Comeback falls short for Summit girls’ hoops
summit daily news
FARMER’S KORNER – Summit’s Taylor Greene stole the ball at midcourt, darted around an Elizabeth defender and went in for a contested layup. She released the ball softly toward the backboard, and as she was sent sprawling to the floor by the defender, the ball dropped in for the bucket, giving the Tigers their first lead of the night 34-33 with just 2:31 remaining in the fourth quarter.
It was Summit’s 13th straight point in less than two minutes – the end of a comeback that eventually fell short.
The Tigers didn’t score the rest of the game and, despite stellar defense, lost 36-34 Tuesday at home.
“It was a very hard-fought game,” SHS head coach Rachel Dunway said. “They showed a lot of heart at the end.”
The win would’ve put the Tigers back at the .500 mark both for the season and in league play. Instead, they dropped to 5-7, continuing their roller-coaster run through their early schedule.
Greene, who finished the night with nine points, had three steals and four offensive rebounds over the Tigers’ comeback run.
Junior Jessica Malknecht led Summit with 12 points, including two key free throws in the fourth quarter to keep the Tigers’ hopes alive.
Unfortunately, everything the Tigers did late in the game couldn’t overcome what happened early. Summit shot poorly early on, scoring just four points in the first quarter off 2-14 shooting.
And that wasn’t the team’s biggest problem.
“If we didn’t have 31 turnovers for the game, we wouldn’t have had to (come back),” Dunaway said. “Turnovers killed us, but they never gave up.”
The Tigers were also hindered by a pair of injuries. Senior post Chloe Webber went down in the third quarter and never returned, and Malknecht was playing through an injury of her own the whole night.
Still, the Tigers were right there to pull off the win at the end.
The run started when senior Ali Rookey made four straight free throws just shy of the four-minute mark. The charity shots cut the lead to 33-25 with 3:59 remaining.
Summit’s full-court press took it from there.
Greene stole the ball on the ensuing inbounds, and Malknecht eventually finished the possession with a driving layup.
Summit stole the ball on each of the next two Elizabeth possessions, ending in a bucket from Greene and a pair of free throws by Malknecht.
Then, senior Davia Carr forced a jump ball the next time up the floor, and Rookey made a free throw to pull the Tigers within a point with 2:51 left.
The Tigers, after calling a timeout, went right back into their press. The Elizabeth player fumbled the inbounds pass and it rolled out of bounds.
Greene made her driving bucket to give Summit the lead, but, suddenly, the offense dried up.
The Tigers had three attempts to regain the lead after Elizabeth scored but couldn’t do it.
And with just 10.7 seconds remaining, Summit’s last possession ended without a shot – and the horn went off for another Tiger loss.
“There’s two things that have been our nemesis this year and that’s rebounding and turnovers,” Dunaway said. “If we can limit those two, we’ll have a whole lot of success.”
The Tigers (5-7, 1-3) are back on the court Friday when they travel to take on Conifer at 7 p.m.
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