Glenwood tops Rifle, Coal Ridge boys win to open 2022-23 high school basketball season

Rifles Sterling Cook advances to a layup at home against Glenwood Springs defenseman Andy Heisel on Tuesday.

Courtesy/Theresa Hamilton

The Glenwood Springs High School boys’ and girls’ basketball teams began their season Tuesday night with victories at cross-country rivals Rifle High.

The Glenwood boys won 63-40 despite giving up 18 points from the free throw line to the host Bears, Demons coach Fred Heisel said. On the defensive side, however, Glenwood kept Rifle scoreless in the first quarter and built a 33-15 lead at halftime.

Junior Sim Wenger led the Demons with 21 points, followed by senior Edwin Olave with 10 and sophomore Alan Hernandez with nine.

Rifle was pushed ahead by junior Logan Gross with 22 points.

Glenwood Springs and Rifle are both out Thursday, with the Demons at D’Evelyn at 7:00 p.m. and Rifle at Grand Junction at 3:30 p.m

The Lady Demons dominated the host Lady Bears in Tuesday’s girls game, winning 65-24 and holding the Bears in single digits in each of the four quarters.

Glenwood girls host Chatfield for a non-league game at 3pm on Saturday.

In another opening week basketball action on Tuesday, the Coal Ridge boys defeated the Vail Mountain Gore Rangers 44-33.

The Titans held a 24-19 advantage at halftime, limiting Vail Mountain to just four points in the third quarter.

Coal Ridge senior James Webber had 17 points, including two from beyond the three-point arc, and junior Logan Simpson also had a pair of Treys, making up his six points that night.

Sophomore Ben Simons pulled down nine rebounds, including six on the defensive end.

Next up for the Titans are two tournament games on December 7-8 against Basalt and Montrose, followed by a visit to Glenwood Springs on December 10 to face off against the Demons.

This weekend marks Roaring Fork High School’s annual Brenda Patch tournament in Carbondale. The Rams boys take on Plateau Valley on Friday at 6:30 p.m. and West Grand on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Rams Girls play Rifle on Friday at 5pm and Steamboat Springs on Saturday at 1pm.

New classifications for territory teams

The winter basketball season heralds new classifications for area high school teams.

The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) introduced a new 6A classification for Colorado’s largest schools (enrolling 1,453 students and over), all but one (Fruita Monument) from the Front Range.

The resulting reclassification separated some of the Western Slope League’s traditional 3A and 4A teams, which have produced some epic matchups in recent years.

Glenwood Springs now plays at the 5A level (939-1,452 students) along with WSL opponents Battle Mountain, Eagle Valley and Palisade. The Demons are grouped in the 4A/5A league during the regular season along with Rifle, Coal Ridge, and Basalt, who are all now playing at the 4A level (412-938 students) when it comes to the postseason. Also included in this classification are Summit and Steamboat Springs, which have been in the same classification as Glenwood Springs in recent seasons.

Meanwhile, Roaring Fork and Grand Valley start the season in the realigned 3A (191-411 students) Western Slope League along with Cedaredge, Gunnison, Meeker, North Fork and Olathe.

Aspen’s boys and girls will play in separate classifications this season, with boys competing in 4A WSL and girls petitioning up to 3A level after the Lady Skiers’ collegiate program last two seasons due to rebuilding efforts was suspended.

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