Prep sports summary: Summit High hockey blasts Steamboat on the road
Tigers boys, girls basketball fall to Sailors
At the start of what head coach Joey Otsuka described as “the biggest 12 days of the season,” the Summit High School varsity hockey team (9-4) dominated Steamboat Springs Friday night, winning 10-1 on the road.
Weeks after Otsuka challenged the team to improve its power-play offense, the Tigers reeled off seven power-play goals last night in nine power-play situations — a whopping 78% success rate.
The power-play success improved Summit’s record to 6-1 in Peak Conference play, putting them atop the conference standings with 12 points before upcoming pivotal games at Glenwood Springs (Friday, 7:30 p.m.), at Aspen (Saturday, 6:15 p.m.) and home at Stephen C. West Ice Arena to take on the only conference foe Summit has lost to this season: Battle Mountain (Feb. 12, 6:45 p.m.)
Reflecting on Friday night’s win during a Saturday afternoon interview, Otsuka credited the team and assistant coach Wren Arbuthnot for the endless hours they’ve spent on their power-play offense.
“Wren has been working on the power play more than any team I’ve ever coached, and it shows,” Otsuka said. “He really does a good job, he takes a lot of pride in it and so do the players. And Friday we executed and moved with speed, intensity and accuracy.”
The Tigers’ power-play bounty began early in the first when senior Max Bonenberger channeled the silent-assassin spirit he’s had all year, firing a laser for a 1-0 lead. Otsuka said the shot would have been a goal at any level of play.
According to Otsuka, Bonenberger was one of two Tigers who scored hat tricks Friday, the other being Hank Kasch. Summit exploded for six second period and four third period goals on a 24-6 shots advantage over the final two periods.
The coach said the Tigers had so much success in the second after the coaches stressed to the team to dig deeper and “put on the sandpaper a little bit more.” Channeling that toughness, the Tigers were urged to get in front of the net, deflect and tip shots and take physical hits in the corners to create opportunities.
“We took a lot of sacrifices, a lot of beatings, rough hits,” Otsuka said. “Then we had a couple of key power-play goals, that pretty much turned the tide of the game.”
On the defensive end, Otsuka said the comfortable goal margin allowed him to rest his seniors and leaders more and play three lines on defense, leading to a consistent showing and only 12 shots against senior goaltender Jake Mallory, of which he stone-walled 11.
Boys, girls basketball lose to Steamboat
Both the Summit High School boys and girls basketball teams lost to Steamboat Springs on the road Friday night.
The boys fell behind 22-15 at half after mustering only four points in the second quarter. Steamboat’s 17-10 advantage in the third quarter then pushed the game to a 14-point Sailor lead, one that proved too much for the Tigers to recover from.
Summit was led Friday by 13 points from junior point guard Hector Diaz, while senior guard Ben Rider contributed six. No other Tiger scored more than three points. Summit (9-7, 4-2 4A Western Slope) will return to action at home Tuesday and Wednesday versus Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain, with each game at 7 p.m.
The Tiger girls fought hard, down just a point after three quarters, the Sailors took advantage of a 16-11 scoring differential in the fourth quarter to extend their lead, culminating in a 43-37 Steamboat Springs victory. Summit was led offensively Friday by a strong shooting performance from senior guard Nicole Kimball, who paced the team with 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting from the field. Autumn Rivera continued her strong freshman campaign with eight points and 11 rebounds.
Summit (6-8, 2-4) will also host Glenwood Springs and Battle Mountain Tuesday and Wednesday, each game slated for 5:30 p.m.
Swimming & diving
The Tigers finished in third of eight teams at Saturday’s Wildcat Invitational in Grand Junction. Zoe Sicat was the top diver at fourth place in the one-meter. In the swim events, Summit’s Jasmine Laube had the team’s best individual result on the day with a second-place time of 1:05.38 in the 100-meter backstroke.
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