Summit girls hoops lose home game to Rifle, 22-59
FRISCO — Let’s hope this doesn’t become a habit for the Tigers.
At Thursday night’s home basketball match, the Summit High girls hosted a tough Rifle squad for a must-have win. It wouldn’t be easy: Rifle entered the night at 9-3 overall and 3-1 in the 4A Slope, including a loss to league-leading Palisade. That one was a 30-21 defensive stalemate right after the holiday break, and if Summit wanted to compete, the girls needed to find some way — any way — to sneak past the Bears’ veteran guards. The Tigers have struggled with shooting and possession in the middle of the season, and good teams like Palisade or Rifle have a way of capitalizing on weaknesses.
The first few minutes of the opening period were calm enough, with no scoring from either side until the Bears sunk a layup after three minutes — and just didn’t stop. Tigers senior Kate Tomlinson brought the score to 2-4 soon after the opening net, but then Rifle went on a tear, scoring 13 unanswered points to end the first quarter far ahead, 15-2.
The second quarter was more of the same — confident shooting and boxing from the Bears, haphazard shooting and ball control from the Tigers — with only a lone three-pointer from junior Haleigh Lecklitner. At the half, Rifle held a commanding lead, 37-5, and the home team had plenty of catching up to do.
The situation looked eerily similar to the Palisade loss from the previous week, when the Tigers scored just two points in the first half. Five is an improvement, yes, but again, good teams dominate by capitalizing on weaknesses, and Summit was doing little to hide theirs from Rifle. From lost rebounds to free balls at mid-court, the girls had to fix it all.
Then the Tigers came to life. The student section started filling out in time for the start of the second half, and that’s when the girls found a rhythm. Six different players had nets in the third quarter, led by junior Kassidy Pothier in the field and Tomlinson, Lecklitner and senior Natalie Gray at the free-throw line. The six combined for eight points in the third, bringing the score to 13-51.
And then Kate Tomlinson’s sister, Brooke, didn’t just come to life — she exploded into action. In the fourth quarter, the tall and agile junior went on a tear with six points, all scored with two-pointers from inside the paint. The Tigers had struggled again and again to drive past the Bears defenders, but when Brooke Tomlinson finally did, it showed just how good this team can be with a little pep in their step.
Brooke Tomlinson’s shooting was matched by Kalina Macias and freshman Nicole Kimball at the line, but it wasn’t enough to dig out of the deep, deep hole from the first half. The Tigers ended with a loss, 22-59.
The Summit girls are now 3-9 overall and 0-3 in the 4A Slope. The next game is an away match against Glenwood Springs in Glenwood on Jan. 21. Varsity tip-off is at 2 p.m.
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