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Lady Tigers pass first playoff test

ADAM BOFFEY
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk
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CRAIG – This is the time of year when the Summit High School girls basketball team can’t afford to take its opponents lightly. After Friday, Summit’s veteran-laden squad is fully aware that no one, not even a 7-15 team like Steamboat Springs, rolls over and plays dead in the postseason.”This game was a much bigger challenge than we had anticipated,” Summit coach Jeff Neal said. “They were a very decent team.”

Backed by 20 points from Cissy Daniels, the Lady Tigers prevented an upset by holding off the Sailors 53-44.”I’m not disappointed with winning by just nine points,” Neal said. “The other (Summit) coaches and I watched Steamboat in warm-ups and we knew right away it was going to be a ball game.”The Sailors jumped out to an early 15-9 first-quarter lead before Neal reluctantly called for a full-court press. “We were trying not to press tonight because of the back-to-back games,” he said, referring to tonight’s second round.

After Steamboat’s quick start, the short-benched Lady Tigers lost the luxury of saving their legs for the next day.Summit (17-7) used its full-court pressure to go on a 16-7 run and take a three-point lead into halftime.Summit, which was hampered by foul trouble and poor offensive execution through much of the game, showed great composure in the second half, Neal said.

“We weren’t shooting the ball well, so once we got a seven- or eight-point lead, we decided to pull it out and let them chase us around and foul us,” Neal said. “Luckily we hit 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch.”Samantha Neal had 14 points for the Lady Tigers and Amanda Neal added 12.Summit will face No. 4 Montrose (15-7) tonight at Moffat County. The Indians received a first-round bye in the 4A tournament and thus were idle on Friday. The winner of today’s 5:30 p.m. contest will advance to next weekend’s Sweet 16.


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