When Summit High boys' basketball point guard Coy Coker was assessed a second technical with six minutes left and just 4 points to recover in the fourth quarter of Saturday's bout with Palisade, it cut the team's momentum and ended in a 55-38 loss.
"We were in the ballgame with them. We played pretty even," head coach Phil Tronsrue said. "Palisade is a good team. leading scorer plays off the post and moves around well. We were right there with them."
Markeith McDonald shot a 3-pointer toward the end of the third to bring the game to 33-33. By the end of the third quarter, the team was down by just six points. Earlier in the game, Coker got into it with Palisade's point guard and both were assessed a double technical. The foul that tossed Coker from the game in the fourth was verbal.
"We lost our point guard and weren't able to convert," Tronsrue said. Palisade instead went on a scoring spree and left Summit in the dust.
Putting four quarters together proved a challenge for the boys in Thursday's 70-50 loss to Bishop Machebeuf as well.
"We started out pretty strong. We were tied at the first quarter 23-23 and then we kind of fell apart," Tronsrue said. "(Garrett Tousey) received a flagrant foul called on him, and that took him out of the game. We kind of lost our momentum from that point in time. We were outscored in the second quarter, 24-7. We played mostly even with them the second half."
Tronsrue admitted it was a "sketchy call" that not even the fellow referee agreed.
"The other official didn't see it that way, but he didn't make the call," Tronsrue said.
McDonald led the scoring with 16 points, and had five rebounds and three steals. Coker sunk 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and was four of six from beyond the arc. Noah Glasco also tallied 10 points and four rebounds in the game.
Tronsrue still believes the team can compete with the better teams in the state, but needs his team to put together all four quarters.
"We're doing it for three quarters ... we're competing and we're there. It's about putting four quarters together that's the issue right now. We have to get that done. If we do get that done, we could be looking at wins and standing on top of the league," Tronsrue said.
On Friday, the team is at home against Steamboat, whose team has a 6'9 player who can shoot and guards who have outside scoring capability. It's a good club, but also a club that Glenwood beat Saturday night. Summit's sole win this season has been against Glenwood. Coker will remain on the bench due to because of the fouls.
If the Summit boys' team needs to put together four quarters on the paint, so do the girls.
The Lady Tigers lost to both Bishop Machebeuf (69-33) on Thursday and Palisade (57-45) on Saturday. As of Thursday night, Machebeuf was undefeated. Meanwhile, Summit is 1-6 on the season.
"That was the best team we played to date. I don't know if we'll even see a better team all year," head coach Dylan Hollingsworth said. "It was good for us to see the speed and level of play they played with. It gave us an idea of what we need to do."
He commended the girls' physicality and fight throughout the game - as well as Kayce Chaparas' 10 points. She's been consistent all year, only once dipping below double digits in the early season.
Though Palisade won the league last year, the team had a losing record going into Saturday's matchup.
"They jumped to an early, 14-2 lead. We fought back. By half-time, the score was 25 all," Hollingsworth said. "As the second half went on, we sent them to the free throw line too many times. ... In the third quarter, we just absolutely offensively fell apart. It wasn't turnovers ... It was not scoring any points."
Palisade made 16 of 33 free throws, while Summit made 13 of 18 from the charity stripe.
With a few days' break to practice, the team will work on shooting, ball-handling and defensive footwork to prepare for Steamboat on Friday night.
"Steamboat does a good job pressing, so we have to be able to take care of the ball," Hollingsworth said. "They want to score a lot of their points off freebies. ... We have to take care of the ball and be smart and not let it turn into a track meet. They're going to want to get up and down the court a lot."
Kalee Hollingsworth is out for the season with a confirmed ACL injury, but the coach wants the rest of the team to believe in their skill even with a missing teammate.
"We've still got a lot of season left. ... It's time for them to start believing they can put four quarters together ... instead of thinking they're OK just hanging with the competition."
In its first race of the season, Summit's Nordic ski team placed well in Minturn.
The girls were just one point shy of Vail Mountain School, while the boys beat out Aspen for first place.
Top finishers among the girls included Taeler McCrerey (third) and Ruthie Boyd (fourth). The boys saw Cameron Bobb finish in second after two falls and a spectacular effort to regain his position. Henry Trowbridge finished fourth and Liam McDonnell placed fifth.
