Summit boy’s basketball dominates West Grand at home, 78-58
FRISCO — It’s good to be back on the hard court. It’s even better to be back with a win.
On Thursday night, the Summit High boy’s basketball team hosted West Grand High School for the first home series since the holiday break. If the small smattering of parents and fans didn’t know any better, they’d think the guys hardly took a day of rest since the last home game, a 62-58 win against Denver North way back on Dec. 5. The Tigers played aggressive, confident, whip-fast ball from start to finish, out-shooting and out-pacing the Mustangs for a resounding 78-58 victory.
The win gives Summit a 4-4 overall record (0-1 4A Western Slope), while West Grand drops to 4-5 overall.
Summit’s starting line wasted no time getting fired up. Head coach Jordan Buller’s go-to trio — junior Turner McDonald, junior Dimitri Preciado and senior Eddie Jain — sunk layups and three-pointers with a vengeance in the first quarter, ratcheting the score up to 26-13.
Things tapered off in the second quarter as West Grand figured out how to slow Summit’s attack. The Mustangs managed to outscore the Tigers, 14-12, but it was hardly enough to get them back in the game. The home team entered the locker room at the half with a comfortable lead, 38-27. Barring some sort of disastrous, NCAA-style meltdown, this was their game to lose — and you’d better believe that Buller’s team doesn’t quit.
“We had some long stretches when we were controlling the game and the ball,” Buller said after the game. “Our starters were doing fantastic.”
Summit took control of momentum again in the third quarter, when Buller started working in a slew of supporting players who are just as reliable as his starters: senior Jesus Moya was a monster on the fast break, senior Andrew Shaw was a master at drawing penalties and lone sophomore Ilja Bubukin went 2-for-3 with three-pointers on the night. West Grand managed to force a whopping 21 turnovers — that’s a number no one wants to see, the head coach said — but the team responded well and kept the pressure heavy to end the third well ahead, 59-41.
“To give west grand some credit, they played chaotic defense and forced us into turnovers,” Buller said.
The Tigers continued to dominate in the fourth, with Preciado and Jain again going wild. The junior ended the night with 19 points, while the senior ended with 11 points — nearly half of Summit’s scoring for the night. When the buzzer sounded, the home team came away with a comfortable win, 78-58, to make up for a disappointing loss to Battle Mountain on Jan. 6. It also sets the team up nicely for the next match, a Saturday showdown against Palisade (2-10 overall, 1-1 4A Slope) this weekend away.
“We’re going to have to be ready mentally,” Buller said. “I think we can physically keep up with those guys, but after a three-hour bus ride and JV and girl’s games, we need to be ready to play. Mental sharpness will make the difference between a W and not.”
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