In a game that was much closer than expected, the Glenwood Springs girls overcame a sizeable first quarter deficit to rally past the Eagle Valley Devils by a count of 39-29 on Thursday night at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
Glenwood scored the opening points of the game almost in the blink of an eye when junior guard Maddie Moser found backcourt running mate Natalya Taylor streaking to the basket for an easy layup.
The Devils were hardly fazed by the quick Demon strike. Seniors Kaitlin Medina and Joslin Blair did most of the Eagle Valley scoring damage from the perimeter and in the lane to ease the visitors out to a 14-5 lead, prompting Glenwood coach Rhonda Moser to call for a stoppage in play.
Demon sophomore Kenzie Winder came off the bench to provide a spark with a 3-pointer to draw her team a bit closer as the first quarter expired.
Behind the all-around heady floor play of Taylor, the Demons slowly gathered themselves and showed why they are undefeated and sitting alone atop the Western Slope League standings.
Taylor hit a bucket and then dropped in a 3-pointer off an inbounds play that cut the Eagle Valley lead to just one point at 17-16. Junior Graci Dietrich scored underneath the basket on an assist from Winder and sophomore Ella Johnson notched a short baseline jumper as the Demons huffed and puffed, and blew the Devils’ lead away for good.
Senior Qwynn Massie scooped up a loose ball in the painted area and scored for Glenwood. A Moser 3-point missile found its intended mark to put the Demons up 27-22.
With Glenwood’s offense starting to shift gears, Dietrich and Massie both dropped in scores for the Demons to propel the 11-4 third quarter run that would ultimately be the difference in the game.
“The last two nights, we have been a bit off with our shots, but the girls have been playing some great defense to keep us in the game,” said Demon head coach Rhonda Moser. “When teams make adjustments on us, we just have to make adjustments of our own to come out with the win. We seem to be finding a way to get things done.”
When Taylor scored on a poetic, sweeping layup from the right side of the key, the score stood at 37-23 and the Devils had run out of gas and any hope of stealing a conference win.
The Demons (17-3, 9-0 WSL) were led in scoring by Taylor with 13 points and Massie with 8 points. Glenwood will travel to Steamboat on Saturday afternoon to take on the Sailors.
Glenwood 69, Eagle Valley 35
The Glenwood boys raced out to an 18-5 lead to start the game and never looked back in maintaining their first place momentum by easily defeating the Eagle Valley Devils 69-35 on Thursday evening.
Senior guard John Iuele scored 20 points, dished out 9 assists, and recorded 5 steals to pace the Demons to the impressive win. Senior post A.J. Adams, who grabbed 9 rebounds on the night, ignited the home crowd with a thunderous dunk just prior to the halftime buzzer that had Glenwood high-stepping off the court and the Devils facing a 30-16 deficit at intermission.
Glenwood’s three basketeers — Iuele, Mitchell Burt, and Patrick Young — helped to control the game from the very beginning with their scoring, crisp passing, and stingy defense on the perimeter of the floor. Burt dropped in 13 points on the night for Glenwood, with Young contributing 8 points to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 steals. Adams had 11 points to go along with his 9 rebounds.
Senior Will Narvaez, the leading rebounder in the Western Slope League, grabbed 16 rebounds in cleaning the glass for the Demons.
The conference win sets up a big trip to Steamboat on Saturday afternoon where the Demons (17-3, 9-0 WSL) will square off with the second place Sailors.
“One of our goals to start the season was to win the league, so Saturday’s game is obviously a big one,” said Fred Heisel, Glenwood’s second year head coach. “Every game, though, is important for us if we want to stay high enough in the state rankings to get a good seeding when playoff time rolls around here in a few weeks.”