With a near-book capacity crowd Tuesday night at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, the Glenwood Springs Lady Demons rode the hot hand of senior guard Joslyn Spiers to a commanding 46-32 win over the Golden Demons in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs state women’s basketball.
It hasn’t always been a good thing, especially in a first half marked by as many turnovers from both teams as there were points. But Glenwood managed enough second-chance field goals, thanks in large part to the rebounding prowess of senior infield duo Mattea Enewold and Tori Taylor to build an 11-4 lead at the end of the first quarter and 21-13 at halftime.
Spiers, the likely Western Slope League Player of the Year, made Golden pay dearly for leaving her open from the right corner in the opening minutes of the game. Calmly drying up two 3-pointers from that point, Spiers gave Glenwood a 6-0 lead from which Golden would never fully recover.
“It was really fun out there tonight,” Spiers said. “We all had the mentality of going into this game to be able to win. We are excited for next Friday.”
Golden sophomore Kempley Wellman managed to put his team up 13-10 early in the second verse, but Glenwood senior guard Ruby Patch immediately bucked the opposition’s momentum by scoring a layup back on an assist from Spiers to put the Demons back on the field. the groove.
Taylor started the second half with a pair of free throws for Glenwood. Those charity pitches were followed by an inside scoop pulled from the glass by Enewold, and then it was Spiers doing his thing again with another triple from the corner to the opposite end of the field.
Enewold scored again on a drive down the lane, extending Glenwood’s lead to 30-14 and making Golden consider pointing their bus east over the mountains and beating the oncoming snowstorm.
Patch scored again on a field goal drive, and at 35-18 Glenwood had taken its largest lead of the game late in the third period.
As is usually the case, Glenwood has had many players contribute to the winning cause in various ways. Spiers had a career-high 19 points, including four 3-pointers. Enewold finished with eight points and five rebounds. Patch scored six points and junior guard Taia Nykerk helped the Demon effort with five points. Taylor had four points and led Glenwood with six rebounds. Senior point guard Breauna Sorensen contributed four points and five assists.
Eighth seed Glenwood (17-7) will now go on to host another state playoff game on Friday night. The Demons will face the #2 Green Mountain Rams. 9 in the round of 16 5A. Glenwood, playing without head coach Rhonda Moser, dropped a 61-31 decision against the Rams on January 4. Green Mountain defeated Denver North 51 -41 on Tuesday night.
“At this point in the season, we’re going to see good athletes in the playoffs, so we have to be ready every night,” Moser said after Tuesday’s win. “I am very proud of these girls. Our goal was to get this far, but let’s hope we’re not done yet.”
On the men’s side of the 5A State Playoffs, #16 Glenwood Springs (16-7) hosts #17 Green Mountain (15-8) at 6:00 PM on Wednesdays, also at Spencer-Chavez Gym. The winner of that match will face No. 1 Air Academy away or the n. 32 Gateway to home.
In 4A tournament action Tuesday night in New Castle, the girls of 14-seed Coal Ridge High School lost their maiden 31-29 to No. 19 Jefferson Academy. The loss ended the Lady Titans’ season at 16-8 overall and marked the last game for four senior players: Jackie Camunez, Aceleigh Porter, Ashlynn Guccini and Mikayla Cheney.
Also on Tuesday, girls no. 27 Basalt lost 52-35 to no. 6 Eaton away. The Longhorns season ends at 12-12, with curtain calls for seniors Carly Gatlin, Sophie Hodgson, Emma Jeffries and Giselle Contreras.
The Coal Ridge Boys enter the postseason as the No. 24 seed, playing on the road at No. 9 Severance (17-6) at 5:30 pm Wednesday. The winner faces the winner of match no. Wednesday’s Colorado Academy #8 vs. Game #8 25 of Jefferson.
Defending 3A State Champion Aspen earned the No. 1 seed. 26 in the reconfigured 4A playoffs. The Skiers play No. 7 Eaton on the road on Wednesday. Basalt is also the No. 30 seed, playing No. 3 Alamosa on Wednesday.
Roaring Fork boys, Grand Valley teams advance in District 3A tournament
Meanwhile, the area’s Class 3A teams, Roaring Fork and Grand Valley, are in their district tournament this week, with three teams advancing from the opening round on Tuesday to play for the championship on Friday and Saturday at Grand Junction Central High School , with a bid for the 32-team 3A state playoffs up for grabs.
The second-seeded Roaring Fork Boys defeated No. 7 Olathe 66-39 at home in Carbondale on Tuesday to advance, as did the Grand Valley Girls (73-8 winners over Aspen) and the Grand Valley Boys (winners by 62-40 on the North Fork).
Roaring Fork will play No. 3 Meeker on Friday, while the Grand Valley boys play No. 3 seed Cedaredge. The Grand Valley Girls, No. 1 seed, face No. 4 Gunnison.
The Roaring Fork Girls lost their opening game Tuesday in Olathe 55-37, ending the Rams’ season at 6-14. It was the last game for seniors Katie Grijalva, Aleyda Loya and Corey Bollock.
Post Independent reporter John Stroud contributed to this report.