Summit Tigers girls basketball cohesive, confident in season-opening win |

Summit Tigers girls basketball cohesive, confident in season-opening win

Tigers pressure visiting West Grand High School in 46-36 victory

Wearing masks, members of the Summit Tigers varsity girls basketball team warmup before their game against West Grand on Friday, Jan. 29 at Summit High School in Breckenridge. The Tigers won the game 46-36.
Photo by Antonio Olivero /

The Summit High School varsity girls basketball team played cohesive, confident and aggressive in during their season-opening 46-36 win over West Grand on Friday night.

The Tigers’ full-game, full-court pressure sped up the Mustangs and caused a steady stream of turnovers that helped Summit score and control the game’s pace. Sophomore Autumn Rivera excelled on both ends of the floor, leading the Tigers with 15 points.

“Autumn is just that type of player, she’s going to work hard no matter where she is, no matter the position,” said Tigers head coach Kayle Walker-Burns. “I barely substituted her off the court … she knows the shots to take.”

Walker-Burns was ecstatic with Rivera’s play on the interior and exterior of the offensive, working angles to create opportunities for her and her teammates. Rivera was far from the only Tiger to shine on Friday, as the depth and versatility Walker-Burns spoke of in the preseason came to fruition.

The Tigers received contributions from most every player who entered the game via Walker-Burns’ frequent substitutions.

Senior captain point guard Karen Barrios controlled the game’s flow. That helped sophomore post player Brina Babich score 10 points in effective play off the block. Sophomore guard Anna Garvert was another standout for the Tigers with her diving for loose balls and 6 points.

“My job is really hard,” Walker-Burns said, “because, it’s ‘who do I need right now at this moment and what combination of girls?’ Because all of these kids worked so hard and I trust any of them out there.”

“I’m definitely fortunate that these girls have played a lot of basketball together — especially the sophomore class,” Walker-Burns said. “I feel at times, when we are unselfish and play as a team, we get the shots we want, and get the movmeent. Anna Garvert had great passes out there. It was exciting to watch.

Summit failed to convert some good shot opportunities early, with West Grand racing out to an early 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, but eventually the Tigers settled in and shots started to fall. With more made field goals, Summit was able to set up Walker-Burns’ “45 press” full-court zone pressure defense, which further suffocated the Mustangs. The full-game, full-court energy of the Tigers won the day ahead of Summit’s road trip to Roaring Fork 4 p.m. Saturday.

“I always tell them ‘race arch to arch,’” Walker-Burns said. “We want to push the ball. I’ve been running this 45 press as long as I’ve been the varsity coach, so people know what we’re doing. But it’s just about adjusting to how they beat our press, and it’s always changing.”

The Tigers will next play at home Tuesday versus Glenwood Springs (4:30 p.m.)

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