Summit High boys basketball loses to Steamboat Springs 45-39 |

Summit High boys basketball loses to Steamboat Springs 45-39

Tigers set to host home state tourney game Wednesday

The Summit High School Tigers boys varsity basketball team comes together to huddle during its game versus Palisade on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Summit High in Breckenridge.
Liz Copan /

BRECKENRIDGE – After the Summit High School boys basketball team’s 45-39 regular-season finale loss to Steamboat Springs wrapped up, after the athletics department swept the bleachers and the lights had been dimmed, Tigers senior center Dylan Huston shot free throws.

Still wearing his number 00 game jersey, Huston took free throw after free throw, shot after shot — seeming to look for a way to decompress and reflect after a disappointing loss — ahead of the greatest opportunity the program has seen in years.

“I’ve shared with those guys part of my way of being in the world is just to try to do something when you are a little frustrated,” Tigers head coach Jordan Buller said, “let your mind calm down and kind of absorb or think about what you did, why you are frustrated, why you could do better. To have a guy like that on the team who is anchoring the middle and has a lot of voice, has a lot of leadership, a lot of talk in him, a lot of spirit and energy — he’s not afraid, Dyl has been undersized a lot this year. He’s in there taking some free throws. It means a lot to him. It means a lot to have a last home game.”

Despite Saturday’s home loss that dropped Summit’s season record to 11-12, the Tigers will get one last home game Wednesday at Summit High. After Saturday’s loss, the Tigers coaching staff crunched the numbers for the playoff and it appeared Summit will be ranked as one of the state’s top-30 teams. That would mean for the 48-team state playoff, Summit would host a first-round game in the single-elimination tournament — seeds 1 through 16 get a bye and seeds 17-32 host games against seeds 33 through 48.

It’s going to be our first time in the state tournament in this format, so this is a big deal,” Buller said. “I know, especially for the seniors, our three seniors put in a lot of time this summer trying to push the program in the right direction. In the beginning of the year, the goal was just to make the state tournament, so being able to host a game is another step in the right direction. I’m real proud of those guys.”

During Saturday’s game, the Tigers did not execute well in the first half, leading to a 28-15 deficit heading to halftime. Summit struggled particularly at the offensive end, scoring just two points in the first quarter. Tigers junior shooting guard Nazarie Poliuk kept Summit in the game with a 10-point outburst in the second quarter.

“He did a good job of moving off the ball and being aggressive once he gets it,” Buller said of Poliuk, who finished with 19 points to lead Summit. “I think everybody in the league at this point knows he’s a pretty good shooter, so he’s going to see a lot of face-up defense. He’s learning how to score in other ways.”

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