Vail Valley preps: Glenwood hangs on for wins against Huskies
EDWARDS – So who won Friday night?
“I think they believe in themselves now,” Battle Mountain boys basketball coach Tom Padilla said.
“Our shots weren’t falling,” Glenwood Springs coach Cory Hitchcock said. “We were slow on defensive rotation. Basically, Battle Mountain outhustled us tonight.”
Final score: Glenwood Springs 61, Battle Mountain 53.
And the postgame was eerily similar for Friday night’s girls’ game, which the visiting Demons took, 57-34.
In fairness to the Glenwood boys (13-4 overall and 6-0 in the 4A Slope), they were finishing a brutal stretch of games – eight contests in 14 days, including a game Thursday night against Eagle Valley. Yet at the same time, Friday’s game which completed the first half of Glenwood’s slate was likely a preview of the second half.
“I told the guys, ‘We’ve got a target on our back,'” Hitchcock said. “‘You’ve been the league champs even before I got here. Everybody says that we’re still the team to beat. You’ve got to prove it every night.'”
Battle Mountain keyed on Kevin Flohr, who had a rather quiet 18 points, if that is possible. Huskies guard Chris Duran drew the general assignment, while Eric Gurule pulled out of his regular place to prevent the senior guard from penetrating. Flohr had just two 3-pointers.
Glenwood’s strength inside with Collin Porterfield (17 points) and Nick Ciani (12) proved the difference.
Ironically, one of the bigger shots of the night came on a 3 from Glenwood’s Mike McGraw as time expired in the first half. The play looked like it was designed for Flohr, but he was covered. McGraw, instead, banked it off the glass and in to give his team a 28-23 lead at the half.
The Huskies surged in the third as their big man Cody Hervert went to work. The Huskies went on 16-6 run to start the second half, as Hervert had 11 of those points, including a 3 of his own, on his way to 23 on the evening.
Five-straight points from Porterfield pulled the Demons even at 39, and a put-back by Willy Pelland and a late lay-in from Flohr gave the Demons the lead for good at the end of three.
The Huskies got within one at 48-47 on a Duran steal and lay-up with 4:41 left, but could get no closer. Leading just 51-47 in the final second, Flohr went to the line twice, and he wasn’t going to miss from there, going 4-for-4 in the final 19 seconds.
While Glenwood coach Hitchcock gave his players a three-day rest through Monday, as the Demons prepare for Steamboat Springs on the road a week from today, Battle Mountain (7-7, 1-3) feels like it has some serious momentum going into Tuesday’s rivalry game at Eagle Valley.
“This game has brought us up. I think if we go in to Tuesday’s game and play as hard as we can, we should be OK. The most important thing with the kids is believing that we can play with the quality team, a state-contending team.”
Demons surge in the second half
The Glenwood girls basketball team led just, 30-24, against feisty Battle Mountain with 4:38 left in the third period, which is surprise in itself, given the Huskies’ struggles in recent years.
The Demons (13-4, 5-1) pulled away for a 57-34 win, but Glenwood coach Bryan Derby wasn’t overly-thrilled.
“Our philosophy from Day 1 is to work from the inside out,” he said. “We did it for a few minutes, and then they went away from it. I’m not happy about this win. We didn’t look great. I give Battle Mountain all the credit. They came out ready to play basketball. My girls didn’t come ready to play tonight.”
Connor Adams led the Demons with 19 points, while Kenzie Kuhn, who sat the entire third quarter, finished with 15.
Battle Mountain’s Kenia Olivas had a huge game with 21 points.
“I told them to hold their heads up,” Huskies coach Andrew Schmid said. “They were competitive with that team within six points in the third quarter, and we played head-to-head with them. We competed. We can’t really say anything bad about that.”
As evidenced by the Gypsum crowd in the bleachers behind the Battle Mountain bench all evening, the Huskies are at Eagle Valley on Tuesday.
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or email@example.com.