Tiger boys beat Bears for first win | SummitDaily.com

Tiger boys beat Bears for first win

Devon O'Neilsummit daily news

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

FARMER’S KORNER – One down, three to go.Behind leading scorer Clint Hamilton and its strongest supporting cast of the season, the Summit High School boys basketball team broke into the win column Tuesday night at home, defeating Rifle handily, 52-31. The victory kicked off what the Tigers hope will become a four-win week, as Summit (1-3) begins play in its Holiday Hoopla tournament Thursday night and also plays games Friday and Saturday. All three of 4A Summit’s games are against 3A opponents.

“We’re bound and determined to leave for Christmas at 4-3,” SHS coach Mike Rathgeber said. “That’s our primary goal. It’s the only thing we talk about and the only thing we work toward.”Hamilton scored 16 points to pace Summit for the fourth time in four games, but the Tigers also got 11 points from senior center Alex Shackleton and 10 apiece from senior Jordan McCarthy and junior Tucker Shelden. It made for by far the most balanced offensive attack Summit has mounted this season.”We’re all starting to step up, starting to learn how to make plays instead of leaving it all on him,” McCarthy said of Hamilton, who is averaging 18.5 points per game. “Because if it’s just him, we’re not going to win.”

Equally as important as the Tigers’ balanced scoring was their defensive effectiveness, particularly on star Rifle guard Stuart Stapleton. The senior outside threat scored 13 points, but he struggled to get open against Summit’s numerous defensive looks.For the Tigers, the thoughts now have turned from dealing with disaster to, believe it or not, making the postseason.”If we’re 4-3 by Christmas break, we’re only one game off last year’s pace,” Rathgeber said, referring to the SHS team that made the state tournament. “Being one game off the pace in a rebuilding year? We’ll take it.”

McCarthy added, “If we wouldn’t have gotten this win, it would’ve been very hard to get in the playoffs.”Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.