GLENWOOD SPRINGS (1/31/13) — A deep bench is usually an advantage — especially when teams go into extended overtime, but the experience and stamina of Rifle’s Big Three outlasted Glenwood’s talented corps of underclassmen 70-63 in double overtime to move past the Lady Demons into third place in the Western Slope League.


After an explosive first quarter that saw the teams exchange 8-0 runs and sink a combined 7 of 9 three point attempts with Rifle emerging on top, 20-16, the Bears essentially had just two players score in the five periods (including two four-minute overtimes) to follow.  Glenwood, by contrast had seven players score in the second quarter, but still trailed by seven, 34-27 at halftime because Rifle senior Taylor Walters joined the Big Three of Chante Church, Jasmine Figueira, and Joey Kuheim by draining 3 of 4 three-pointers, including a bank shot at the buzzer to end the second quarter.


Kenzie Nelson-Buehler and Delaney Gaddis scored all but one point as Glenwood raced out to a 14-7 first quarter lead, but with Church popping twice from beyond the arc and Walters once, Rifle caught and passed the Demons, eventually extending the lead to eleven, 42-31, going into the final frame.  Kuheim and Church had scored all 19 of the Bears’ points after halftime, and it looked like it would be enough.


But Glenwood opened the fourth with six straight points, four by sophomore point guard Jordan DeCrow, making her second start of the season.  With 4:25 left in regulation, Delaney Gaddis bobbled a pass from Taylor Kontour, and almost without looking, scooped up the ball and fired from the top of the key, finding nothing but net and trimming what had been a double-digit lead at the turn of the quarter to just two, 46-44.


Kuheim answered with one of her seven baskets following an offensive rebound for the game,and Figueira found openings in the Demons 1-3-1 zone with passes which Kuheim and Church converted into a 50-44 lead with 2:50 to go.  In the next 40 seconds, Gaddis, a junior, nailed another quick-draw trey, followed by a steal, lay-up, and subsequent free throw to tie the score.  Church, also a junior, answered with one of her six three-pointers on the night with 55 seconds left, but Gaddis again had the answer, splashing her third triad of the quarter  with 42 seconds to go.  Nelson-Buehler blocked Kuheim’s attempt to win the game, then missed her own opportunity and it was on to overtime.


The initial OT featured Glenwood’s first lead since its fast opening-quarter start on 5 quick points by KNB, but a Kuheim put-back tied the score and a Walters’ steal and free throw — her only point in the second half – put Rifle back in front.  Kontour, a junior, continued to contribute off the bench converting a Gaddis pass into a 60-59 lead with 52 seconds remaining. It would be the Demons’ last lead of the game.  Another offensive rebound and score by Kuheim regained the advantage for Rifle, and when Figueira hit the front of a one-and-one, the Bears led 62-60 with 12 seconds left.  Just before the final buzzer, KNB found Gaddis on a back-door cut from the right wing for a layup to trigger the second overtime.


Church, who tallied 24 points to 23 from Gaddis, drained another trey and scored again when Nelson-Buehler fouled out (with 19 points), giving Rifle a 67-62 lead.  The Demons seemed to finally lose their legs, missing 3 of 4 free throws (Gaddis was 0-for-4 at the line in OT) while Figueira made 3 of 4 to finish the scoring. 

Kuheim supported Church’s game-high scoring with 22 points and nine rebounds.  Figueira scored 14, grabbed 12 rebounds and had 6 assists and 6 steals.  Walters finished with ten points. for the Bears who are now 6-3 in league, a game behind Eagle Valley (10-3, 7-2), which defeated Palisade (6-9, 5-4), 40-27.

In addition to scoring 23 points, Gaddis had 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 5 steals while connecting on 4 of 9 three-pointers.  DeCrow had 8 points and 6 rebounds. Madi Spence scored 5, had 5 rebounds, and 4 steals.  Kontour scored 4 with two assists and two steals for the Demons (10-4, 6-4) who dropped to fourth place, a half game ahead of Palisade (6-8, 5-4). 


 Glenwood missed its first ten shots, falling behind Rifle 14-0  before Jared Gambrel hit a 3-pointer as the first quarter, and essentially the game, was over. The Demons managed only a single free throw in the second period, while Tanner Quick and Wyatt Robinson were combining for 16 of the Bears’ 26-4 halftime lead.

 With Grant Fegan scoring 7 points off the bench, Glenwood got into double figures in the third, but Quick added six points as Rifle pushed the score to 38-14 into the final quarter.  The Bears outscored Glenwood 16-13 in that period to double the Demons output, 54-27.  Quick and Robinson finished with a combined 28 points and 13 rebounds.  Clinton Farr added 10 points and 7 rebounds.  Fegan led Glenwood with 10, followed by seven from Gambrel.  The Demons (4-11, 3-7) made just 7 of 42 shots and were outrebounded by the Bears, 34-17, falling behind Rifle (5-8, 3-6), and just a half-game ahead of Summit (3-13, 3-8) in the Western Slope League basement.