Already, some athletes are qualifying for state. McCrerey and Boyd are up there with Christa Gutzel, Claire Vandeyacht, Tessa Piehl, Claire Anderson and Katherine Pappas. On the boys side, Bobb, Trowbridge and McDonnell have qualified alongside Wade Rosko, Derek Hill, Colin McGrew, Billy Wilcox, Parker Shell, Steve Ragle and Rylan Miller.
"Every athlete on our team finished in the top two-thirds of the field," head coach Bevan Frost said. "I think that's outstanding, and if we are able to put in just a little more effort than the other teams, we can push that even more in our favor."
Amidst 22 teams, Nick Wittrock and Bryan Daniel emerged victors in their weight classes.
Wittrock wrestled against a Wheat Ridge opponent first, beating him 9-4. He also overcame a Loveland wrestler in the second round. He lost to a Windsor kid in the semifinals, 6-3, and due to poor meet management, won by forfeit for third place.
Bryan also won two matches to enter the semifinals, but lost in the semis and again in the finals to place fourth overall.
"This was a really tough meet. The schools that were there were really good schools - legit wrestling schools. That was good for those guys to place there," head coach Pete Baker said, adding that the tournament lasted from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
"Besides the tournament being run really bad, it was a good tournament for the guys to be there at because of the skill that was there," Baker said. Tyler Blackford and Alan and Alex Roque did well before coming up short on the way to the semifinals.
"They didn't go as far in the tournament as I'd have liked to see them go," Baker said.
On Saturday, the team faces off in the Horizon Invitational. As many of the top teams head to University of Northern Colorado for a tournament, others will gather at Horizon.
"It will make this Horizon tournament an easier time," Baker said. "It will give us a good shot at placing a lot more kids."
Though the wrestlers are where he expects them to be physically midway through the season, he said they need to up the ante mentally.
"There are some things I can't teach them, like mental fortitude, not to quit, even if they're down. I don't know how to teach that. If some of my kids could pull that out, to know not to throw the towel in ... If I could get that taught to them, they could have really good seasons," Baker said.
Due to low snowpack in Winter Park, a Saturday race was moved to Loveland Ski Area, interfering with Summit High School's alpine scrimmage scheduled there.
The scrimmage will be delayed until this Saturday.
"Our first race is at Loveland, so this will be a good training day," coach Tiania Adams said, adding that because it's during the school's Christmas vacation, she's unsure how many will participate. The first official race is Jan. 4 at Loveland.
"The kids look really strong," Adams said. "They've only been able to hike at Keystone for training. They look good. They look solid."
Amidst many top finishes on the Summit team at the Gateway High School Invitational, diver Hailey Wyatt stood out with her first-place finish in the diving section, scoring 171.5 points.
Just 14 points off from a state-qualifying score and with two meets to go, Wyatt will be working hard with coach Joe Baldwin to up the ante, turning her dives into higher difficulty and tweaking her best dive, the back somersault 1.5 twist, to earn a top score.
Tessa Gunnin landed second place with 154.25 points and Abbey Akers earned a fifth-place spot overall at the meet.
The team as a whole finished fourth overall, with swimmer Megan Hogfeldt the other team member to finish first overall. She swam a 1:03.23 in the 100-yard freestyle event.
It was a meet for teams that didn't make the coach's invitational, head coach Jenny Wischmeyer said, though that doesn't diminish her excitement over the fourth-place finish.
It was a long meet, too, but Wischmeyer sees that as an added training bonus.
"A lot of swimming is swimming when you're tired so you push through your pain. At the end of the season, when you taper, you feel that much better," she said.
Other high ranks from Friday's meet include:
• 200 medley relay (Maddy O'Malley, Crystal Nichols, Megan Hogfeldt, Kitt Maxwell) finished fourth, with Lisa Evans out sick in the middle of the meet.
• Olya Aden finished fifth in the 200 freestyle (2:26.40)
• Crystal Nichols finished sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:28.39)
• Jane Anderson finished ninth in the 100 breaststroke
• Hogfeldt finished third in the 50 freestyle (28.85) and Maxwell finished sixth (29.90)