Summit girls basketball loses in close battle against top-ranked league opponent Glenwood Springs
The Summit High School girls basketball team wanted to make a statement as the top-raked team in the Western Slope league, Glenwood Springs, visited Tuesday, Feb. 1.
The Tigers team has been on a hot streak, winning its past five league matchups and proving it is a formidable team as the fight for the league title gets heated.
The Tigers came into the game 5-1 in league play while the Demons were 6-0, but the Tigers had their eyes set on gaining the upper hand even though they lost to the Demons 51-24 on Jan. 11.
The Tigers got off to a good start with Emily Koetteritz getting the scoring going with a midrange jumper. For the rest of the first quarter, the game was filled with strong defensive pressure by both teams.
Both teams closed out on defense, disrupted each other on offense and forced turnovers. By the end of the first quarter, the game was still in the single digits with the Tigers leading the Demons 7-6.
The Tigers found some offensive momentum in the second quarter with Sarah Pappas feeding Autumn Rivera a great pass inside for a layup.
Rivera’s layup opened the door for her to go on a scoring spree with layups and midrange shots from just about anywhere.
Koetteritz continued to be a force on the defensive side of the ball as she came away with steals and shut down one of the Demons’ best players in Joslyn Spires. Koetteritz, along with the rest of the Tigers defense, was able to hold the Demons to three points in the second quarter and went into halftime with the lead 13-9.
“I think we had a really energetic start, and I think we did a good job in the first half especially,” head coach Kayle Walker Burns said. “Emily Koetteritz held (Spires) to no points in the first half. She is one of those players that is often overlooked because she doesn’t score a lot of points, but she is such a great defensive player that she is almost like a silent assassin.”
Out of halftime, it looked like the Demons had found the answer as they scored a couple of quick baskets off layups and points from the free throw line.
Rivera’s scoring spree helped the Tigers maintain their lead, though, as she continued to do about everything — from playing solid defense, scoring on the other side of the court and finding people to pass to.
By the end of the third, the Tigers sat on a 24-16 lead.
Glenwood Springs seemed to make some adjustments in the short one-minute break before the fourth quarter. They shut down the Tigers, and they continued to exploit the Summit defense in order to score inside and on the run.
The Demons shut down Rivera, who had the majority of the points in the third quarter, while also preventing anyone else from getting any good looks at the basket. Before long, the momentum had shifted into the hands of the Demons, and they were set to win the game.
“You have to give credit where credit is due. Glenwood is a team that knows how to win, and they are going to fight until the end,” Walker Burns said. “We got a little timid in the fourth quarter. I don’t know even in my career as the head coach if we have ever beat Glenwood, and this is one of the first years we could compete with them. But unfortunately, we didn’t play four quarters.”
The Tigers were held to 2 points from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and lost by 6 points, 32-26.
Despite the loss, the Tigers still improved from a few weeks ago when Summit lost by 20-plus points.
“Definitely a tough loss, but it was definitely one of the best defensive games we’ve ever played,“ Rivera wrote in a text message after the game. ”That’s the first time Summit has been able to compete with Glenwood, and we definitely gave them a game. For that, we should be super proud.“
Summit will now prepare for three consecutive league matchups on the road with their first Wednesday, Feb. 2, when they beat Steamboat Springs 41-28. The Tigers will be back at home when they take on Basalt on Feb. 10.
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