in the corner following the in-bounds, but was fouled with 4.6 seconds left and calmly sank both free throws for what would prove to be the final score.

Burbidge led the Demons with 15 points, making 3-of-5 three-pointers.  Gambrel scored a dozen and Fegan had 6 with 5 assists.  Holmberg had 11 rebounds along with 4 points.  Ray also scored 4 with 3 steals and 3 assists.

LyBarger and Banegas each scored 10 for the Huskies.

GLENWOOD GIRLS  72, BATTLE MOUNTAIN 30

Glenwood rebounded from Friday’s last-second loss to Delta at home by burying Battle Mountain, 72-30.  The Lady Demons opened the game 16-2, spreading the scoring around among five players, forcing 11 turnovers, and added to that margin in each quarter to follow.

At the half, Glenwood led 30-10 with Kenzie Nelson-Buehler and Delaney Gaddis combining for 20 of those points.  The Demons did not let up in the second half, scoring 22 points in the third period and 20 in the final quarter.

Gaddis finished with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 assists.  KNB had 17 with 9 boards, 5 assists, and 4 steals.  Jordan DeCrow tallied 11 with 6 assists and 3 steals.

The win halted a two-game slide by the Demons (11-5 overall) and improved their league mark to 7-5 with a key game coming up with Palisade (7-9, 6-5) on Tuesday in Glenwood.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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