Norman, Tigers get first win
FARMER’S KORNER – If the Summit High School girls basketball team continues to play like it did Friday night in its Holiday Classic Tournament, the rest of the Jeffco League can expect one more school fighting for the league title come February.
Behind 20 points from senior guard Dolly Fiedelman, the Tigers dominated Horizon’s JV team en route to a convincing 38-16 win, evening their record at 1-1. The win also was the first for new head coach Julie Norman and freshman floor leader Cici Daniels.
Summit began in dominating fashion, playing suffocating pressure defense and out-hustling its opponent while controlling the tempo on offense enough to neutralize the height advantage of the Hawks. Led by Fiedelman’s aggressive style of play, Summit forced Horizon into turnover after turnover and didn’t allow a basket for the first six and a half minutes of the game. Fiedelman and junior Kelly Kastberg ended with four steals apiece, and Summit’s defense rarely allowed Horizon a clean look at the basket.
Fiedelman and Daniels also provided Summit with a balanced attack on the offensive perimeter, while sophomore Shannon Buhler contributed strong inside play and consistent rebounding. The win was a positive and important stride in the right direction for coach Norman and her players after a tough loss in their first-round game Wednesday.
“The first win is huge, not only for the program but also for myself. And most of all for the players. They were a little down in practice after Wednesday, but they worked hard and took care of the little things to get themselves mentally prepared for this game. They deserved to win.”
Coach Norman’s thoughts were echoed by her precocious freshman guard, Daniels. “(This win) is pretty important because it starts our season off and really boosts our spirits.”
The obvious chemistry that exists in Summit’s backcourt between the senior captain, Fiedelman, and the freshman, Daniels, fueled Friday’s win, and, Norman hopes, will continue to lead the team to success as the season wears on and league play begins. “The two of them really balance each other. Dolly does a great job setting the standard and raising Cici’s level of play. And, Cici just doesn’t play like a freshman. She’s not intimidated easily.”
True to form on Friday, Daniels provided the calm, cool under fire to complement her captain’s aggressive yet controlled style of play. Together they form a potent and balanced tandem, one that benefits them both as individual players, as well as their team as a whole.
When asked about the effect that Fiedelman’s presence has had on her fledgling high school career, Daniels said, “It definitely helps make me a better player, and it’s fun because I get to play at such a competitive level. We work well together.”
Fiedelman concurred. “I think we read each other really well. She backs me up, I back her up. We’ve known each other for a while – I think that helps a lot, too.”
If Summit is to reach its potential and return to the regional playoffs this season, its dynamic duo will likely be the leading cause. And while the road is long and the season young, Fiedelman already sees a bright future for her senior season.
“This win was very important and really gets our momentum going. Wednesday’s loss was tough, but I think we really proved what we can do tonight.”
Summit continues its play in the Holiday Classic today at 1 p.m. against Lake County.
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