Palisade spoils the home opener of Summit boys basketball in a nail-biting, 54-48 win

Hank Chabot fights off a defender during the Tigers' home game vs. the Palisade Bulldogs at Summit High School in Breckenridge on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

With the court warmed up by the Summit girls basketball team, the Summit High School boys basketball team looked to muster a win over Palisade High School on Thursday, Jan. 5 in the team’s home opener.  

Much like the Summit girls basketball program, the Summit boys basketball team has not won a game since the early part of December when the Tigers defeated Grand Junction High School.

Fueled by the win from the Summit girl’s team 15 minutes prior, the Summit boys basketball team got off to a hot start in the first quarter against the Palisade Bulldogs. 

Senior Tyler Hodges and senior Christian Broughton both got the scoring going with Broughton making two, 3-pointers within the first four minutes of the game. The scoring continued with senior guard Hank Chabot sinking a 3-point shot and a fast break layup. 

The onslaught of points from Summit led to a 17-13 Tigers’ lead at the end of the first quarter. 

Palisade started the second quarter of play with a large run. Led by freshman Hunter Howard and senior Josh Zotto, Palisade outscored Summit 7-2 in the first part of the quarter to lead the Tigers 20-19. 

Near the midway point of the quarter, Summit regained some of its energy with Hodges using his height and vertical to score several baskets. 

With junior Luke Fay hitting three, 3-pointers the Bulldogs tipped the momentum back in their favor to end the half. Palisade led 31-23 to head into halftime. 

Fay, Zotto and Howard kept Palisade on the attack to start the second half. The trio assisted Palisade in cutting through the Summit defense to go on a 9-2 run. 

The run seemed to deflate Summit, but the energy of playing on its home court for the first time this season continued to add spirit to the Tigers squad.

In an attempt to claw Summit back into the game, junior small forward Emilio Jain and Chabot took the game into their hands.

With three minutes remaining prior to the final quarter, Jain and Chabot brought the deficit to a manageable 12 points, trailing 44-32.

With a few points from Jain to end the quarter, Summit trailed 44-36 to start the fourth quarter. 

The final quarter of play was highly contested with both teams steadily exchanging points.

With under four minutes remaining in the game, Palisade led by nine, 49-40. Palisade’s lead forced Summit to up its aggression which led to several fouls.

Following several made free throws to extend Palisade’s lead, Jain led a last-ditch effort for Summit. The heightened effort from Summit brought the score within six points.

“We were just trying to get buckets anyway that we could,” Chabot said. “Just stop and score. One possession at a time. That was how we were thinking.”

With the home crowd cheering the team on, Jain brought the score to 52-48 with a flashy layup. In the end though, a botched pass and an intentional foul committed by Summit put the game out of reach, and Summit lost 54-48. 

“We are getting way better compared to earlier in the season,” Chabot said after the loss. “We are just going to continue to progress, and I feel like we will get out on top. That was just a tough loss right there.”

Summit will look to bounce back against Basalt High School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10 in Basalt.

“I am ready to play really good defense and come out on top in this next one,” Chabot said. “Teamwork will get us that next W.”

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