STEAMBOAT SPRINGS (2/8/18) – “Steamboat (Springs) gave us a battle; it wasn’t our best game, but it’s good to be league champs,” a relieved Glenwood Springs boys basketball coach Cory Hitchcock said after the Demons edged the Sailors, 43-41, on AJ Crowley’s in-bounds basket with four seconds left in overtime.
The win improves Glenwood’s unblemished Western Slope League record to 10-0, dropping 6-3 Steamboat into a second-place tie with Battle Mountain with two games to go, clinching the league title.
The Glenwood girls (13-8, 8-2 WSL) won their eighth straight league game, 68-31, over winless Steamboat.
GLENWOOD BOYS 43, STEAMBOAT SPRINGS 41 (OT)
Despite missing two suspended starters, Steamboat grabbed the first-quarter lead, with four straight 3-pointers, and except for a moment early in the second quarter, stayed in front until Luke Gair’s rebound and follow shot put Glenwood ahead 35-34 with 6:21 left in the game.
The Demons expanded the lead to 39-36 when 6-3 sophomore Dawson Linquist was whistled for goal-tending on Angel Garcia’s drive to the hoop. But the 5-10 junior, who hit three first-half treys to keep the Demons close, missed the and-one free throw. “Free throws win or lose games, and it almost cost us,” Hitchcock said after Glenwood was 1-for-5 from the line in the fourth quarter.
That goal-tending basket with 4:43 to go would be the last points in the period for the Demons, who missed their last five shots. Steamboat wasn’t much better, going scoreless from Linquist’s in-bounds basket at 5:15 until he sliced through the lane with 55 seconds left to draw the Sailors within one, 39-38.
Garcia had a chance to pad the lead with 49 seconds to go, but missed the one-and-one free throw with Linquist grabbing the rebound.
Steamboat’s Ethan Pyles was fouled on a drive and tied the score before missing the second free throw with 28 seconds remaining, Gabe Suarez rebounding for the Demons.
Aaron Smith missed a contested layup and Suarez was knocked to the floor with the rebound, but a no-call insured overtime.
Glenwood grabbed the lead 41-39 when Crowley fed Suarez underneath early in the extra 4-minute period, but Pyles’ scoring drive tied the score with 2:41 to play.
Both teams missed chances to take the lead with Gair’s rebound giving the Demons possession with ten seconds left. Smith drove to the basket, but the ball was tipped out by Steamboat with four seconds remaining. On the ensuing in-bounds play, “We knew they’d chase our shooters, leaving the weakside open,” Hitchcock explained, and Garcia found Crowley on the left side of the basket, and the senior laid in the game-winner. “That was great execution,” Hitchcock praised.
Missing 6-4 junior Mac Riniker, the league’s 3rd-leading scorer and 6-4 junior Tyler Doynes, who scored 13 with 8 rebounds in the Demons’ earlier 60-53 win at Glenwood, the Sailors got a combined 30 points from Linquist and 6-4 Aden Knaus. Steamboat’s packed-in zone gave the Demons trouble all game, as they made just 16 of 54 shots. “We knew the implications of the game and played tight,” Hitchcock explained, “but winning the championship outright was one of our goals, and I’m glad we got it. It was an emotional win.”
Garcia led the Demons with 11 points, followed by 9 from Crowley and 8 points each from Gair and Smith. Gair and Holden Kleager helped Glenwood hang tough against the still-taller Sailors with 8 rebounds apiece.
GLENWOOD GIRLS 68, STEAMBOAT SPRINGS 31
Tatum Peterson’s double-double, 10 points and a dozen rebounds, led the streaking Lady Demons to a season-high 68 points, defeating Steamboat by 37. The Lady Sailors (0-20, 0-8) haven’t won a game in more than two years, but sank three first-quarter 3-pointers to cut an early nine-point Glenwood lead to three, 12-9, before the Demons opened the second quarter with six straight points.
A 12-0 run that featured six different Demon scorers settled things by halftime, 37-16. Glenwood outpointed Steamboat 14-4 in the third to cruise into the final period with a 51-20 lead.
Maddie Bolitho and Ellie Moser led the Demons with 12 points each, Saylor Warren added 8, and Ximena Gutierrez had 6 points to go with 7 rebounds and 7 assists.
The Glenwood teams return home against Battle Mountain Friday, before hosting Rifle in the regular-season finale on Tuesday.