Glenwood boys survive scare from Aspen
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – During a break in the action, Glenwood Springs boys basketball coach Cory Hitchcock had a message for his team.
“I told the guys, ‘Let’s go into the Christmas break happy,'” the first-year Demons coach relayed.
Hitchcock’s squad got its happy sendoff, surviving some tense moments late to secure a 53-50 win over visiting Aspen on Saturday.
“The guys really worked hard tonight,” Hitchcock said. “They gave me 100 percent. I’m proud of these guys. I love coaching these kids. They work so hard for me.”
Topping Aspen certainly required a mighty effort.
With Glenwood whipping the ball around the perimeter in an effort to tick precious seconds off the clock and preserve a 52-50 lead in the game’s waning moments, the Skiers came up with a steal.
Quinn Morehead tipped the ball to James Powell, who sent a pass Jake Nugent’s way. Nugent missed a layup. Teammate Bridger Dawson pulled down the rebound and attempted a layup of his own. That one didn’t fall, either.
The ball was tipped around a bit before Glenwood’s Collin Porterfield came down with the rebound. He was fouled immediately.
Stepping to the line with 12.1 seconds left, Porterfield missed his first free throw and rattled in the second for a 53-50 lead.
Dawson misfired on a long 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining, after which the Demons’ Osvaldo Madrid missed a pair of free throws.
With 1 second left, a full-court heave by Dawson sailed wide to run out the clock on what proved to be a nail-biter at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
“We had our shots to win it at the end,” Aspen assistant coach Greg Gerbaz said. “Jake got a look and then Bridger gets a rebound. We couldn’t buy either one. It was just one of those nights.”
Gerbaz was filling in for head coach Steve Ketchum, who was in Tempe, Ariz., to attend his stepson’s graduation from Arizona State University.
Gerbaz will be happy to hand the clipboard back to Ketchum when the 2-3 Skiers return from their holiday break. They host Moffat County on Jan. 4.
“I’ll tell coach he can have it after [the break],” Gerbaz joked. “I have an ulcer after one game. … I like making the suggestions, not making the calls.”
Dawson led Gerbaz’s Skiers with 18 points on Saturday. The senior big man also had eight rebounds.
Nugent finished up with 16 points and Quinn Morehead scored 10.
“That was an intense game,” Nugent said. “Games with Glenwood are always fun.”
Kevin Flohr poured in a game-high 25 points for the Demons, who improved to 6-3. The senior sunk a pair of 3-pointers to spark a 12-0 run late in the third quarter.
Nick Ciani and Willy Pelland finished with 10 points apiece for Glenwood, which doesn’t play again until Steamboat Springs comes to town on Jan. 7.
“It’s finally time to relax,” said Ciani, who also had nine rebounds. “We’re all looking forward to sleeping and eating a lot of food.”
GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Bryan Derby doesn’t remember ever having a deeper bench to work with.
The fifth-year Glenwood Springs girls basketball coach has seen virtually everyone on his roster step up at one time or another.
“Each game, different people step up at different times,” Derby said. “We’ve learned to play as a team. … This is probably the deepest bench I’ve felt comfortable going to in a long time.”
The Demons put their team brand of ball on display in a 52-22 win over Aspen on Saturday. With players regularly looking to make that extra pass and set up teammates with easy looks, undefeated Glenwood coasted to its ninth victory of the season.
“We wanted to find that open person today,” Derby said. “That’s the one thing I ask, and what did they do? They came out and found that open person.”
Glenwood took a 17-10 lead after a quarter. Holding the Skiers to just four points in the second quarter, the Demons extended the lead to 33-14 at halftime and to 42-20 after three quarters.
Kenzie Kuhn sparked the Demons with a game-high 17 points.
Cassidy Gaddis and Kuhn finished with five assists apiece and Lexie Warkentin added three. Warkentin also chipped in with four steals and six rebounds.
“Coming in, we knew it’d be a tough game,” Aspen coach Jeremy Haack said. “Glenwood’s one of the top teams in the Western Slope for 4A. We knew it’d be a tough game and we just wanted to try to improve and go into the break on a high note.
“Glenwood’s a tough team to play going into the break, but I feel like, as a team, we’re getting better.”
Bailey Everhart led the Skiers (1-4) with 14 points and seven rebounds. Hayley Kremer finished with eight rebounds.
Next up for Glenwood is a Jan. 7 home date with Steamboat Springs. Aspen will host Coal Ridge the same day.
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