Neal’s 31 points not enough to prevent overtime loss
GOLDEN – Samantha Neal has been feeling stressed out lately. Prior to the Lady Tigers’ game against Centaurus on Monday, the Summit High School sophomore made a conscious decision to re-focus her energy. “Sam and I talked before the game and she decided she had been putting too much pressure on herself,” Summit coach Jeff Neal said. “She just decided to go out there and have some fun.”Sam Neal’s approach seemed to work as she finished with 31 points, including five 3-pointers and 10 free throws. Unfortunately for Summit, no one else scored in double figures as the Tigers lost to the Warriors 52-48 in overtime.Summit (5-4) came out in sluggish fashion, losing the first quarter 19-5.
“We really didn’t come out ready to play,” coach Neal said.After crawling back to an eight-point deficit at halftime, Summit took over the third quarter, outscoring the Warriors 16-4. With two minutes remaining in the game, the Tigers found themselves with a 3-point lead, but it was quickly erased by a Warrior basket from downtown. Summit had the ball at the end of regulation but turned it over before it could muster a final shot.According to Jeff Neal, Samantha Neal isn’t the only Tiger whose been playing with undue pressure.”We’re trying to get all of the girls to become less stressed and more confident,” he said.The coach said his shooting guard, Samantha Neal, looked like a different player in Monday’s game.
“Sam finally broke out tonight,” he said. “She did a little bit of everything out there.”Cissy Daniels chipped in six points for the Tigers. Whitney Degerberg, a versatile junior, returned to the Summit lineup after missing two games with an illness. She scored two points in limited time.The Lady Tigers will return to Golden on Monday, where they will face the loser of a Golden/Adams City match-up.Coach Neal said his team can only benefit from the tough competition it will encounter in the Jeffco/Skyline tournament.
“I want to toughen our kids up,” he said. “These kinds of games will pay dividends. My only focus is to win the conference.”Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970)668-3998, ext. 13631 or at email@example.com.
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