GLENWOOD SPRINGS (12/10/13) — Unusual as it is to play a league opener in the second game of the season, both Glenwood’s boys and girls basketball teams were more than ready, each defeating Eagle Valley by more than 20 points and showing noticeable improvement from victories in their season debuts. “I’m happy to see the growth,” boys coach Cory Hitchcock said after both teams ran their records to 2-0.
GLENWOOD GIRLS 50, EAGLE VALLEY 29
The most significant differences from games one-to-two for the girls came on defense and in taking care of the ball. Against Coal Ridge, Glenwood had a 23-point halftime lead, but were outscored 33-22 in the second half and committed 28 turnovers for the game. No such difficulties in the Western Slope League opening 50-29 win over Eagle Valley.
The Lady Demons took a little longer to get untracked offensively versus the Devils, opening just a 9-7 first-quarter lead, then falling behind 14-9 when Eagle scored the first 7 points of the second period. After Megan Asmussen hit a three-pointer with 3:34 remaining in the half, coach Jacky Gaddis called time out and changed the defense from zone to man. Energized by a defense that shut out the Devils over the final three minutes, and fueled by 8 points between Jordan DeCrow and Madi Spence, a 10-0 run gave Glenwood a 19-14 halftime lead.
Spence poured in another 6 points, with Delaney Gaddis and Laura McDermott each adding 4 in a 17-8 third quarter that provided a 14-point margin, 36-22, going into the final frame. The Demons continued the pressure in the fourth, outscoring an Eagle team 14-7 that defeated them by two and lost by four last season. Glenwood committed just 7 second-half turnovers, helping to produce the 31-15 score.
The Demons again had good scoring balance, led by 17 (with 10 rebounds) from Spence, 11 by Gaddis, 10 from DeCrow and 8 by Laura McDermott. Hailey Armstrong contributed 9 rebounds (16 in the first two games), 5 assists, and 4 steals.
After two games, DeCrow has 30 points, Spence 26, and Gaddis 25. Next up is the Demon Invitational, which will feature games against Aspen (Thursday), Faith Christian, and a rematch with Eagle Valley.
GLENWOOD BOYS 69, EAGLE VALLEY 39
The Glenwood boys reached 65 points just once last season, and that took an overtime win at Delta to accomplish, but they’ve topped that scoring output in both games this season, using a deep bench, frantic up-tempo style offense, and aggressive defense to outscore opponents by an average of 24 points.
Stating the obvious, coach Hitchcock said after the Demons’ 69-39 Western Slope League opening win over Eagle Valley, “I’m a high-energy guy, and the team tells me they feed off me.” That energy was apparent throughout — but especially in a first half in which Glenwood ran off streaks of 10-0 (on the way to a 14-3 first quarter), 7-0 (to begin the 2nd period), and a 12-4 stretch to finish the half with a dominating 33-9 advantage.
Eagle’s only basket in the first half came when Alan Caravero scored on a drive 3 minutes into the second quarter. In the first quarter the Devils managed just 3 free throws and shot 1-for-11 for the first 16 minutes of the game. There was no way they’d continue to shoot that poorly, and they didn’t, making 12 of 19 second-half shots, but the Demons didn’t relent, putting up 36 second-half points on 16-of-32 shooting themselves. Cam Horning, who has 39 points in the Demons’ first two games, led the way, but was amply supported by ten other teammates who put points on the board.
“We’re pretty deep — filter ten guys in and out — and that keeps them moving,” Hitchcock said by way of explaining the relentless offensive and defensive pressure applied throughout the contest.
With Travis Edgar scoring 10 points — most coming down low on the left block — and Eagle making 7-of-9 shots, the Devils finally showed some life after an opening 10-2 third-quarter blitz by the Demons pushed their lead to 34, 43-11. That period produced a 17-all tie, partly because Glenwood began unsuccessfully hoisting 3-pointers, missing 7 of 8 tries. But even after Hitchcock began subbing 5-at-a-time, Glenwood still put up 19 in the final quarter.
Zack Peterson, playing what the coach called “starter’s minutes” off the bench, produced 7 points, 4 boards, and 2 spectacular half-court steals in the Demons’ press. “Zack’s long and lanky — we call him ‘Stick,’ and he says he kind of likes coming off the bench,” Hitchcock said in praising the energy Peterson provides in that role. Jared Gambrel and Brian Burbidge each tallied 7 and Mason Yellico showed scoring punch with 6 points in the 2nd half.
Edgar led the Devils, who defeated Glenwood 4 times (including 52-43 in districts) last year, with 20 points. Glenwood will see Eagle again on Saturday during the Demon Invitational, which also includes Aspen and Faith Christian.