GLENWOOD SPRINGS (1/31/13) — If there was one player Glenwood did not want to have the ball with the score tied and 7.8 seconds left in the game, it would be Delta’s Skylyn Webb, the league’s leading scorer… But she easily received a sideline in-bounds pass in the backcourt, circled around two Demon defenders, and drove in for the game-winning layup from the left side just before the buzzer for a 58-56 victory, keeping the Panthers undefeated in Western Slope play.
The finish obscured a valiant effort by the, now 6-5, Lady Demons, who never led the 11-0 Panthers after the first quarter, but met every challenge as Webb and her senior teammates Callie Gafford and Erin Zunich threatened to put the game away while Glenwood’s senior leader, Kenzie Nelson-Buehler battled foul trouble throughout the contest.
KNB picked up her second foul guarding the 6-foot Gafford with just under 4 minutes to play in the opening quarter, and the subsequent free throw put Delta ahead, 5-4. Coach Jackie Gaddis rolled the dice in an attempt to stay with the explosive Panthers, but the gamble backfired when Gafford drew Nelson-Buehler’s third foul with two minutes left in the period. Gafford’s free throws made it 7-4, as Glenwood hadn’t scored since take a 4-0 lead a minute and a half into the game. But Jordan DeCrow and Jaime Crowley came off the bench to spark the Demons to an 8-7 lead — their last advantage of the game. Webb scored off an in-bounds play to give Delta a 9-8 edge going into the second quarter.
Nelson-Buehler returned but quickly picked up her fourth foul, leaving with 5:30 to go in the half. Delta twice pushed its lead to six on a pair of 3-pointers by Zunich, Delaney Gaddis answering the first, but Gafford and Webb combined to extend the lead to 26-19 with two minutes left in the quarter. Laura McDermott put back an offensive rebound, then stole the ball with Gaddis finding DeCrow for a jumper that trimmed the advantage to three again until Webb hit a shot just before halftime for a 28-25 Delta lead.
KNB started the second half on fire, despite playing with four fouls, scoring the Demons’ first 8 points, and when Crowley scored on a put-back with 4:30 left in the quarter, Glenwood was within one, 34-33. Delta turned the ball over six times against Glenwood’s man-to-man defense and went three minutes-plus with its only score coming on Webb’s layup following an in-bounds steal. Gaddis hit her second trey (in ten attempts for the game) to tie the score, but Webb got the ball into Gafford for two before Gaddis found Madi Spence inside to knot the score at 38 with 1:40 to go in the quarter. Webb scored on another in-bounds pass and Brittany Brasfield stole an errant Demon pass for a layup, and another Webb-to-Gafford pass left Delta with a 6-point lead when the 6-foot senior missed the “and-one” free throw.
Nelson-Buehler, who played the entire second half without picking up the fifth foul that would’ve put her on the bench for good, drained a three-pointer following a steal and pass from DeCrow to trim the lead to 44-41 just as the quarter ended.
After KNB hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to one point, Delta went on another run, featuring — who else? Webb made two free throws and stole a pass leading to a layup around a basket by Brooke Taylor for a 50-43 lead with 6:47 to play. Coach Gaddis called a time out and the Demon defense responded as Delta missed its next nine shots over the next five minutes. Glenwood outscored the Panthers 7-2 (a pair of free throws) in that time, but never got closer than 51-50 when Crowley missed an “and-one” opportunity to tie. Crowley, who scored 9 points and grabbed 4 rebounds off the bench, scored on a put-back with 50 seconds to play, cutting the lead to 54-52, and DeCrow’s clutch free throws tied the game with 38 ticks remaining.
Gafford, who finished with 16 points and 8 rebounds, made a pair of free throws to break the tie before DeCrow found Nelson-Buehler for the tie at the ten second mark. Delta called a time out to set up the winning play as the Glenwood defenders couldn’t stop Webb, who led all scorers with 29 points.
Nelson-Buehler, scoreless at halftime, led Glenwood with 15 points and 7 rebounds. McDermott had ten points, Spence 8, and Gaddis contributed 7 rebounds, 8 assists and 6 steals along with 8 points.
DELTA 65, GLENWOOD BOYS 50
Glenwood hung tough against one of the league’s better teams through halftime, trailing 31-24 on 14 points (and four 3-pointers) by Grant Fegan, but the Panthers scored the first 13 points of the third quarter and won going away, 65-50. Fegan finished with 25 points off the bench, making 6 of 10 treys. Ryan Whiteside and Kenny Wood scored 14 each to lead Delta with Eian Baier adding 12 including a slam dunk in the midst of that 13-0 run.