Glenwood Springs’ 18-point unanswered run dooms Palisade

GLENWOOD SPRINGS —  Palisade High School’s boys basketball team stayed right with Glenwood Springs for the greater part of the first half Saturday afternoon. The Demons made sure that didn’t last.

Kevin Flohr scored a game-high 32 points and Nick Ciani added 18 points and 16 rebounds for Glenwood, which scored 18 unanswered points in the second quarter to pull away for a 72-47 Class 4A Western Slope League victory over the Bulldogs.

“I thought we did some good things early that helped us crawl back into it,” said Palisade coach Steve Phillips, whose team tied it at 17-17 before the Demons’ big run broke the game open. “We also knew that they’d go into a 1-3-1 (defense), and we didn’t execute some of the things we needed to execute. They took advantage of that.”

Kane Gunther scored a team-high 13 points with six rebounds and Caleb Hall chipped in nine points for Palisade (5-8 overall, 1-2 WSL), who used a 10-0 run spanning the first and second quarters to tie the game at 17-17. That’s when Flohr got the Demons’ offense rolling, scoring 11 of Glenwood’s 18 unanswered points to give his team a 35-17 cushion. Three of Flohr’s seven 3-pointers came during the run.

“It’s worth being exhausted when you get two big league wins like this,” said Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock, whose team improved to 11-3 overall and 3-0 in league play following Friday’s victory in Delta. “I told them we couldn’t come out sluggish, and I thought we came out pretty good at the start before they got back in it a little bit.

“I said to them, ‘Guys, you have to have a killer mentality to finish a basketball game,’ ” Hitchcock continued. “I think as soon as we went to that 1-3-1, that determined the outcome of the game.”

Palisade had no second-chance offensive opportunities during the Demons’ big run. By contrast, Glenwood hardly needed any, hitting 6 of 7 shots and finishing 26-of-56 shooting (46 percent) for the game.

“It went from being a 17-17 game to a 27-17 game in about four possessions, and at that point the ballgame is pretty much over,” Phillips said. “I’m not taking anything away from them because they’re a very good basketball team. But I didn’t feel like we played as well as we can play today.”

GIRLS

Glenwood Springs 67, Palisade 32: A long night Friday for the Demons’ girls basketball team was motivation enough to make Saturday a long day for the Bulldogs.

Kenzie Kuhn scored a game-high 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting, and Glenwood recovered from Friday night’s 16-point loss to Delta with a Class 4A Western Slope League victory against visiting Palisade.

“We used last night’s game to fuel how we played today,” Kuhn said. “We know that game didn’t show who we are. We’re much better than that.”

Courtney Clark finished with a team-high 10 points and Flannery Davis added nine to lead the Bulldogs (4-9 overall, 0-3 WSL). Glenwood (12-2, 2-1) held the Bulldogs without a field goal for the first five minutes of the game to put them in a hole they couldn’t dig out of.

“We have a lot of things we need to work on come Monday,” Palisade coach Toni Gunther said. “We didn’t come out as strong as I would have liked for us to come out, and we turned the ball over too many times. We got down on ourselves emotionally and, when they hit their shots at the beginning, it snowballed from there.”

Connor Adams added 11 points and Kenzie Nelson-Buehler chipped in eight points and seven rebounds for the Demons, who shot 64 percent (29 for 45) from the field. Most of those came on back-door cuts to the basket and transition layups that came thanks in part to Palisade’s 21 turnovers.

“I had a long talk with them today about last night,” said Glenwood coach Bryan Derby in reference to the Demons’ 64-48 loss Friday to Delta. “We talked about coming out and being ready to play, and we did that right from the start.”

The Demons jumped to a 9-0 lead with 3 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Palisade initially recovered from its poor shooting start, however, pulling to within 14-7 on a jumper from Clark.

Glenwood responded, though, as a 3-pointer from Kuhn with 6:18 remaining before halftime capped a 10-0 run, giving the Demons a 24-7 cushion.

Glenwood limited the Bulldogs to only 13-of-57 shooting (23 percent). All but one Glenwood player who got onto the floor Saturday afternoon reached the scoring column.


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