In the huddle before the fourth quarter, the Glenwood Springs girls told coach Deb Henderson they were going to win the game
It mattered little that the Demons trailed by eight points or that the Sailors, with the help of several missed layups, had held the visiting team scoreless in the third.
Glenwood's players, seven suit varsity, were convinced they had enough left to give.
"I made my girls press half court or full court even though they were tired," Henderson said. "I told them to suck it up."
And the Demons got in the faces of the Sailors during the game's final eight minutes, much the same way Henderson got in her players' faces to motivate them before the fourth, as Glenwood rallied to win, 41-37, on Saturday.
Steamboat sophomore Missy Chotvacs drew a foul with 9.4 seconds left and her team trailing by two, but she missed the front end of her one-and-one and Glenwood rebounded the ball.
Saturday's win ensured the Demons a third-place finish in the Western Slope League behind Rifle and Moffat County. The Sailors, on the other hand, fell to fourth with the loss, a loss that left Steamboat coach Steve Moos shaking his head.
"I thought we had them on the ropes," he said.
Steamboat outscored Glenwood, 11-0, in the third quarter Saturday, erasing a three-point halftime deficit and turning it into an eight-point lead.
But the Demons blew the Sailors out in the fourth, scoring 18 points, nearly half of the entire 41 points it scored in the game. Steamboat, meanwhile, only scored six.
Henderson said the scoreless quarter was a first for Glenwood this season, but she was impressed with the way the Demons responded to their offensive futility.
"They said they were going to win," she said. "They have so much heart. I don't sub a lot, but we're in good shape. Poor Nikita (Daniely) and Keegan (Nadon). I had them running everywhere."
They didn't show any signs of fatigue. The two senior guards went a combined 4-of-4 from the free-throw line in the game's final 42 seconds to ice the win and third place in the league.
Offensively, freshman Sam Ciani had 14 points for the Demons. Twelve came in the first half. Daniely added 11, and Nadon had nine.
Junior Kayla Kostur's 14 points, including 10 from the free-throw line, led Steamboat. Senior Lindsay Stanford scored eight for the home team.
Henderson said everyone on Glenwood's bench knew what was at stake for the winner of Saturday's game, but no one talked about it until they huddled in the locker room after the win. Saturday's victory was Glenwood's third road win of the season, and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Steamboat, on the other hand, dropped its second-straight game in the game's closing minutes. Friday, Rifle came from behind to catch Steamboat after the Sailors played one of their better games of the season, Moos said.
"We may be the most inconsistent team in the league," he said.
Last year, the Sailors struggled toward the end of the year only to rebound in the postseason, and Steamboat will have a chance to get back to its winning ways at 6 p.m. Thursday against Battle Mountain at home.
With the win, Glenwood improved to 9-8 overall and 6-4 in the league. Steamboat dropped to 11-7 and 6-5.
The Glenwood JV girls won, 36-34, on Saturday as well.
-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com