Young Tigers step up in home loss to Englewood |

Young Tigers step up in home loss to Englewood

JOSH SALERNOSummit Daily News

Summit Daily/Eric Drummond

FARMER’S KORNER – Starting at the varsity level for the first time can seem daunting, especially when you’re a freshman.Summit High School boys basketball team first-years Taylor Gillis and Keynan Roggasch met the challenge on Friday, but they couldn’t jump start SHS to victory.The Tigers (4-14, 0-4 in the 4A Jeffco League) dropped their seventh consecutive game to Englewood (8-8, 1-2 in 4A Jeffco) 62-51, but the play of the two freshmen stood out in the minds of the players and coaches.”Both of them played great,” said team captain Joe Felton, who scored 17 points in the contest. “(Gillis) came out and hit the first basket of the game (a 3-pointer) and dished me an assist late in the game that was very impressive. (Roggasch), for only being a freshman, plays like a monster.”

SHS coach Mark Ruybal said he thought it was time to give the young tandem an opportunity to play.”I have to do what I think is best for the team,” Ruybal said. “I’ve given everyone ample opportunities to show themselves and prove themselves. Sometimes you have to shake things up to make good things happen. … That’s what I did and I think a lot of good came of it.”Gillis and Roggasch were surprised when they saw their names on the starting lineup.”It’s a big step for us,” Gillis said. “This will help us down the road it’s a great experience.”SHS got off to a hot start in the contest. The Tigers jumped out to a 16-8 lead in the first quarter thanks to the sharpshooting of Erik Brook, who scored nine of his 25 points (six 3-pointers in all) during the first 8 minutes.

The hosts soon cooled off, however, allowing the Pirates to fight their way back to within two points before halftime.SHS’ third-quarter woes continued, as the team was outscored 23-9.”They say the most crucial time in a football game is the opening series of the third quarter,” Ruybal said. “It’s just like the first few minutes of a basketball game. Our younger guys just don’t understand this yet.”Brooks and Felton tried to mount a fourth-quarter comeback for the Tigers, but the third-quarter deficit was too much to overcome.

“I’ve been saying this all along,” Felton said. “It’s not over until we play Elizabeth (in the season finale). There’s a bunch of things going through the teams mind right now, but we can’t give up, and we won’t.”The road doesn’t get any easier for the Tigers. SHS hosts Ralston Valley on Tuesday and D’Evelyn on Friday – both 12-win teams thus far.”It’s going to be tough,” Ruybal said. “Hopefully we’ll get some players back which will add to our depth.”Josh Salerno can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or