EDWARDS - Something had to give Saturday.
Close games haven't been kind to either the Glenwood Springs or Battle Mountain boys basketball this season, so the Demons breathed sigh of relief after getting out of Edwards with a 49-46 win Saturday.
"For our boys, it's nice to get that monkey off our back," Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock said. "We've been playing pretty tough as of late. It just hasn't been going our way. We finally put four quarters together. ... For us this is a huge win."
It's big because it moves the Demons to 4-8 in the 4A Slope, and ahead of the Huskies (3-9) when it comes to seeding for the conference tourney in about two weeks out at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
Meanwhile, Battle Mountain is probably looking at a play-in game to make it to Grand Junction after another close loss. For those scoring at home, the Huskies are 1-4 Slope games decided by five points or fewer.
"It's hard on us," Battle Mountain coach Tommy Padilla said. "It's tough for the kids. But you know what? We've just got to keep playing. We've got a game against Steamboat on Friday and one against Rifle on Saturday and right now it looks like we'll be playing a pig-tail game. We just have to take it from there."
The Huskies had a chance to win on their Senior Night, but for a shrewd foul by the Demons. Glenwood called a timeout with 4.6 seconds to go with a 49-46 lead and Battle Mountain ready to inbound the ball.
"I just told my boys, 'We're up three. Let them dribble the ball one time and let's go ahead and go for the foul,'" Hitchcock said. "They were going to knock down two free throws or they're going to shoot off the front rim. There was no way they were going to be able to kick it out for a 3 and get a shot off."
And that's exactly what happened. Everyone in the gym knew that Huskies senior Joe LyBarger was going to go for the 3. He got the ball and was fouled by Glenwood's Grant Fegan at midcourt with 1.5 seconds left.
LyBarger, indeed, intentionally clanked his free throw of the front of the rim, but time expired and the Huskies had lost another tight one.
Glenwood's Brian Burbidge led the Demons' charge with 15 points, while Jared Gambrel had 12. LyBarger and fellow senior Alex Banegas scored 10 points each for the Huskies.
Glenwood has its own Senior Night Tuesday against Palisade before finishing the regular season Friday at archrival, Rifle.
In the opener Saturday, the Glenwood Springs girls basketball team took care of the Huskies, 72-30. That was the tonic for the Demons after a close loss to league leader, Delta, Friday night.
"We played Delta last night and only lost by two (points), so it was kind of hard to come off that high and come in here and play," Demons coach Jacky Gaddis said. "I thought the Battle Mountain girls played twice as well as when we first played them. We have to win out."
The Demons had no problem with that Saturday. Delaney Gaddis had 21 points, while Kenzie Nelson-Buehler finished 18. Battle Mountain senior Nataly Mendoza led the Huskies with 14 points.
It was the final home game for Huskies seniors Alex Banegas, Jimmy O'Rourke, Cody Brown, Jack Kamby, LyBarger, Mendoza and Michelle Rios.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.