Summit boys basketball team poised for success following last year’s 3 win season
The Summit High School boys basketball team struggled during the 2021-22 basketball season.
Summit was attempting to return to the 4A state playoffs after a successful 2020-21 basketball season, but fell short in large part due to a lack of experience.
By the end of the season the had only earned three wins, garnering a 3-19 overall record and going 1-11 in league play.
With a solid core of seniors leading the team this year, the Tigers are focused on becoming a force in the new 4A/5A Western Slope league.
Over the last few weeks, head coach Jordan Buller has watched his program prepare for the quickly approaching basketball season.
“We have had a lot of high energy in practice which is great to see from the guys,” Buller said. “We kind of had a slow start the first week that we ran practice. Guys were in and out because football and soccer had just ended the week before and I didn’t want to pressure those guys into jumping into another sport.”
Out of the 15 players on the varsity roster this season, 10 helped the Summit football team advance to the first round of the 3A state playoffs, while two other athletes played a role in getting the Summit soccer team to its semifinal match.
In other words, the team is chocked full of not only chemistry, but a competitive drive that is often hard to harness in a team.
Buller and the rest of the boys basketball coaching staff are hopeful that this chemistry, competitiveness and passion will translate onto the court.
The team will also be aided with players who have experienced playing at the varsity level, a luxury the team did not have last year after it graduated nine seniors two seasons ago.
“I expect this year that we are not going to learn to play at the varsity level and instead we are going to learn how to really compete and succeed at the varsity level,” Buller said. “A lot of the guys returning have great attitudes. The success of football and soccer this fall was an advantage for us as a basketball program. The guys are used to competing and being in games.”
The Tigers will be led in large part by senior Jack Schierholz from the power forward and shooting forward position and senior point guard Christian Broughton.
“Jack Schierholz — our quarterback — is a stud,” Buller said. “That guy is a natural leader. He knows how to put in all the extra work that is required to make it happen. He is very vocal in practice right now and understands his role which is not always to score points, but to win games.”
The Tigers will also look to Emilio Jain on the defensive side of the ball. Throughout the course of the season, Buller is hopeful that the junior can scrounge for steals and secure rebounds.
In terms of team goals, the team hopes to be competitive in a brand new league in order to make the 4A state basketball playoffs.
“We are looking to make the tournament and I think an even higher goal is for us to host a home playoff game,” Buller said.
The 4A/5A Western Slope league poses a challenge of its own. Due to the Colorado High School Activities Association changing the class system ahead of the 2022-23 basketball season, Summit High will now face several new league opponents, many of which require lengthy road trips.
“The way that the classes broke down and ended up in a new conference was a little bit hard for us to swallow,” Buller said. “We have to travel to Delta and Coal Ridge and we have far away games. I was pushing for us to get into a conference in Denver, just to keep our games closer.”
Despite the added challenge of long road trips throughout the season, the boys are looking forward to matching up against a challenging slate of Western Slope teams.
“I know there is a lot of high level basketball being played out there and I am looking forward to seeing how we compete out there.”
The team will open its season against Grand Junction Central High School at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1, in Grand Junction. Summit will not host a home game until Jan. 5 when it takes on Palisade.
Dec. 1 at Grand Junction Central, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 2 at Grand Junction, 6:30 p.m.
Dec. 7 at TBD tournament opponent, TBA
Dec. 9 at Evergreen, 7 p.m.
Dec. 17 at Battle Mountain, 2 p.m.
Jan. 3 at Silver Creek, 5:30 p.m.
Jan.5 vs. Palisade, 7 p.m.
Jan. 10 vs. Basalt, 7 p.m.
Jan. 13 at Coal Ridge, 7 p.m.
Jan. 14 vs. Aspen, 2 p.m.
Jan. 17 vs. Buena Vista, 7 p.m.
Jan. 20 at Moffat County, 7 p.m.
Jan. 21 at Steamboat Springs, 2 p.m.
Jan. 24 vs.Glenwood Springs, 7 p.m.
Jan. 27 vs. RIfle, 7 p.m.
Jan. 28 vs. Delta, 2 p.m.
Feb. 3 vs. Coal Ridge, 7 p.m.
Feb. 4 at Basalt, 2 p.m.
Feb. 7 at Aspen, 7 p.m.
Feb. 10 vs. Moffat County, 7 p.m.
Feb. 11 vs. Steamboat Springs, 2 p.m.
Feb. 17 at. Rifle, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 18 at Delta, 2 p.m.
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