GYPSUM — Somewhere in all the whistles, Glenwood Springs girls basketball won a big game Friday night in Gypsum.
The Demons knocked off Eagle Valley, 51-39, taking a large step toward a 4A Western Slope title. Glenwood Springs left Gypsum with a two-game lead in the loss column against the rest of the league pack.
“There were a lot of fouls called on both teams tonight,” Demons coach Jacky Gaddis said. “That kind of blows it up because you can’t play good basketball. You’re so paranoid (about getting another foul), both teams can’t play good basketball. It was really a credit to both teams for continuing to play good basketball.
Glenwood had three starters playing with four fouls in the third quarter — Laura McDermott, Jordan DeCrow and Maddi Spence, while the Devils’ Taylor Martin was also one foul away from banishment. Eagle Valley head coach Sam Bartlett, arguing a questionable non-call, also managed to get a technical in the third.
With whistles everywhere, the issue became free-throw shooting, an endeavor at which neither team was successful. Glenwood finished 8-for-22 from the line.
“That’s not going to get us very far,” Gaddis said.
The Demons had a seemingly–comfortable 27-13 lead at halftime before the Devils outscored the Demons, 18-8, in the third. Eagle Valley’s Mariel Gutierrez was the spark plug of the rally with nine points in that span, including a 3 and a 3-point play. Ashley Floyd also had five points during that run.
“We talk a lot about focusing on what we can control,” Bartlett said. “We can control the decisions that we make. We can control the effort we put into the game. We can control boxing out, hustle plays. Those things we can control. Sometimes, you’ll get a fair shake. Sometimes, you won’t. It’s never an excuse. I was really proud of them.”
While Eagle Valley got within four at 37-33 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, the big moment likely came minutes earlier. Glenwood’s Makenna Warren took a key charge from the Devils’ Carly Volkmer.
The Demons showed the composure of an undefeated (13-0 overall 8-0 in the Slope) and ranked team during the final period.
“I think when it’s an intense game like that, for some teams, there are times where heads get down and there are times when you may not believe in each other,” said Delaney Gaddis, who led the Demons with 17 points. “With our team, that never happens. There’s always one person who believes and picks each other up. When it’s such an intense game, I think we know that we can do it. We can push each other and fight and continue on.”
Gaddis, McDermott and Spence put up eight quick points early in the fourth as the Demons regained what would be a comfortable lead at 43-33.
As for the league picture, coach Gaddis wasn’t too quick to feel comfortable with her team’s league.
“There are so many good teams in our league that on any given night, you just don’t know what will happen,” she said. “Teams who are 8-for-22 from the line shouldn’t win. You just never know.”
With the loss, the Devils fell to 9-4-and 6-2.
Demons Boys escape with win
On the way to today’s Steamboat Springs at Glenwood Springs showdown, the Demons nearly hit a bump in the road, escaping with a 43-41 win over Eagle Valley boys basketball in Gypsum on Friday night.
The Demons (11-3, 6-2) were playing without Cameron Horning (flu) and Brian Burbidge (possible concussion).
The Devils had a chance to win during the closing seconds, but Glenwood’s Peter Steckler came up with the steal.
“I thought the boys did a great job responding,” Demons coach Corey Hitchcock said. “Eagle Valley gave us everything they had. I thought our young guys really stepped up, and we got a team win.”
The Demons’ Jared Gambrel was huge with 22 points, keeping his team in the game during the first half. Glenwood’s Matt Oisler sank two free throws with 3:21 left in the game to give the Demons a 40-39 lead. Zack Peterson had a critical bucket with 1:48 to go to make it 42-39.
Travis Edgar had a big night for the Devils with 16 points, while Alan Caraveo had 10.
“Earlier in the season, that Glenwood team beat us by 30-something points,” Devils coach Jim Bair said. “If it wasn’t 30, it was high-20s and embarrassing. Our guys responded and really improved. We’re working really hard. We were within one or two mistakes of winning that game. I’m really proud of my guys for working hard.”
Eagle Valley’s teams are at Rifle on Tuesday.