Lady Tigers hit on all cylinders in ‘big win’
ELIZABETH – Summit High School girls basketball coach Jeff Neal didn’t mask his excitement on the phone Friday night.Describing his team’s 76-51 road win over league rival Elizabeth, one of the hottest teams in the state, Neal said, “We finally put together four quarters, and it was awesome. This is a big win.”The first-year head coach Neal said it was “by far” his team’s best performance. “They played well at every position,” he said.Elizabeth had beaten Ralston Valley, D’Evelyn and Sierra. Summit is 0-4 this year against the first two teams, and Sierra was ranked ninth in the state’s 4A class this week.None of that mattered on Friday, largely because the Tigers could’ve gone up against anyone the way they played, and they probably would’ve won just as convincingly.Summit (13-6, 3-2 Jeffco) won its third straight game after losing three in a row. Elizabeth dropped to 9-9 overall, and 3-2 in league play.Fabulous freshman Samantha Neal scored a career-high 26 points to lead Summit, hitting an astonishing six 3-pointers. Senior Shannon Buhler added 25 points in her best game since a shoulder injury sidelined her for a week last month.Cissy Daniels chipped in with 11, and Lynlee Holloway added six. Amanda Neal led the charge on the boards, pulling down rebound after rebound to start Summit’s high-octane transition offense.”We played transition basketball all game,” Jeff Neal said. “Really, it’s exciting because I think it’s the first time we’ve put together four quarters doing that. We were even getting wide-open 3’s in transition.”Summit didn’t open up its lead until the second half, when Elizabeth tried to press the Tigers into making mistakes. Guards Samantha Neal, Daniels and Buhler handled the pressure, and cashed in at the other end.The Tigers led by seven at halftime, then crushed the hosts from there.After the game, Elizabeth’s coach told Neal the Tigers were the best team the Cardinals had seen.Summit next plays at Golden on Tuesday.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 231, or at email@example.com.
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