KMTS BASKETBALL: Glenwood Girls Light Playoff Fire; Porterfield Returns to Court

 

GRAND JUNCTION CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL (2/21/13) –  After her team had roared through its first 4A Western Slope District playoff game like a prairie wildfire, Glenwood Lady Demons coach Jackie Gaddis remarked, “Talk about a fire needing a light sometimes; we got lit today,” in a masterful 48-24 win over fourth-seeded Durango.

Durango, also known as the Lady Demons, was 11-8 in the 5A Southwest League, and received a higher seed than fifth-ranked Glenwood, now 13-6.  Glenwood, which led 26-13 at half, harassing Durango into 17 turnovers, now meets number-one Montrose (16-4), also moving down from the SWL, which dusted Palisade 40-27 Thursday.

GSHS used a balanced first-half attack to demoralize the DHS Demons, but Kenzie Nelson-Buehler kept the fire burning in the third quarter, scoring 10 points as Glenwood again doubled the score, 16-8.

KNB finished with 16 to lead all scorers and also paced the defense with seven steals.  Laura McDermott went for 8 points and 7 rebounds; Delaney Gaddis was a dynamite distributor with 9 assists to go with 7 points and 6 steals.  Madi Spence had 6 points, 6 boards, and 4 steals with Jordan DeCrow also adding 6 points, and Jaime Crowley chipping in four from the bench.

Glenwood shot 50 per cent, 17 of 34 through the first three quarters and led 42-21 before easing up in the fourth.  Durango wound up with 28 turnovers for the game, made just 2-of-13 three-pointers and were outrebounded 28-22.  DHS moves into the Consolation bracket to play Steamboat Springs (11-10), which was defeated 42-32 by Rifle.  The victory guarantees Glenwood a spot in the state tournament playoffs, as the top seven teams will advance according to GSHS athletic director Craig Denney.

EAGLE VALLEY 52, GLENWOOD BOYS 43

Eighty-two long days had passed since Collin Porterfield last took the court wearing the red and white for the Glenwood Springs boys basketball team.  Porterfield, a senior, scored a dozen points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Demons’ first game of the season against Coal Ridge, November 30, before a severe wrist injury in practice seemed to finish his senior season early — just as a concussion did the year before.

But Porterfield persevered, traveled with the team, and even suited up for Senior Day last week, and when his teammates, eleventh-seeded in the 4A WSL District tournament, upset sixth-seeded Delta Tuesday, Porterfield got the medical okay to play in Thursday’s game versus number three Eagle Valley (15-5) at Central High School in Grand Junction.

The rust showed, and Cinderella couldn’t find her slipper, as the Demons (6-15) battled but fell into a 14-0 hole in the third quarter, losing 52-43, but Porterfield did have a couple of triumphant moments, including sinking a fourth-quarter 3-pointer for his only points off the bench.

The Demons withstood a 9-of-12 shooting finish by the Devils in the first quarter, and after falling behind by nine, 21-12, shut out Eagle Valley for the last six minutes of the second quarter to trail 21-17 at the half.  The comeback continued at the beginning of the third when jumpers by Gabe Yen and Jared Gambrel knotted the score at 21 with 5:20 remaining.

Then that mystical, dark abyss, which has plagued the Demons in several quarters this season, emerged as Eagle Valley, led by Sam Lounsberry, scored 14 straight in the next four minutes to grab a formidable 35-21 lead before five points from Grant Fegan in the final minute closed the gap to 11 going into the final frame.

Porterfield’s three and another by Brian Burbidge sliced the lead to seven, 42-35 with 5:11 to go, but Eagle’s Alan Caraveo saved a press-breaking pass heading out of bounds and turned it into a spectacular layup and two free throws by Ayren Hart, followed by Lounsberry’s banked-in 3-pointer sealed the outcome with 2:40 left. 

Lounsberry led all scorers with 17, with Hart adding 14.  Yen scored 11 to pace Glenwood, with 9 each from Burbidge and Fegan.  The Demons will meet Steamboat Springs (10-10), a team they’ve beaten twice this season, in a first-round Consolation game at 7:30 Friday at Central High School.  The Sailors lost 29-28 to Rifle on Thursday.  The top three teams from the four-team bracket will advance to the state tournament playoffs.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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