GLENWOOD SPRINGS (1/17/17) – In a test of the Glenwood Springs boys and girls basketball teams’ readiness to challenge for post-season play, both passed in a double header sweep of the Steamboat Springs Sailors, but just barely.
The Glenwood boys (8-5, 3-1 WSL) trailed by eleven going into the fourth quarter, but led by Angel Garcia’s 8-point explosion and Aaron’s Smith’s four free throws in the final 30 seconds, outscored Steamboat (5-8, 1-1) 19-7 to edge the Sailors, 39-38, and move past them into first place in the Western Slope League.
For the Lady Demons (6-7, 2-2), the challenge was not to play down to the level of a winless Steamboat team ((0-12, 0-2). Mission barely accomplished, as a 6-0 surge after trailing at halftime by three, gave Glenwood a lead it managed to hang onto, though the Sailors got within one early in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer by the Demons’ only senior, Lauren Howell, kick-started an 11-2 run after that, only to see Steamboat score eight straight to trail 44-42 with a minute to go. After Glenwood missed 3 of 4 free throws, Howell sank two to salvage a 47-42 win. The Sailors hadn’t come within eleven points of a victory in their previous eleven games.
GLENWOOD BOYS 39, STEAMBOAT 38
In between Glenwood’s 4-point third quarter that saw the Sailors take a 31-20 lead into the final period, coach Cory Hitchcock told his young team (two seniors, neither of whom start), “You’re either gonna fight back or give in.” The Demons, who were 0-for-6 on 3-point tries through three quarters, promptly got back-to-back treys from AJ Crowley and Garcia. Then senior Nic Isgrig made two free throws and Crowley drove the baseline for two before Garcia splashed in another 3-pointer, tying the game at 33 with 2:50 to go.
Hitchcock said of Garcia: “(Steamboat’s) Mac Riniker is a tough defender – remember what he did to Cam (Horning, holding him to 4 points, 19 below his season average) last year. He locked in on Aaron (Glenwood’s leading scorer, who had only two points going into the 4th quarter), so we needed Angel to step up, and he did.”
Hitchcock also praised Crowley’s defensive work on Ethan Riniker, who scored just 12 (four points below his team-leading average), though he did miss some time with foul trouble. The Sailor senior demonstrated what he could do with buzzer-beating three-pointers at the end of the first quarter for a 14-11 lead, and another with 1.6 seconds left in the game after Smith’s 4-straight free throws had pushed Glenwood’s lead to four points.
The sophomore Garcia led the Demons with 13 points, and Smith, a junior, had 8. The two tallied 14 of Glenwood’s 19 in the 4th period.
GLENWOOD GIRLS 47, STEAMBOAT 42
The Lady Demons began their contest as if it wouldn’t even be one, scoring the game’s first eight points and surging to a 10-2 lead with 3 minutes to go in the initial quarter. Suddenly the Demons went cold, and senior Raya Duryea got hot, pouring in 10 points, including a pair of treys. Kady Look’s layup with 1:04 left tied the score and capped a 10-0 run.
Maddie Bolitho, who had 3 assists and four points in the quarter, drove and dished to Ellie Moser, giving Glenwood a 14-12 lead going into the second period.
However, once back in the game, the Sailors outscored Glenwood 11-6 in the second frame, in which the Demons made just 3-of-17 shots, for a 23-20 halftime lead.
With a pair of baskets from Tatum Peterson and another scoring drive by Bolitho, Glenwood regained the lead after intermission, 26-23. Howell’s 3-pointer, and a follow-shot by Saylor Warren, who pulled down 16 rebounds in the game, put the Demons up by six halfway through the third. Steamboat missed 3-of-6 free throws, but outscored Glenwood 5-2 the rest of the way to trail by just three, 33-30 heading into the fourth quarter.
On the first possession of the final frame, Glenwood’s lead was cut to one by Duryea, a 5-7 senior who led all scorers with 23 points and also grabbed 13 rebounds. But Warren rebounded a miss by Peterson and fed Howell behind the arc to trigger a 7-0 Demon run. An “and-one” by Peterson increased the lead to 44-34 with 3:44 to play, but Steamboat still wasn’t finished. Karly Lanning’s trey and Duryea’s 3-point play trimmed the lead to four before a second-chance basket by Duryea pulled the Sailors within two with 1:20 left.
After Bolitho’s free throw made it 45-42, both teams missed a pair at the line before Howell clinched it by making hers with 14 seconds remaining.
Peterson led the Demons with 16, Bolitho adding 9 points, 7 boards, 7 steals, and 5 assists along with 2 blocks in a superb all-around game. Howell, who did not score in 8 of the team’s first 11 games, now has 14 points and has made 4-of-5 three-pointers in the last two, earning a starting spot versus Steamboat.
Glenwood will travel to Fruita for a non-league game Friday before returning home to meet Summit on Saturday.