Daniels, Tigers double up 1-17 Alameda
FARMER’S KORNER – Just in case last-place Alameda had any idea of stirring the 4A Jeffco League pot, Cissy Daniels and the finally healthy Summit High School girls basketball team left no doubt.The Tigers doubled up the Pirates on Tuesday, 70-35, largely due to Daniels’ career-high 26 points. Summit overcame a slow start in the first few minutes to take a 37-20 lead into halftime and it was all but over from there.The Tigers improved to 12-6 and 2-2 in league play with the blowout victory. Alameda dropped to 1-17 (0-4).In addition to Daniels’ unprecedented scoring output, the return of junior all-league forward Amanda Neal helped boost the hosts as well. Neal had been out of action for two weeks with an injured shoulder, but her return to the lineup gave Summit a full arsenal for the first time in nearly a month.
Alameda tried to stop the senior-freshman scoring tandem of Shannon Buhler and Samantha Neal, but in doing so left the hoop open to Daniels, Amanda Neal and the rest of the Tigers.”It was nice to see we had a full squad,” first-year SHS coach Jeff Neal said. “That’s what a good balanced team can do. With our full team, I think it’s going to be harder for teams to just focus on Sam and Shannon.”Samantha Neal scored 12 points and Buhler added nine, but neither got hot. Instead, it was the sharpshooting ability of Daniels to hit from all over the floor that doomed the Pirates.Amanda Neal called her classmate’s performance “amazing.”For the first time in their last few games, the Tigers got back to the run-and-gun style of play that made them successful at the season’s outset. This was especially the case Tuesday early in the second half, where Summit has had trouble putting points on the board this season.
The Tigers opened the third quarter on a 14-4 run, burying the Pirates deeper than they could dig themselves out. “Seeing us run the floor and get back to our style, I was really happy with that,” Jeff Neal said.Daniels added five rebounds and five steals to her offensive output, and Buhler finished with eight rebounds and six steals. The Tigers forced 25 Alameda turnovers in the game.Allie Esparza scored 10 points for Summit in one of her best games of the year, and Amanda Neal chipped in seven points and 11 rebounds. Emily George also banged the boards, grabbing 10 rebounds.
“I think that’s how we’re going to be strong down the stretch and in the tournament is to be a balanced team inside and out,” Jeff Neal said.As for Alameda’s frustrating season, Pirates coach Rex Terry said, “We just can’t score enough.”Summit hits the road on Friday to take on league rival Elizabeth.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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