Demons outlast Indians to win Class 4A district title
The Glenwood Springs girls basketball team finally found an opponent it couldn’t run away from.
After tearing through Class 4A Western Slope League opponents and compiling a 19-1 regular-season record, the Demons had their closest game against a Western Slope opponent Saturday morning, edging Southwestern League foe Montrose 41-37 for the 4A SWL/WSL district championship at Brownson Arena.
The Demons (22-1) led 29-26 at the end of the third quarter, but a 4-0 run by Montrose (15-8) gave the Indians the lead with 5:48 remaining in the game. Delaney Gaddis, who led all scorers with 21 points, hit two of her four 3-pointers down the stretch to give Glenwood Springs a late lead.
Montrose closed the gap 38-37 with 1:04 left, when a cold-shooting Stephanie Rowan drained an open 3-pointer. With less than 20 seconds remaining and Montrose trailing by two, Michelle Tafoya’s layup attempt was blocked, and Jordan DeCrow converted both free throws on a one-and-one to ice the game.
The Indians were led by Elise Hill’s 11 points. Rowan’s 3-pointer was her only basket of the game, but she played tight defense on Gaddis. Although the Demons’ candidate for WSL player of the year still made key shots, nearly all of them were closely contested.
“We knew we just had to compete defensively every possession,” Montrose coach Eric Sanchez said. “We knew the kind of personnel they were going to bring at us after getting to watch them the last couple nights. They’re a very good team and very tough matchup, no doubt about it. Gaddis is a really tough matchup and she made big shot after big shot. She’s a really good player and we just didn’t have an answer for her offensively today.
“Defensively, we ask Steph to guard every team’s best player and she does it without question. But good offense usually beats good defense, and even though we played outstanding defense, (Gaddis) was still able to hit big shots today.”
Glenwood Springs coach Jacky Gaddis said matching up with Montrose’s height will help the Demons during the postseason.
“It’s interesting, because we have some decent-sized post players, but in our league we don’t really get to play up against some of the size you see here at this tournament,” Gaddis said. “Playing up against those Montrose girls will help come playoffs because those entry passes from Delaney and Jordan aren’t quite as easy as they used to be. So they’ve had to reorganize their game.”
Palisade 63, Rifle 46: With leading scorer Aspen Guray out with a concussion, Palisade (15-8) benefitted from a group effort to beat Chante Church and Rifle (10-11) in the third-place game. Church scored 35 points, the second-highest mark in Class 4A this season. For the Bulldogs, Christa Brown, Jenna Brown, Casey Brown and Cruz Maestas all scored in double figures. Christa Brown led with 15 points.
“We were able to penetrate well and that opened up the 3 for us,” Palisade coach Danielle Bagwell said. “Our whole defensive strategy revolved around stopping Chante, and I think she’s a hell of a player, and even though she put up all those points, I think she was understandably gassed. Props to that kid though, she was still hitting 3s in transition when you’d think her legs would be tired.”
Durango 54, Steamboat Springs 30: In the fifth-place game, Durango (9-12) scored 18 points in the second quarter to pull away from Steamboat Springs (12-11). Katie Wiegert led the Demons with 21 points. Maddie Robertson led Steamboat Springs with seven points.