Lady Tigers’ five-game win streak ends on road |

Lady Tigers’ five-game win streak ends on road

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk

ARVADA – Summit High School girls basketball coach Jeff Neal had a feeling. If his girls allowed snail-paced Ralston Valley to control the tempo of Tuesday night’s game, they were in trouble. If the Tigers badgered the host Mustangs into a run-n-gun tempo, however, chances were the visitors would be smiling come game’s end.To Summit’s dismay, the latter scenario never materialized as Ralston Valley stalled and defended its way to a 47-39 win in the telling early season matchup between two of the best teams in the 4A Jeffco League.

“We basically let them control the tempo,” said Neal, whose team had scored 65 points or more in its past four games and brought a five-game winning streak into Tuesday’s contest. “They don’t mind running 30, 40 seconds off the clock for a possession.”The Tigers led by a point at halftime and entered the final two-plus minutes of the game tied at 39. That’s when the battle-tested Mustangs made their move, scoring five straight clutch points and forcing the visitors to foul and hope.Summit dropped to 10-5 overall, 1-1 in Jeffco play. Ralston Valley, which beat the Tigers both times they met last year, improved to 11-5 (1-1).

Tigers shooting guard Samantha Neal, who has been firing and connecting from long range at will the past two weeks, hit three 3-pointers in the first half. Then the Mustangs adjusted, moving to a box-and-one defense that was aimed at shutting down Summit’s sophomore sharpshooter.To an extent, it worked. Neal scored just five points in the final two quarters, finishing with 14 in the game. She was the only player on either team to score in double figures.Senior Cissy Daniels tallied eight for SHS, and her classmate Amanda Neal chipped in six despite aggravating a past shoulder injury late in the first half.

The Tigers play at Woodland Park on Thursday night before traveling to face league power D’Evelyn on Friday.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13630, or at

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