GLENWOOD SPRINGS(2/6/15) — If there’s ever a good time for an undefeated team to lose, it’s before the playoffs begin, as last season’s Glenwood Lady Demons found out when they went 19-0 until losing to Mesa Ridge. This year’s senior-dominated team took that lesson to heart after dropping a battle of unbeaten Western Slope League teams to Palisade on Tuesday, then rebounding with an impressive 59-43 win over third place Eagle Valley on Friday.
The Glenwood boys maintained their unbeaten league status by avoiding the temptation to play down to the level of an opponent, setting a season-scoring mark by clubbing the winless Devils, 81-36, despite the absence of one starter and just four points from their foul-plagued leading scorer.
GLENWOOD GIRLS 59, EAGLE VALLEY 43
The Lady Devils (12-4, 8-3 WSL) were just a game back of Glenwood (14-2, 10-1), and had lost by just two, 43-41, to Palisade (14-2, 10-0) a week ago. So when Eagle Valley took an early 9-4 lead the seniors who experienced last year’s disappointment had an answer.
Madi Spence, Bella Diaz, Jordan DeCrow, Jaime Crowley, and Hailey Armstrong each factored in drawing the Demons within a point, 13-12 by the end of the quarter, then pounding a Lady Devil team that can match their height and athleticism, but not their veteran poise, 18-7 in the second period for a 30-20 halftime lead.
Spence scored inside and outside and blocked sparkplug Mariel Gutierrez’ drive to the hoop, then 6-0 senior Taylor Martin’s shot when the Devils tried to rally before the half. Crowley, back in the starting lineup after missing six games with a foot injury, scored 5 quarter-points including a rebound-putback and a fast break pass from DeCrow triggered by Diaz’ rebound and laser-quick outlet.
Diaz was on the receiving end of a similar play starting with a rebound by Spence who quickly found DeCrow for yet another assist. Armstrong kept alive a possession with an offensive board, then hit two subsequent free throws and scored on an inside feed from Diaz.
In Glenwood’s earlier 42-31 win at Gypsum, the Martin sisters helped the Devils match Armstrong and Spence under the boards. This time, the Demon senior six-footers combined for 25 rebounds to just six for 5-10 sophomore Kylie and her senior sister.
Glenwood outboarded Eagle 18-3 in the second half, as the Demons increased their lead to 46-33 going into the final frame, and 37-17 for the game.
With Glenwood up by 16 following a rebound and putback by Makena Warren, Eagle, led by a pair of 3-pointers and a steal and jumper from 5-9 sophomore Katie McKay tried to get back into the contest, closing to within 11, but six points and two assists by Spence held off the charge momentarily.
The younger Martin and Gutierrez fueled a 6-0 run early in the fourth quarter to cut Glenwood’s lead to single digits, 48-39, but when Gutierrez fouled out as the Devils’ full-court press was broken, Eagle coach Sam Bartlett received a technical foul for protesting too vigorously.
DeCrow sank both free throws and moments later converted a 1-and-1 to push the lead back to 13, and the Demons made 5-of-6 from the line down the stretch to ice the outcome.
Spence topped the stats chart with 18 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, and added 4 assists for good measure. Armstrong also had a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Diaz matched a season scoring high with a dozen points before fouling out and had 4 assists also. DeCrow made 5-of-6 free throws in the fourth quarter, hit a key 3-pointer (the only one Glenwood made in 7 attempts) in the second quarter, and handed out 5 assists. Warren chipped in with 6 points, and Crowley had 5 points and 5 rebounds. Kylie Martin led Eagle Valley with 17, with Taylor adding 10.
Glenwood will have to maintain its intensity Saturday as the Demons travel to Rifle to meet a Lady Bears’ team (11-6, 7-4), revitalized by the addition of 6-1 sophomore Samantha Hinkle, who scored 20 points in her varsity debut, a 53-25 win over Battle Mountain.
GLENWOOD BOYS 81, EAGLE VALLEY 36
The last time the Glenwood boys (14-3, 11-0) played Eagle Valley, in Gypsum, the Devils (0-17, 0-11) took a 17-14 first-quarter lead and trailed by just three at the half before a strong third quarter put away a 66-44 win.
There was no such drama in the rematch as Zack Peterson, starting for 6-6 Will Gray, scored 8 in the Demons’ 17-6 first-quarter and had 15 at the half when Glenwood led 43-13. That 30-point margin was fueled by a 26-7 second period, which saw Cam Horning, second in the league with 17.7 points per game, on the bench with 3 fouls.
Brian Burbidge and Mason Yellico helped fill the void left by Horning’s absence, each scoring six points – Yellico’s on a pair of 3-pointers.
The Demons kept up the scoring onslaught with 19 in both the third and fourth quarters, finding different leaders each frame. In the third it was Matt Osier with 6, and freshman Aaron Smith tallied 8, including two treys, with fellow freshman AJ Crowley adding 7 in the final period.
Peterson led all scorers with 17, followed by 12 from Burbidge, and a career-high 9 from Osier. Jake Gentry had 7, as 12 Demons put points on the board in a phenomenal 31-for-58 shooting performance. The Demons also outboarded the Devils, 38-16.
Third place Rifle (10-7, 7-4), second in the league in team defense, will attempt to slow down the Demons in the Bears’ Den Saturday evening.