Lady Tigers advance to Summit Holiday Classic championship game | SummitDaily.com

Lady Tigers advance to Summit Holiday Classic championship game

ADAM BOFFEY

Summit Daily/Kristin Skvorc The crowd cheers as Summit High School sophmore Samantha Neal dribbles up the court Friday night at SHS.

FARMER’S KORNER – After mopping up its first two opponents of the season, the Summit High School girls basketball team is about to get its first big test of the season.The Tigers beat Clear Creek 68-45 Friday night to advance to today’s Holiday Classic tournament final against Arapahoe, a 5A opponent.The Tigers overcame a slow start against Clear Creek, which looked like the more aggressive team initially.During one offensive possession early in the first quarter, the Golddiggers collected five rebounds. They also applied strong half-court pressure which led to five Summit turnovers.

The Tigers led by just four points after the first quarter but then shut down the Golddiggers in the second quarter by holding them to just three points over a span of nearly six minutes.Whitney Degerberg came off the bench to chip in eight of her 10 points during the decisive second quarter.Another key bench player was freshman Alyssa Tallmadge, who had an impressive eight points in her varsity debut.”I thought Alyssa and Whitney both gave us a huge lift tonight,” Summit coach Jeff Neal said. “Alyssa really played with a lot of composure like I thought she would. She didn’t look like a freshman.””I was really nervous at first,” Tallmadge said. “I just tried to do the best I could and not make myself look bad.”Samantha Neal led Summit in scoring with 19 points and her backcourt partner Cissy Daniels had another strong performance, with 12 points, seven steals and five assists.

The third quarter belonged to sophomore Katie Sodegren who buried three 3-pointers to help the Tigers put the game out of reach.”My role is normally defense but Jeff has been trying to get me to take more threes,” Sodegren said. “Once I got warmed up, my teammates just kept finding me open on the weak side.”As a team, the long-range-shooting Tigers were 6-for-25 from 3-point land. Junior center Lynlee Holloway got limited action against the Golddiggers due to early foul trouble. Although he was hoping to play his tallest available player more, coach Neal didn’t mind getting Holloway some rest going into tomorrow’s tournament final.”I probably needed to get more rest for Cissy and Sam too,” Neal said. “I could tell their legs were getting tired.”Bench play will be crucial today for Summit as it will play its third game in three days.

“I think our chances are good if we play with composure,” Neal said. “We play a style that most teams don’t, where where we should not get as stressed by their pressure.”Although he has not faced a single 5A team during his brief tenure at Summit, Neal seems undaunted by today’s opponent.”Arapahoe is a good team,” Neal said. “But I really think that running teams don’t like to be run against.”Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13631, or at aboffey@summitdaily.com.