Fourth-quarter comeback keys girls’ win
PUEBLO – It took a stirring fourth-quarter comeback, but when it counted most the Summit High School girls basketball team played like the highly regarded squad it has become, beating Falcon 54-48 in the first round of the 4A state tournament Friday night at Pueblo West High School.The No. 6-seeded Tigers (17-7) erased a six-point deficit with three minutes to go in the final quarter to get past the No. 11 Falcons and advance to today’s second round against third-seeded Sierra.”It was one of those games where we won ugly instead of lost ugly,” first-year SHS head coach Jeff Neal said. “It was huge the way they kept their composure. That’s really what good teams do.”
After playing most of the second and third quarters in a variety of half-court defenses due to foul trouble, the Tigers went back to their bread-and-butter full-court press to key the game-winning – and season-saving – run.Freshman Samantha Neal hit a crucial 3-pointer, one of her four in the game, as did rarely used sophomore Whitney Degerberg. Degerberg scored nine big points after entering the game midway through the third quarter when all-league junior Cissy Daniels fouled out. “To have a girl who plays sparingly step up and make a huge contribution like that in a state tournament game, it gave our whole team a lift,” Jeff Neal said.
Senior Shannon Buhler led the Tigers with 16 points, including two on 3-pointers. Samantha Neal chipped in with one 3 in each quarter, and 14 points. Daniels and Degerberg combined for 18 points, nine each.With the score tied and about a minute left, junior Amanda Neal hit a shot inside to give Summit the lead. The Tigers then made their free throws to seal it.Summit rebounded from some recent poor perimeter shooting to hit 8-of-19 from beyond the arc and beat a good young opponent.
Today’s game against Sierra (14-9) starts at 4 p.m. at Pueblo West. The Stallions lost by seven to Elizabeth earlier this year, while Summit beat Elizabeth on the road by 25.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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