Facing the loss of five crucial games down the stretch due to COVID-19 quarantine rules, the Glenwood Springs girls basketball team’s postseason fate looked uncertain and totally out of the team’s control.
Now, with four of those games reinstated — including a big showdown with the much-improved Rifle Bears Tuesday afternoon at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium — the Demons’ fate is at least in their own hands.
Sitting at 5-2 in the 4A Western Slope League behind Rifle (8-1) and Palisade (7-2), Glenwood has an outside chance to defend its league title from last year.
More importantly, the Lady Demons are trying to stay in the top-32 of the state’s RPI power rankings, which will determine the postseason state tournament selections next week.
Currently, Glenwood (at 5-4 overall) holds the No. 29 spot, while Rifle (8-3) sits at No. 24 and league foe Palisade (8-3) is at No. 28.
Demons head coach Rhonda Moser spent the better part of last week trying to make her case with Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) officials to shorten her team’s quarantine period.
The varsity players were determined to have been exposed during a home game Feb. 19 when a player on the opposing team later tested positive for COVID-19. CHSAA rules state that players who are in close contact with anyone who tests positive must quarantine for 14 days.
That meant the entire Demons team was potentially exposed and would have to miss five games scheduled over those two weeks.
Moser, however, was able to prove the opposing player who tested positive had only played 5 minutes in the first half and touched the ball three times.
“If she had been in the game 15 minutes, we would have had to stay in quarantine for the full 14 days,” Moser said.
The Glenwood player who guarded the other player was tested, which came back positive, and it was determined the remainder of the team was not a close contact warranting quarantine, she said.
Back in action Saturday afternoon at Palisade, the Lady Demons came out flat, falling behind 17-3 after the first quarter of play before rallying to make it a game in the second half. Glenwood ultimately lost 52-43.
That makes the Tuesday game with Rifle a must win to have a chance at the league title, and three of the top teams play each other in the final week of games.
On the boys side of the slate, Glenwood Springs (3-8 overall, 2-7 league) faces a much-improved Rifle team (4-5, 3-4) in the nightcap Tuesday.