GLENWOOD SPRINGS(1/10/17) – Glenwood’s Angel Garcia and Rifle’s Carter Sturgeon, key 3-point gunners for their respective teams, were both mired in futility from beyond the arc. One would break out, while the other’s struggles continued as Garcia’s string of 15-straight misses ended with back-to-back treys in the second quarter of the Demons’ 45-41 overtime victory over the rival Bears.
Garcia connected again in the third quarter, which featured three lead-changes and four ties, the final one coming when the 5-10 sophomore rebounded his own miss and fed Carlos Nolasco-Montes to tie the score at 28.
Sturgeon’s woes continued as he and teammate Jacob Seeman each missed three triples in the fourth quarter. Sturgeon’s streak of frustration would also reach 15, as his 8th attempt of the game went awry on Rifle’s first possession of an overtime forced by 4 consecutive free throws by the Bears’ Joel Lopez in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
Free throws would eventually determine the outcome, as Glenwood, which went to the stripe just once in regulation, made 9-of-12 in OT. AJ Crowley triggered the onslaught by adding a free throw to Glenwood’s only basket in the extra period for a 37-34 lead. After Sturgeon missed two attempts at the line, Crowley sank two more, followed by a pair by Aaron Smith after yet another Rifle 3-point miss.
The Demons pushed their lead to a game-high 8 points, 42-34, before Jacob Boone, who led all scorers with 21, got the Bears on the 5th-quarter scoreboard with 36 seconds left. Garcia, Smith, and Nolasco-Montes countered with 5 straight free throws for an insurmountable 7-point lead.
The two rivals gave early warning this game would be a struggle as they combined to miss all ten of their 3-point tries in a 4-4 first quarter.The Demons built a 19-14 halftime lead as treys from Garcia and Smith ignited a 10-2 run.
Rifle took its first lead of the game, 21-19, on a 7-0 surge after intermission on a basket by Evan Gray and five from Boone. With the 6-6 Gray scoring three more inside hoops on passes from the 6-4 Sturgeon, Rifle’s tall-tree connection keyed the Bears’ 14-9 advantage to negate Glenwood’s five point halftime margin. A 6-6 final quarter set up the four-minute overtime period.
Crowley led Glenwood (6-5, 1-1 league) with 13 points with Smith adding 11 and Garcia 9. Nolasco-Montes and Luke Gair each paced the Demons with 7 rebounds. Besides Boone’s 21 point, 7-rebound, 4-blocked shot effort, and Gray’s 8-point 3rd quarter, the Bears (2-9, 1-2) managed just two 3-points and 2 free throws for the game.
RIFLE GIRLS 54, GLENWOOD 30
After a closely-contested first half, the Rifle girls (7-3, 2-1), led by a 12-point third-quarter explosion from foul-plagued Katy Manuppella, broke the game open with a 12-0, 3-minute run to take a 15-point lead on the way to a 54-30 win over Glenwood.
A press-breaking pass-and-layup from Elly Walters to Sam Hinkle provided the sixth lead change and gave the Bears a slim 9-8 first-quarter advantage.
Rifle stretched the lead to eight when after Manuppella left the game with her third foul, twin sister Karly came off the bench to provide six points, including a 3-pointer and with Walters adding 7 points and a trey of her own, it appeared the Bears had momentum heading into halftime.
But a screeching fire alarm that halted play while officials determined it was inadvertent, instead fired up the Demons. With the alarm off, but the disco-like flashing continuing, Ximena Gutierrez made two free throws, then rebounded a Rifle miss and passed to Tatum Peterson for a basket just before intermission, slicing the Bears’ lead to 24-20.
A basket by Saylor Warren trimmed the deficit to two, but three offensive rebounds keyed a 7-0 run by the Bears for a 31-22 lead, then the 12-0 surge finished the Demons.
Walters led the Bears with 17, also grabbing 5 boards and dishing out 4 assists. Katy Manuppella scored all 15 of her points in the second half and Samantha Hinkle tallied 9 of her 13 after intermission, also pulling down 6 rebounds. Peterson led the Demons (4-7, 0-2) with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Natalya Taylor added 8 for Glenwood, which hosts Battle Mountain Friday.