Summit girls basketball wins two straight as they win in another nail biter against Battle Mountain
The Summit High School girls basketball team hosted the 4-4 Battle Mountain Huskies for its first home game of the season Friday, Jan. 14. From the opening tipoff, the Tigers played with energy, invigorated by the home crowd and Kelly Duffy’s last-second buzzer-beater to lift the team over Eagle Valley the night before.
Autumn Rivera got the scoring going for the Tigers in the first quarter, hitting a midrange jumper that opened the door for Paola Arredondo at the guard position to cut inside for a layup. Arredondo’s basket was soon followed by a 4-point play by Callie Smith after she got fouled while shooting a 3-pointer.
After one quarter of the play, the Tiger led the Huskies 12-9. In the second quarter, the Tigers defense stiffened up and did not allow the Huskies to score a single point for most of the quarter.
Arredondo was a force on the defensive side of the ball, helping trap Huskie players before they reached half court to prevent them from scoring. Smith then sank her second 3-pointer of the game, and the Tigers entered halftime up 21-14.
It was in the second half when things started to get tight for the Tigers. Battle Mountain broke through Summit’s defense and were able to score points inside, draw fouls and find success from midrange looks.
Head coach Kayle Walker Burns contributed Battle Mountain getting back into the game to the onset of fatigue from playing often this past week.
“I think we did have a lot of energy, but I think we are tired,” Burns said. “It is hard to play three games back-to-back and get home really late and try to bounce back, go to school all day, then play a game is tough.”
Arredondo once again found a way for the Tigers to score, scoring inside and circulating the ball to staunch the offensive advances of the Huskies.
The latter part of the third quarter turned into a defensive battle. Teams went back and forth down the court chasing loose balls, turning the ball over and shutting out each other.
The Tigers ended the quarter with momentum on their side when Joselin Roque made a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to extend the Tigers lead to 32-25 going into the fourth. However, the Huskies interrupted this perceived momentum to score several quick baskets at the beginning of the fourth quarter to bring the game within 2 points.
Arredondo stepped up again to help stop the bleeding. She executed on the dribble drive and continued to play a role on the defensive side of the ball, applying pressure to the Huskies offense.
“Paola is one of those players that is going to bring the intensity,” Burns said. “Having that pressure on the point guard, and really working her butt on defense and hustling for every single play, is so key for us.”
For the second night in a row, the game came down to a nail-biting end as the Tigers narrowly led the Huskies 37-34 with a little over a minute left in the game.
Several fouls from both teams sent shooters to the line, but it was Smith who put the game away for good. After sloppy defense by the Huskies put Smith at the free-throw line, she was able to sink both free throws to extend the lead to 5 points with under 30 seconds remaining.
From there Summit was able to prevent Battle Mountain from scoring and close out the game for their fifth win of the season, improving to 2-1 in league play.
Summit will play again on Tuesday, Jan. 18, when they take on league opponent Moffat County who is 4-5 on the season. The Tigers will then play Palisade and Rifle later in the week.
“I think Moffat County is going to be a tough game,” Burns said. “Then Palisade and Rifle are always really tough teams. We already saw Rifle this year and lost by 2, so I think it’s definitely a game we can compete in, and it’s about showing up and playing 32 minutes of basketball.”
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