It’s lights out for Summit High vs. Lutheran |

It’s lights out for Summit High vs. Lutheran

FARMER’S KORNER – As debuts go, the Summit High School boys basketball team’s 67-39 loss to Lutheran Thursday could have been worse.

After all, it wasn’t just the season opener. It was also the first game of coach Mike Rathgeber’s tenure and the Tigers’ first try at a new basketball philosophy.

For one quarter – the first – it worked great. The Tigers jumped out to a 13-5 lead and finished the first quarter up 15-13. Regardless of their shooting woes (16-of-56 from the field) and some turnover problems throughout the game, the Tigers can hang their hats on that first quarter.

“My kids showed flashes of what we’re trying to do,” Rathgeber said. “Then we just were mental.”

Senior forward Todd Heller said Summit’s strong first quarter was partly due to a large opening-game crowd in the SHS gymnasium.

“We got pumped,” he said. “We got a crowd. It was nice to see support finally. I’ve never seen a crowd that big before. Now we just have to prove to them that we can actually play.”

The Tigers hope the hometown fans won’t judge them by what went on in the second and third quarters, when Summit was outscored 32-13. The Tigers didn’t get a field goal until less than two minutes remained in the second. Dan Soller broke the drought, scoring two of his eight points.

It was the same story in the third quarter. The Tigers didn’t score until Adam Hafliger slashed through for a layup with 2 minutes, 30 seconds left.

Casey Anderson led Summit with 10 points, and Heller had eight, including back-to-back 3-pointers in the first quarter.

Summit prevented the game from getting too out of hand with a 6-2 run to end the first half. It was punctuated by a steal on Lutheran’s last possession, and Summit went into the break down a manageable 11 points.

“There was a point in the game where it could have really gotten ugly and we notched it down to 11 points right before the half,” Rathgeber said. “At that point in time we got back to what we’re trying to do, and closed it in to make it a game.”

Lutheran sophomore Dan Cattau led all scorers with 26 points. He shot the 3-ball well, and hit on 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Steve Johnson and Ben Ahlman were also in double digits for the Lights.

Heller and Paul Middel struggled from the field but never stopped shooting. Eventually, the Tigers think, that mentality will pay off.

“When you’re instituting a 3-point offense, you have to have patience,” Rathgeber said. “You can’t panic and stop doing it. We’re not going to depart from it.”

“We’ll get there,” Heller said, “but we have a ways to go.”

Summit (0-1) gets another chance Saturday at Woodland Park.

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User