STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (2/15/20) – Ella Johnson had missed all twelve of her three-point attempts this season when she launched a buzzer beater just before halftime as the Glenwood Lady Demons battled from behind at Steamboat Springs. To the delight of the Glenwood fans who had made the three-hour trip, Johnson’s shot splashed in, tying a game the Demons had trailed by six two minutes before, and providing the spark that led to an 18-0 third quarter and an eventual 46-32 win.
The win was Glenwood’s twelfth straight and clinched the Western Slope League title for the 18-3 Demons, with a 10-0 mark and two games to go.
The Glenwood boys (18-3, 10-0) had a much rougher road, but also sewed up the WSL top spot, hanging on for a 42-40 win over a depleted Sailor team (10-10, 6-3).
GLENWOOD GIRLS 46, STEAMBOAT SPRINGS 32
For those listening to the Steamboat Springs KTYV radio feed, someone named “Chapman” was credited with the game-tying shot that capped the Demons’ comeback from a 14-8 first-quarter and 24-18 deficits. But it was actually the 5-3 sophomore Johnson, making her first varsity start, and finishing with a career-high 13 points. Johnson, who is in the league’s top four in both assists and steals despite coming off the bench all season, had never scored more than four points in Glenwood’s previous 20 games.
The Sailors used three-point shots from Shelbee Weiss and Erica Simmons to take a 14-4 lead with 1:35 to go in the first quarter, but Qwynn Massie broke a 12-0 Steamboat run with a basket and Kenzie Winder’s shot brought the Demons within six.
Massie accounted for the first six points of the second quarter, knotting the score at 14 before Weiss nailed another trey and Jaycee May also connected from deep in an 8-2 Sailor surge for a 22-16 lead with 3 minutes until halftime, setting up Johnson’s heroics at the buzzer.
Given the Demons’ first-half struggles and how well Steamboat was shooting (9-of-18 from the floor; 4-of-8 beyond the arc), the third quarter was a stunner for the home fans. Massie scored on an assist from Johnson, giving Glenwood its first lead since 4-2 on a Natalya Taylor steal and layup minutes into the game.
By mid-quarter, the Demons drove the lead to 34-24 as their press began to get to the Sailors. By period’s end, Glenwood had buried the Sailors 18-0, as Steamboat missed all five of its shots and committed eight turnovers. Massie and Johnson each tallied six points and the lead reached 42-24.
Glenwood continued its blitzkrieg into the fourth quarter with Johnson and Joslyn Spires connecting to run the streak to 28-0 going back to the Demons 6-0 conclusion to the first half.
Massie led all scorers with 17, Taylor adding eight.
GLENWOOD BOYS 42, STEAMBOAT SPRINGS 40
When Glenwood defeated Steamboat 58-44 at home on January 25, both teams were undefeated in league play. After holding off a late Sailor surge led by Dawson Linquist,’s 9 points for a 42-40 win, the Demons are 10-0 and have wrapped up their fourth consecutive WSL title. But just three weeks later, this was a quite different Steamboat team, missing three starters, who combined for 26 points a game and included the league’s second-leading shot blocker, number three, three-point shooter, and fourth assist man.
Early in the contest, these players absence seemed to make quite a difference as Glenwood got out to a 14-5 first-quarter lead, limiting the Sailors to a single basket, while John Iuele sliced and diced for eight points.
Iuele began and ended the second period with a pair of treys, the first giving Glenwood its largest lead of the game, 17-5. However, inbetween, 6-8 Eric Pollert scored 7 points and Linquist added 5, trimming the Demons’ halftime edge to 25-20.
Glenwood was able to add just two points to its advantage with a sluggish 9-7 third period, but Iuele’s jumper to begin the fourth moved the lead to nine points, 36-27. Devin Crawford, who didn’t get into the January game, scored on a putback and freshman Cade Gedeon’s layup drew the Sailors within five.
The teams traded baskets until AJ Adams muscled a shot over Linquist with two minutes to go for a 42-35 lead. Crawford’s steal led to a 3-pointer by Linquist, and Adams missed the front of a one-and-one with 23 seconds remaining. Lindquist scored to trim the Glenwood lead to 42-40, and Iuele’s miss at the free throw line gave the Sailors a chance to tie.
The Demons won their fourteenth straight game and escaped overtime when Linquist’s shot at the buzzer missed. Steamboat gave heavy minutes to four players who didn’t get off the bench in the previous match between the teams, but Glenwood failed to put away the Sailors, in part, by missing five of six free throws and all four of their three-balls in the second half.
“The I-man,” Iuele led all scorers with 18 and also grabbed 8 steals. Mitchell Burt contributed 7 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists, with Adams adding 6 points. Linquist had 16 for Steamboat with Pollert scoring 13.
Glenwood, now ranked second in the state’s RPI standings (behind Mead, 20-1) will close out the regular season with home games against Battle Mountain Tuesday and Palisade Friday.