How sweet it could’ve been on Senior Night
Want more from Senior Night? Go online to SummitDaily.com for more photos of friends, family and fans from the pregame senior ceremony.
If only every quarter were like the third quarter.
In front of a large and raucous Senior Night crowd, the Summit High boys basketball team hosted Glenwood Springs — the No. 2 team in the 4A Western Slope with a league record of 6-3 — for a must-have win.
They fought, they clawed, they did what they’ve been doing most of the season, and like the girls game before it, the Tigers came up short on offense when it mattered most. The boys fell to the Demons, 37-47, in one of the lowest-scoring affairs of the season. The girls also lost, 29-55.
By now, with just three league games to go, the Summit boys record (7-12 overall, 2-7 league) isn’t good enough to earn a trip to the postseason. But a win is a win, and a win is about 10 times sweeter on Senior Night, when you’re playing for parents and grandparents and girlfriends and (why not?) the other team’s girlfriends. Oh, and did I mention a conference win would’ve bumped the Tigers ahead of Palisade to get out of the league basement? That would’ve been the sweetest.
Back to the ifs. If Summit had managed to play a full game like the third quarter — when the boys scored 10 and kept Glenwood’s slippery front line contained to just six — the home team would’ve come away with a win. The home crew wasn’t going nuts with baskets like it did against Palisade and Eagle Valley, but just about everyone was getting in on the scoring mix that quarter: senior Bryan Jasso with six, fellow senior Andrew Shaw with two, junior Dimitri Preciado with two. On defense, senior Max Coleman and junior Turner McDonald were stonewalls, putting a damper on the Demons hyperactive pass-and-pick strategy in the paint.
That strategy worked just fine in the first quarter, when Glenwood dominated Summit, 12-6, and again in the second, 16-10. The Tigers didn’t look flat, exactly. They just looked … off. I lost track of missed shots and rebounds after the first, but in that opening frame Summit collectively missed five shots, lost four rebounds and scored just three times, including a sweet steal for a breakaway layup by Preciado. At least the defense didn’t ebb and flow.
Like he has most of the season, Preciado was a firecracker for Summit, driving into the paint and drawing penalties for six points total. (The refs did a bang-up job of calling fouls only when really, truly merited. Good on them.) Stepping up to help with five points was senior Jesus Moya, who has struggled to find the basket this season but almost couldn’t miss against the Demons. His biggest of two failed baskets: a rim-out three-pointer at 37-43 with three minutes remaining.
If (again with the ifs) Moya’s three had gone in, the final few minutes might have been as wild and up-tempo as the rest of the game. But like they have all season, the Summit starters were forced to foul Glenwood in hopes of shanked free throws, gifting the Demons four points on six attempts to help their foes pull just out of reach. Senior Night could’ve been a show-stopping affair, but instead it was yet another 10-point loss. If only.
The Summit boys and girls begin the final stretch of the season on Thursday against Rifle (boys 8-10 overall, 5-3 league) in Rifle. Senior Night was the final home game for the girls, while the boys have one last chance for a Frisco win on Feb. 11 against non-conference team Longmont (10-8 overall). Tip-off for that game is 12:30 p.m.
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