Glenwood Springs girls in sole possession of first in WSL
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A few lingering memories of their last matchup with the Delta High School girls basketball team made a difference in how the Glenwood Springs Demons played Saturday.
Kenzie Kuhn scored a game-high 22 points and Lexie Warkentin added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Demons, who moved into sole possession of the Class 4A Western Slope League standings with their 59-56 victory over the Panthers.
“They D’d us up a lot tighter today than they did before,” said Delta coach Matt Hamm, whose team beat Glenwood 64-48 on Jan. 14 in Delta. “They were a lot stronger rebounding-wise.”
Rebounding made a difference for the Demons in the first half. Despite the Panthers’ size advantage, Glenwood’s 17-14 rebounding edge in the first two quarters helped pave the way to a 39-26 lead with 3 minutes, 36 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Panthers gained ground later in the second half, finishing the game with a 33-32 advantage on the boards and led 48-46 with three minutes left to play.
The Demons, however, hit the boards when they needed to and hit their free throws down the stretch, going 6 for 6 at the line in the final 20 seconds.
“We were all sluggish the last time we played them, so this got a monkey off our back,” Warkentin said. “We were real sluggish and made a lot of bad passes when we went down there and they beat us bad. We needed a little payback.”
The win lifted Glenwood (14-3, 7-1 WSL), which was tied with Delta and Moffat County in the loss column of the league standings headed into the day, into first place by itself. Delta (14-5, 7-2) has key games at Moffat County on Friday and Steamboat Springs on Saturday.
Skylyn Webb finished with 17 points, 6-foot senior Jenni Jones had nine points, including a 3-pointer, and Callie Gafford added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds for Delta, which finished 24 for 59 (41 percent) from the field but only 5 of 9 from the free-throw line.
“We need to focus on taking care of business now,” Hamm said. “Our big thing right now is moving forward because we can still win a league title.”
Kuhn, who finished with four 3-pointers and was 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, hit a buzzer-beating 35-footer at the end of the third quarter to give the Demons a 44-36 lead. The Panthers responded, though, as a jumper from Jones from inside the paint with 3:07 left gave them a 48-46 lead.
Connor Adams’ three-point play with 1:23 left put the Demons up 53-52 and, after both teams missed a pair of foul shots, the Demons began to stall. Delta’s Sadie Carrillo followed a pair of free throws from Glenwood’s Cassidy Gaddis with a layup at the 13.9-second mark and, after Kuhn hit two more free throws, a putback from Webb with 4 seconds left kept Delta within 57-56.
Kuhn followed by nailing two more foul shots, however, and Webb’s 30-foot 3-point try at the buzzer fell short.
“This is a big win,” Glenwood coach Bryan Derby said. “But we still have some big games coming up this next week. We’ve got to stay focused.”
The Demons (15-5, 8-1 WSL) took control from the beginning and kept their distance from Delta (8-12, 3-6) throughout the game on their way to a 66-51 victory in Glenwood Springs.
Mike McGraw scored 14 points to pace a balanced scoring attack for Glenwood, which got nine points each from Kevin Flohr, Nick Ciani, Collin Porterfield and Kellin Casey.
Delta led 6-3 early thanks to a pair of foul shots from Aaron Sakala, but a pair of foul shots from Flohr, followed by the senior’s only 3-pointer of the game, sparked a 13-2 run over the next 4 minutes that helped the Demons take control.
Jake Ames scored a game-high 17 points to lead the Panthers, who also got eight points from Blake Velasquez and Aaron Sakala and were limited to 13-of-49 shooting from the field. Glenwood outrebounded the Panthers 32-25 and got six rebounds each from Willy Pelland, Mike McGraw and Porterfield.