Summit High boys basketball rallies to defeat Rifle |

Summit High boys basketball rallies to defeat Rifle

Tiger girls lose to Bears 41-28

The Summit High varsity boys basketball team takes on Palisade on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Summit High in Breckenridge.
Liz Copan /

BRECKENRIDGE — The Summit High School varsity boys basketball team exploded in the fourth quarter to defeat visiting Rifle Tuesday evening.

The Tigers outscored the Bears 20-8 in the fourth quarter to win with a final score of 42-37 to improve their record to 8-6 on the season and 4-1 in conference play. Tigers head coach Jordan Buller said Summit started slow in a game where Rifle, winless in conference play, came out with a sharp focus.

Buller was disappointed with Summit’s lack of will to impose their own up-and-down style of play on Rifle in the first half. Rather, the Bears were able to play comfortably in their more methodical offensive style while lulling the Tigers into taking poor shot opportunities against the Bears’ soft, trapping 1-2-2 half-court zone defense.

Buller said the fact that the team was able to find a win on a night they only scored 11 first-half points — including a solitary point in the second quarter — is a sign the program is maturing.

“In the first half,” Buller said, “we were too content to pass around the perimeter and shoot 3s. We are pretty good shooting 3s, but they were not falling last night. And that was part of the frustration, that we wanted to get the ball into the paint more.”

After halftime adjustments, the Tigers did just that in the second half, with guards Hector Diaz and Corbin Furrey doing well to make the Bears zone defense collapse and move, opening up offensive opportunities for Cam Kalaf in the paint.

Then, on the defensive end, Buller felt the Tigers stepped it up, playing more aggressive in the passing lanes and applying more tenacious ball pressure to tire the Bears’ guards out.

It all led to a fourth quarter, which Summit entered down seven, where the Tigers outscored the Bears 20-8. On the heels of a huge Furrey 3-pointer to end the third quarter, Buller said Diaz did well in the fourth quarter to find Kalaf and fellow big Kobe Cortright, who were demanding the ball in the paint. The coach also said Summit’s bench and the Tigers’ home-court advantage was crucial Thursday night, powering the team to the final minutes, where Buller and his team sensed the Bears were out of gas.

The junior point guard Diaz led the Tigers on the night with 11 points while senior Furrey added 10 and junior Kalaf contributed nine points and snagged seven rebounds. Summit will next play at Moffat County Thursday night at 7 p.m.

Girls basketball
It was a tough night for the Summit varsity girls team Tuesday, with a disappointing 41-28 loss at home to Rifle to drop the team’s record to 6-7 on the season, 2-3 in conference play.

Tigers head coach Kayle Walker Burns said the team struggled with energy and defense early, leading to a 21-18 deficit at halftime.

The second half didn’t improve much for Summit, with the Bears outscoring the Tigers 11-3 to take a commanding lead into the fourth quarter.

Burns said sophomore guard led the way Tuesday, playing a good team game despite the fact that she didn’t score, committing only one turnover, taking a charge and pulling in two rebounds. Burns said freshman Paola Arredondo also added a spark in the fourth quarter, providing in-your-face defense and speed on offense.

Senior guard Nicole Kimball was Summit’s leading scorer on Tuesday, with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting while adding three assists and three steals.

The Tigers will next play Friday at Steamboat Springs at 5:30 p.m.

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