GYPSUM (1/24/14) — Senior leadership and young guns firing down the stretch saved the Glenwood boys from near defeat at Eagle Valley, as they climbed out of a 12-point hole for a 43-41 win. A career scoring night for senior Laura McDermott helped the Lady Demons avoid a second-half collapse that saw most of an 18-point lead disappear in a cloud of press-induced turnovers before pulling away for a 51-39 win to remain undefeated.
GLENWOOD BOYS 43, EAGLE VALLEY 41
With 3 minutes left in the second quarter, the Demons were without their top two scoring leaders and fell behind by 12 after going more than 6 scoreless minutes.
Cam Horning didn’t make the trip due to illness, and Brian Burbidge left the game early in the second with a possible concussion.
Travis Edgar was dominating inside and Noah Ejnes hit a pair of threes giving the Devils a 23-11 lead. “Without Cam, we were just kind of feeling our way when Jared (Gambrel) stepped up and showed the senior leadership we needed,” coach Cory Hitchcock said.
Gambrel, with twice as many assists as any other Demon and averaging about 9 points a game, matched that total in 48 seconds, swishing 3-pointers on Glenwood’s next three possessions, and pulling his team within 6 at halftime. “Jared can score any time he wants to,” Hitchcock pointed out, and the senior guard proved his coach correct as the third quarter opened.
Gambrel made the Demons’ initial two free throws of the game, then hit a floater on a pass from Jake Gentry, followed by his fourth trey giving Glenwood its first lead since 5-2 at the 5-minute mark of quarter number one. Gambrel had been one-of-his last 9 three point attempts before draining 4-of-7 with two of his higher-scoring teammates out of action.
Edgar scored on a layup to regain the advantage for Eagle Valley and added two more baskets for a 34-32 edge headed into the final quarter.
At this point, Hitchcock made a couple of surprising substitutions, inserting seldom-used sophomores, Mason Yellico and Matt Osier into the game with Gambrel, Pete Steckler, and Zach Peterson.
At first, the move didn’t pay dividends as Edgar scored inside, then made 1 of 2 free throws for a 39-34 lead after Yellico missed a 3-point try. Those would be Edgar’s last points of the game as Will Gray came on to play him tough the rest of the way. “Will did a great job defensively,” Hitchcock praised.
Gambrel kept the Demons within range by netting a pair of free throws and hitting a jumper on a pass from Osier, giving him 22 points (one off his season high), and then Yellico scored on a drive to cut the margin to one, 39-38 with 5:20 remaining.
Both teams went cold for two scoreless minutes as Yellico and Osier missed 3-pointers and the Devils began a stretch where they’d misfire on 8 straight shots. In fact, they would score just two free throws during the last 6 minutes of the game.
But with 3:21 to play, Eagle Valley still led by that single point when Alan Caraveo fouled Osier on another 3-point try. The 5-9 sophomore, who had not played in the last 3 varsity games, calmly sank the first two free throws, giving Glenwood a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“Mason and Matt are two good shooters. I believe in them,” Hitchcock said. “Matt knocked down those free throws in the clutch. It’s good to see those young guys step it up.”
Peterson, who hauled in a season-high 15 rebounds for the game, then scored on a pass inside from Steckler after the Demons had run 1:15 off the clock on that possession to lead 42-39 with 1:50 to go.
Eagle broke its 5-minute scoring drought with a pair of free throws to cut the margin to one, and Edgar stole the ball with 1:25 remaining. A drive by Ejnes missed and Peterson cleared the boards. Osier was fouled with 30 seconds left, but missed the front of a one-and-one at the line. Slater Sabo missed badly on a 3-point try, Peterson again hauled in the rebound, and Eagle fouled Osier.
This time he made the first free throw for a two-point lead with 16 seconds left and Steckler stole the ball, enabling Glenwood to run out the clock. “We needed a grind-it-out win in a game of possession,” Hitchcock said. “In three trips (at the end of the game), Zach gets two rebounds and Peter gets a steal.”
Glenwood (11-3, 6-2 WSL) plays its third game in three days on Saturday, returning home to meet Steamboat Springs (9-3, 4-2), which defeated Rifle 52-33 on Tuesday, leaving four teams with two losses at the top of Western Slope League.
GLENWOOD GIRLS 51, EAGLE VALLEY 39
After Palisade gave Glenwood its closest game of the season last weekend, coming within 4 points with four minutes to go in the fourth before losing by 8, the undefeated and 7th-ranked Lady Demons got back on track with an easy win at Summit Thursday. Friday at Eagle Valley seemed to be much the same as Glenwood cruised to a 27-13 halftime lead, except for the mildly disturbing fact that four of the starters had 3 fouls at intermission.
That was mitigated somewhat by the Devils’ 6-0 post player, Taylor Martin also saddled with 3 fouls, and Eagle making just 3-of-11 free throws in a second quarter where they were outscored 14-5.
But midway through the third period, first McDermott, who had topped her season-high with 9 first-half points, picked up her fourth foul, followed in rapid succession by Jordan DeCrow, Madi Spence, and Hailey Armstrong. The Demons still led 35-19 with 4 minutes to play after Delaney Gaddis made a technical free throw, but another unsettling trend began to emerge as turnovers mounted from the Devils’ full-court man press.
In the final 4:37 after the Gaddis free throw, Glenwood would miss all six of its shots, two free throws, commit 9 turnovers (6 versus the press), and get outscored 12-0, cutting a once comfortable lead to four points, 35-31. Chief instigator of the Devil comeback was Mariel Gutierrez who scored 9 points and had 3 steals.
Gaddis, showing some senior leadership of her own, scored on Glenwood’s first, 4th-quarter possession, giving her 17 points for the game, then broke the press and dished to McDermott for a 39-33 lead. Spence, who had been held to just one basket and 4 points through three quarters, then converted back-to-back shots on feeds from Gaddis and suddenly the lead was 10.
With all foul-plagued players surviving the final quarter, the Demons doubled up the Devils, 16-8 and survived what could have been a demoralizing first defeat of the season.
McDermott finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Gaddis led the scoring with 17, adding 6 assists. The bad news was Eagle Valley’s game-long pressure helped produce a season-worst 29 Glenwood turnovers, but the Demons had only two in the decisive fourth quarter. Another possible Achilles Heel was a woeful 8-of-22 performance at the line.
However, the Demons (13-0, 8-0 WSL) got tough when they had to, and are the only league team to defeat the Devils (9-4, 5-2) so far this season. Glenwood hosts Steamboat Springs (7-5, 2-4) Saturday before traveling to rival Rifle (3-6, 3-2) next Thursday.