First win eludes Tigers in 55-50 loss to Devils
GYPSUM – The Summit High School boys basketball team made a noticeable stride forward on Tuesday despite losing to Eagle Valley 55-50. The Tigers grew more comfortable with their offense (two players scored in double figures) and welcomed an important piece of the puzzle back to the hardwood, according to SHS coach Mark Ruybal.”That team was every bit as good as Glenwood,” Ruybal said on the phone late Tuesday. “(The Devils) just hit a couple of shots and we didn’t. We showed huge improvement from (Saturday’s 50-36 loss to Glenwood). We only had 14 turnovers, 10 less from our last game.”The contest was tied at 42 going into the fourth quarter, after the Tigers (0-2) outscored the Devils (1-1) 18-9 during the third, but SHS couldn’t hold on.SHS’ Ryan George and Taylor Troutman led the way offensively, tallying 11 and 10 points, respectively. Ruybal said the duo was a bright spot for the team.”(Troutman’s) only a sophomore and like most of my players, doesn’t have any varsity experience before this season,” said Ruybal, whose team will travel to Skyview tonight. “He’s growing right in front of us. George isn’t 100 percent healthy. He’s been playing with a broken finger, but once he’s at full health, he’s a 20-point scorer.”Junior forward Jordan Sitkoski made his season debut for the Tigers on Tuesday after missing the preseason with a back injury.”It’s really good to see him on the floor,” said Ruybal, after Sitkoski scored two points in limited time. “He hasn’t had a lot of practice time, so we didn’t want to burn him out. He’s a big part of this team.”Ruybal believes when Sitkoski’s healthy, he’ll provide some much-needed depth for the Tigers.The first-year coach said a rotation between Sitkoski, David Leopold and Joe Felton will not only give the post players important rest time during games, but it will also make for increased competition within the team.”Everyone will be battling for positions,” Ruybal said. “That’s so important for a team.”Ruybal, in his first year at the helm for Summit, isn’t discouraged by his team’s 0-2 start.”This is just a start,” he said. “They’re learning from me and I’m learning from them. Jan. 19 is when we open league and I like where we are heading as a team.”Josh Salerno can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at email@example.com.
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