GRAND JUNCTION (1/21/15) – As the teams came off the floor from pre-game warmups in the 4A boys Western Slope League district third-place game, Glenwood Springs’ coach Cory Hitchcock told his team, “Put a smile on your faces, it’s basketball.” The Demons, who came into the tourney as the No. 1 seed, but lost to Durango Friday night, seemed like they were back to having fun in dispatching Palisade, 56-40, Saturday at Colorado Mesa University.
Cam Horning scored seven as the Demons (19-4) took a 12-8 first quarter lead, then Brian Burbidge, scoreless in the semi-final game, broke loose for 11 points, giving Glenwood a 31-18 halftime lead.
After a 3-pointer by Matt Osier put Glenwood up by 16 three minutes into the second half, the Demons went the next six minutes without a basket, but were 12-of-12 from the free throw line, led by eight straight foul shots from Evrett Marr.
Leading 40-28 going into the final quarter, Glenwood made 10-of-11 from the stripe in that frame to take the third place trophy and await state playoff seeding from the Colorado High School Activities Association on Sunday.
“We got refocused and hungry and got back to Glenwood basketball, tough-nosed defense, go get the boards, and don’t settle for jumpers,” Hitchcock said after the Demons’ third win over Palisade, and second at Brownson Arena, this season.
Burbidge led the Demons with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Marr tallied 10 and Zack Peterson and Horning each scored 9. Marques Combs led the Bulldogs (10-13) with 9.
MONTROSE 36, RIFLE 26
GRAND JUNCTION – Facing No. 1 Montrose in the third place game, the No. 6 Rifle Lady Bears were forced to shoot primarily from the outside, but made a game of it before falling 36-26. With the freshman duo of Jessie Pressler and Elly Walters sinking 6 of 11 treys, Rifle (13-10), after falling behind 10-0 midway through the first quarter, got within four with four minutes to go in the third quarter.
The Bears failed to score again until Pressler hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game two minutes into the final period, which trimmed the Indian lead to 30-23. Montrose (17-5), on two layups by 5-11 junior Elise Hill and a third-try offensive putback from 6-4 junior Elle Pace pulled away.
Pressler led all scorers with 12 points, Walters adding 11. Sam Hinkle, Rifle’s 6-1 sophomore, was smothered inside by a series of 6-foot Montrose defenders and missed six 3-pointers, and was the only other Bear to score, with 3 points and had 10 rebounds.
The Bears’ opening round upset of No. 3 Glenwood Springs qualified them for the state playoffs and they will await the announcement of the 32-team bracket by CHSAA. The Demons, with a 16-5 record hope to get an at-large bid.