Tigers basketball goes 0-2 against Huskies | SummitDaily.com

Tigers basketball goes 0-2 against Huskies

FRISCO — It's like two wholly different Tigers teams showed up to play the Huskies.

On Tuesday night, the Summit boy's basketball team (1-8 overall) took on cross-county rivals Battle Mountain (5-5 overall) at home and lost, 72-54. It was the first time the two varsity teams had played since Phil Tronsrue, the longtime Tigers head coach, left Summit to be on the other side of Vail Pass with the Huskies.

That added fuel to the rivalry fire, not to mention nearly packed stands with cheering students and screaming parents, or the fact that Summit's varsity squad was coming off a 48-42 win against Eagle Valley on Jan. 9. With a victory against the Huskies they'd open the season with two wins against their two biggest rivals to stay 2-1 in the 4A Western Slope. Only five teams advance to the district tournament and staying above .500 is the trick.

But it wasn't to be. The game was physical from the first quarter, with Tigers' stars Jesus Moya and Dmitri Preciado putting on a show in the paint. The Huskies were just as fierce, led by tall Abdoulaye Dath on the inside and three-point threat Miles Joersz on the outside. Both teams drew plenty of penalties in the first half, and both teams also managed to make the most of their free throws.

Summit led Battle Mountain through the first quarter until halfway through the second, when the Tigers got sloppy with fouls and the Huskies made them pay by going 5-8 with free throws to edge ahead, 34-32. With less than a minute to play Summit senior Riley Beck had a steal at midcourt and drove back through confused traffic to tie the game. The Huskies then took the lead on a steal of their own and a pair of free throws, followed at the buzzer by three penalty shots for Moya. He went 2-3 to bring the Tigers within three at the half, 36-39.

That's when the second Tigers team arrived, and this team had no interest in maintaining momentum. In the first four minutes of the third quarter, Summit was outscored 2-10 and went 0-4 with three-point tries. In stark contrast the Huskies looked cool, confident and in control, winning another two half-court battles for quick-break points.

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Moya was the sole bright spot for the downtrodden Tigers of the second half, sinking four of the team's 10 points in the third quarter and four of eight in the fourth. He's quick and agile, even when stuffed between two or three defenders, but one player can only do so much. Summit came within four points late in the third, then slowly let the Huskies build their lead with more fast breaks and clutch shooting from Dath and Joersz. The Tigers were outscored 18-33 in the second half, compared to a respectable 36-39 in the first.

"The first half was it," Summit head coach Paul Koslovsky said. "We had them on the run. We played the full reverse of what we usually do, where we had double digits in the first quarter and a fourth quarter with single digits."

By the time Joersz hit a three-pointer in the fourth quarter to go up 54-68 it wasn't even a nail in the coffin. That had come way back at the start of the third when Summit let emotion take control.

"We got sloppy," Koslovsky said. "We could beat them to half court and then we'd fall apart. The pressure they put on us got to our heads. That mental game became a factor. They wanted this one."

After the game, former head coach Tronsrue was happy with his new team's performance. The win keeps the Huskies at 2-2 in the 4A Slope, what he calls "the most important thing for us." Still, he enjoyed meeting up with his former players.

"I've coached a lot of these guys here for two or three years and they're a good group," Tronsrue said. "They're respectful, they work hard and I was telling a number of them before the game I was looking forward to seeing where they are. They look good."

But was it good enough?

"I think they will be successful," Tronsrue said, "But to be quite honest, I was glad they weren't successful tonight."

The Tigers are now 1-2 in the 4A Slope.

Tigers 0-2

Over in Edwards on Huskies home hardwood, the girl's basketball team was trying to make up for a heartbreaker against Eagle Valley on Jan. 9, the same night the boy's won. But that wasn't to be either, and the Tigers lost to the Huskies 40-27. The girls are now 4-5 on the season and 0-3 in the 4A Slope.

Both Summit teams take on Delta at home on Friday.

Summit vs. Battle Mountain, boys

1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final

Summit 14 25 13 20 72

BMHS 16 20 10 8 54