Summit High School boys basketball team hungry to build upon last season’s momentum 

The Tigers will begin their season on Nov. 30 in Grand Junction

Emilio Jain launches a cross-court pass during the Tiger's home game vs. the Palisade Bulldogs at Summit High School in Breckenridge on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.
John Hanson/For the Summit Daily News

Anyone who followed the Summit High School boys basketball team last season knows that the team was on the verge of something big.

The Tigers began the season with a record of 1-5, but the team started to play with an air of confidence in its skill level and chemistry over the latter part of the season, resulting in several impressive wins to conclude the team’s regular season schedule.

Although, the team failed to finish past .500 on the season, Summit did close out the season with four consecutive 4A Western Slope League wins, boosting the team’s record to 8-15 overall and its league record to 6-8.

Despite graduating seven seniors from last year’s varsity roster, Summit will return several seniors who will lead the team off and on the court this season.

“I think Hank (Chabot) is a great leader, on the court especially,” senior shooting Max Nakos said. “He is always telling people to get to practice and he is just a good role model for the underclassmen.”

Chabot was one of the team’s go-to guards last season and will continue to be a floor general for the Tigers during his senior campaign. Chabot led the team in assists last season, with help from current senior Emilio Jain and 2023 graduate Christian Broughton. Jain led the team in points (12) and rebounds per game (7.4).

Chabot and Jain will be aided by Nakos, who played in 23 games last season and averaged 2.2 points, 2.3 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game.

Over the first week of practice, the trio of seniors have been helping head coach Jordan Buller establish a new team identity and getting back into shape prior to beginning the Tigers’ regular season schedule after Thanksgiving break.

“We have been doing a whole lot of running,” Nakos said. “Our main goal is to get conditioned and in better shape than the other teams this year.”

“We are just trying to run out the gym and get as many transition points that we can,” Chabot added. “Defense before offense. We want to have good defense so we can have good offense.”

With a competitive, stacked 4A Western Slope league, the Tigers realize that things are not going to be easy, but the team is confident that it can roll with some of the energy, skill and passion it was beginning to show at the end of last season.

“I feel like we have had the experience in close games now and I feel like we are ready to shut the door on teams,” Chabot said. “We have been letting them stay in the game, letting a lot of fouls get called on us, so a lot of free throws from the line and stuff, but we are going to shut the door on them this year.”

Summit will be challenged most by its lack of players with varsity experience. Out of the nine players currently listed on this year’s varsity roster, only a few have had extended playing time in varsity level games.

“We have a lot of guys who didn’t play varsity last year, so we will need to bring them up to speed,” Jain said of the team’s mixed experience levels.

Summit will rely on heavily on its fast-paced play on both sides of the floor to hopefully exceed eight wins on the season and make a push for the team’s first playoff berth since the 2021 winter season when the team lost to Golden High School in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

“Faster pace of play than it has been in the past,” Chabot said. “Normally we play really slow, but this year we are going to up the pace and get as many transition buckets as we can.”

Ultimately, Summit is excited to get a new season underway and begin to showcase what the team has been working towards in its early-season practices.

“We are just excited to get back on the floor,” Chabot said. “We don’t care who we play, we just want to get out there and win. That is our main goal this year. Whatever it takes to win is what we want to do.”

Summit will take to the court on Thursday, Nov. 30, in Grand Junction for the Warrior Challenge Tournament. Summit will face Grand Junction Central High School on Thursday night and then Grand Junction High School on Friday night before hosting its home opener against Evergreen High School on Friday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m.

Summit boys basketball 2023-24 schedule

Nov 30 to Dec.1 at Warrior Challenge Tournament, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 8 vs. Evergreen, 7 p.m.

Dec. 16 vs. Battle Mountain, 2 p.m.

Jan. 4 at Palisade, 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 5 vs.Silver Creek, 5 p.m.

Jan. 9 vs. Basalt, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 12 vs. Coal Ridge, 7 p.m.

Jan. 13 at Aspen, 5 p.m.

Jan. 16 at Buena Vista, 7 p.m.

Jan 19 vs. Moffat County, 7 p.m.

Jan. 20 vs.Steamboat Springs, 2 p.m.

Jan. 23 at Glenwood Springs, 7 p.m.

Jan. 26 at Rifle, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 27 at Delta, 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 30 vs. Northfield, 7 p.m.

Feb. 2 at Coal Ridge, 7 p.m.

Feb. 3 at Basalt, 4 p.m.

Feb. 6 vs. Aspen, 7 p.m.

Feb. 9 at Moffat County, 7 p.m. 

Feb. 10 at Steamboat Springs, 2 p.m.

Feb. 16 vs. Rifle, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 17 vs.Delta, 4 p.m.

Feb. 20-21 at CHSAA playoffs first round

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