KMTS BASKETBALL: Demons Remain Perfect on Road Show in Palisade

PALISADE (2/1/20) – The scripts remained the same as the Glenwood Springs boys and girls basketball teams won two more road games Saturday in Palisade.

The girls quickly overcame another brief first-quarter offensive struggle as Natalya Taylor continued her sensational scoring surge, pumping in 17 points as the Lady Demons won their eighth straight, 52-37 over the Bulldogs.

Once again, the Demon boys trailed at halftime, recovered for a decent lead, only to see their opponents pull within three. Just like at Battle Mountain the night before, an unexpected contribution off the bench – this time, sophomore Blake Nieslanik with seven, fourth-quarter points, keyed the tenth straight Glenwood victory, 52-39 at Palisade.

GLENWOOD GIRLS 52, PALISADE 37

“We’re happy, but not satisfied,” Lady Demons coach Rhonda Moser said after a 19-point, second quarter turned an early contested game into victory for the second consecutive day.
Taylor, who ripped Battle Mountain for 25 points on Friday, scored 10 of her 17 in the first period Saturday as Glenwood trailed for just 84 seconds. Taylor’s first of two first-period treys grabbed a lead the Demons would expand to the end of a 52-37 win.

“Natalya’s stepping up at the right time of the season,” Moser said as the Demons completed their first tour through the Western Slope League with a 5-0 mark.

Despite the Bulldogs’ 4-14 overall record, Moser said, “Palisade has some real weapons,” which included a front line of 6-2 Alexis Marushack, Kendil MacAskill and Elizabeth Hawkins, both 6-1,

Kate Shanahan, battling foul trouble all game against the Bulldogs’ tall trees, nevertheless helped the Demons earn a 33-all standoff under the boards with 7 points and 9 rebounds in a starting role. Taylor had 6 boards to go with 5 assists, which increased her league-leading total to 61. Michelle Marshall came off the bench to contribute 5 rebounds and matching Qwynn Massie’s 6 points.

“We’re humble,” Moser said of the winning streak, “but hungry” to continue it on the second tour through the league which begins Tuesday at Summit.

GLENWOOD BOYS 52, PALISADE 39

Just as they did at Battle Mountain, the Demon boys struggled to score in the first half, holding an 8-6 first quarter lead, then falling behind 16-10 before pulling within a point at halftime, 18-17.

Patrick Young kept the Demons within range, scoring 7 first-half points, then turned it on for another 7 in a 20-13 third quarter that also saw John Iuele pour in 9, including a 3-pointer for a 22-21 lead Glenwood would never yield.

Following that trey, Iuele picked off a Bulldog pass for a layup, then assisted on a Will Narvaez basket to cap a 7-0 run.

Young sank four straight free throws to offset Palisade’s sensational Watts Erb, who dropped in a trey and nailed a jumper, momentarily trimming the Demon edge to 30-26.

Iuele found the improving Adam Schrader for two and the biggest Glenwood lead with 2:32 left in the quarter, 34-26. Kevin Loya, who had just two points in the first half, suddenly scored on an offensive putback, then sank a trey, cutting the lead to 3 points.

But Young’s answering 3-pointer gave the Demons a 37-31 edge into the fourth quarter.

Enter Nieslanik, who like Kimbrough the night before at Battle Mountain, barely got off the bench in the previous quarters. Through the Demons’ first sixteen games, the sophomore scored a total of seven points.

Beginning with a basket on Glenwood’s opening possession, Nieslanik scored the Demons first five points of the quarter, holding off Palisade’s charge that had cut the lead to 40-37 with 5:31 to go.

Energized, Iuele and Mitchell Burt finished an 8-0 stretch, giving Glenwood a 48-37 cushion with 1:28 remaining. Nieslanik scored the final points of the game to match his season total.

Young led the attack with 16 points, including 6 rebounds and 6-for-6 at the line. Iuele scored in double digits for the ninth straight game and added 4 assists to his 15 points.

Mitchell Burt, who scored 8, played an even bigger defensive role, holding Erb to just two points in the fourth quarter, leaving him with 19 for the game.

Both Glenwood teams are now 14-3 for the season and 5-0 in Western Slope League play, entering the second half.

About Jack Jabbour

High school sports analyst
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