GLENWOOD SPRINGS (3/1/14) — The stellar season of the Glenwood Springs Lady Demons came to an end in the 4A state playoff regional finals with a 50-32 loss to Palmer Ridge, Saturday morning at home. The Lady Bears (22-3), runner-ups to Sand Creek in the Pikes Peak League and seeded third in the Tracy Hill region raced out to a 12-0 lead to open the game and were never really challenged by the second-seeded Demons (23-2), who missed 40 of 53 shots in the game.
“We were off,” Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said afterwards. “We knew they could run the floor, and we didn't keep up. That post player (6-1 senior Ali Meyer) is the best I've seen, including Mesa Ridge (6-4 Kylee Shook, who scored 21 and blocked 4 shots in the Demons' only other loss this season).”
It didn't help Glenwood's cause that senior Delaney Gaddis, who scored 20 in the previous night's 48-44 win over Golden, and 21 in the Western Slope District Championship game, missed all 16 of her shots, including 8 three-point attempts. Gaddis, who leads the state in assists and steals, tallied just two free throws in the third quarter. Junior Jordan DeCrow, who has been gutting her way down the stretch with a painful stress fracture in her foot, aggravated the injury just before halftime. She gamely played on in the second half, managing to put in the Demons' first 3-pointer of the game midway through the fourth quarter, but it was only her second basket in 6 attempts, and she finished with 5 points.
That left only Madi Spence of the Demons' 3-pronged offensive attack, and the 6-0 junior delivered, making seven of her 12 shots for 14 points and also grabbing 8 rebounds, but it wasn't nearly enough.
Midway through the first quarter, Glenwood got back-to-back baskets from Spence and Jaime Crowley on assists from Gaddis to get the lead below ten for the only time in the game after the Bears' opening salvo. However, the Demons would manage consecutive scores only twice more throughout the contest as first Meyer, then 5-10 senior Michelle DeCoud kept breaking down the Demon defense — first a zone, then man-to-man the rest of the way.
Meyer had 10 points and 6 rebounds by halftime, when Palmer Ridge led 29-14, and DeCoud scored 8 in the first half and another 9 in the second to lead all scorers with 17. Meyer finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“It's emotional right now,” coach Gaddis said, “not about losing, but because the season's over. We're losing two valuable seniors (Gaddis and Laura McDermott. In the locker room, we talked about what it will take next year.”
Spence echoed her coach's thoughts: “Delaney and Laura were amazing. We're a family. We've spent five months together, but coach just said, ‘Hey juniors, let's play some ball!' (talking about off-season workouts in preparation for next year).”