Lady Tigers keep postseason hopes alive with home win
FARMER’S KORNER – Any team worthy of making the playoffs knows how to take care of business when it has to.The Summit High School girls basketball team prevailed 39-33 over Elizabeth in Tuesday’s must-win contest at Farmer’s Korner. The Lady Tigers are, as a result, still in the hunt for a postseason birth.”If we would have lost tonight, there was no way we could have made the playoffs,” SHS coach Dylan Hollingsworth said. “Now all we can do is wait and see.”Summit (9-12), which plays its regular-season finale at home against Golden on Friday, overcame a slow start one day after losing to D’Evelyn 55-26 on the road.”Our intensity has been kind of low lately,” said junior co-captain Alyssa Tallmadge, who led her team with 14 points. “But we picked it up in the second half of this game, so it was good.”
“That was the issue at halftime,” Hollingsworth said of Summit’s initial sluggishness. “We had no heart or enthusiasm in the first half – it had nothing to do with Xs and Os. I told the girls to get their heads out of the clouds and find it within themselves (to play hard).”The hosts trailed 19-16 after two quarters, mostly because of Elizabeth’s Hillary Hawkins, who scored 15 points before intermission.The Cardinal coach’s kid, who finished with 19, was eventually shut down in the fourth quarter thanks to an astute defensive adjustment by the Tigers.”We went to a diamond-and-one,” said Hollingsworth, who had employed a mixture of zone and man-to-man defenses up to that point. “We were having trouble keeping the ball out of (Hawkins’) hands in the zone, but with the diamond-and-1, they had a lot more turnovers while trying to get the ball to her.””I was actually kind of expecting box-and-1 the whole time,” Cardinals coach Eric Hawkins said. “We’ve seen that (a lot) in the past.”
In addition to tightening the defensive screws late in the game, Summit found its range from downtown, cashing in on three 3-pointers in the second half (two by Tallmadge and one by co-captain Katie Sodergren).There was a conspicuous cold-streak for Summit in the fourth quarter (5 scoreless minutes), which was due in part to the Tigers’ attempt to slow down the contest.”We weren’t shooting well enough to make it a running game,” Hollingsworth said. “And we forced it too much in the third quarter. I told (the Tigers) to just to pull it back, run through our offenses and do what we do.”Summit, which finished with 11 turnovers overall, only threw the ball away once in the fourth quarter.The Tigers’ scoring was fairly balanced with Katie Sodergren chipping in seven points, Brie Barto six and the Oberriter sisters (Marie and Julie) each netting five.
“Scoring the five points was fun,” Oberriter said. “It was a big, ‘Yay’. … I got to start on senior night and I think that helped.”Friday’s test against the Demons, which will bring a former SHS sharpshooter and coach back to Summit (Samantha and Jeff Neal, respectively), is sure to be difficult, but not impossible.”Golden is the best team in the (4A Jeffco) league,” Eric Hawkins said. “But they’re beatable this year, unlike last year – they don’t have the inside game (they had before).”If the Demons (18-4) do prove to be too much for the Tigers, Summit can still wrap up its regular season with pride, provided it plays with heart.”We want to work as hard as we can and keep the intensity up,” Tallmadge said. “That’s all we can do. If we leave it all on the court, we’re good.”The opening tip on Friday is set for 7 p.m.
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