KMTS Basketball: GS BOYS BOUNCE BACK; GIRLS ROLL ON

CARBONDALE (1/11/14) — Glenwood boys coach Cory Hitchcock doesn’t claim to be E.F. Hutton (old TV ad joke), but when he speaks, his team listens, rebounding from its first loss of the season to Delta Friday night by setting a season scoring record Saturday in an 86-49 non-league win at Roaring Fork. The Lady Demons remained undefeated, igniting their offense early after a pair of slow starts in the last two games.

GLENWOOD BOYS 86, ROARING FORK 49

Hitchcock’s first pupil was sophomore scoring leader, Cam Horning. “I told Cam (who was under double-digits in scoring for the first time all season versus the Panthers), I feel like you’ve been holding back. We go when you go.” And go, Horning did, lighting up the scoreboard for 40 points, including 9 straight to kick-start a 19-0 finish to the first quarter as the Demons jumped out to a 21-2 lead and never looked back. “I just felt like everything would go in,” Horning related after he scored from outside (3 treys), off steals (7), and on numerous twisting drives that ended with feather-soft caroms into the hoop. “Defense is where I get the energy,” Horning said of his frenetic play at both ends of the court.

But those weren’t Hitchcock’s only words of wisdom; he had something to say to senior Pete Steckler as well: “I told Peter, when you get the ball, you’ve been looking to pass first; you’re a shooter.” So Steckler nailed two 3-pointers in that first-quarter explosion and added THREE more, going 5-for-7 from downtown in the game and scoring a career-high 15 points. In his last four games, Steckler had been 0-for-5 on 3-point tries after a 4-for-10 performance in his previous 4 games.

The Demons seemed intimidated by Delta’s twin 6-6 towers, allowing Cade Gafford (19 points, 12 rebounds) and Eian Baier (9 points, 10 rebounds) to lead the Panthers to 11 offensive rebounds and score on 10 of them. “That loss (54-49 to Delta) was the best experience for us,” Hitchcock emphasized. “I really challenged them to play our regular game (against Roaring Fork).”

Hitchcock inserted junior Jake Gentry back into the starting lineup, and along with Horning and Jake Gambrel, the trio combined for five, first-quarter steals, and the aggressive defense — so characteristic of the Demons early in the season — lit a fuse that never went out.

In the previous two games, Glenwood scored 10 and 7 points, respectively, in the first quarter. After the futile offensive beginning, Roaring Fork (3-4) surged back to score a combined 40 points in the 2nd and 3rd periods, but Glenwood put up 19 in the 2nd (for a 42-23 halftime lead) and singed the nets for 24 in the third. Horning went off for a dozen in that frame, then had 10 of his team’s 20 in the fourth quarter.

“We had a lot of success early (in the season),” Hitchcock commented and we got complacent. We fought back from that loss with our defensive intensity.”

In addition to Horning’s incredible night, eight other Demons got into the scorebook. Zack Peterson had 8 with 6 rebounds; Brian Burbidge and Gambrel each added 7, and combined for 10 assists and 6 steals. Will Gray came off the bench to lead the Demons with 7 rebounds. Ben Carpenter scored 15 (on 3-of-5 treys) and Dwayne Yin added 12 for the Rams.

GLENWOOD GIRLS 60, ROARING FORK 23

After having to battle back from a 17-10 first-quarter deficit before overwhelming Delta 63-44 Friday, and getting off to a sluggish start against Battle Mountain the game before, the Glenwood girls switched from an opening 2-3 zone to an aggressive man-to-man defense at Roaring Fork. As often happens, the defense paid dividends at the offensive end as Delaney Gaddis and Jordan DeCrow dropped in treys in an 8-2 start that led to a 17-7 quarter lead.

Madi Spence, who had a sensational 20 points, 14 rebounds, 5 steals, and 5 blocks in the win over Delta, took over in the second quarter against the Rams, kissing the glass for 8 points as Glenwood surged to a 31-10 halftime lead. Despite the big advantage, the Demons didn’t take their foot off the pedal, outscoring Roaring Fork 29-13 in the second half.

DeCrow led the scoring with 18 and also dished 4 assists. Spence (11 boards) and Gaddis (9 assists) each had 16 points, and Hailey Armstrong continued her strong rebounding this season with 10.

Glenwood, now 9-0 and off to its best start in more than a dozen years, travels to Grand Junction Central for another non-league contest on Tuesday.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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