SHS Girls win first round of district tourney
FARMER’S KORNER – The Summit High School and Ralston Valley girls basketball teams both wanted to keep their seasons going so badly that half of both teams’ players were scrambling on their stomachs to get the ball at one point in Monday night’s first round of district tournament play at SHS.
Throughout the game, not a pass was thrown or a rebound grabbed where the defending team didn’t try to wrest the ball away. But in the end, Summit had the ball and the 53-38 victory.
“Everyone was playing aggressively and everyone was going after everything,” said SHS sophomore Shannon Buhler, who, at one point in the first half, single-handedly stomped out two back-to-back charges by the Ralston Mustangs with quick, calculated steals, and scored seven points throughout the game. “It just made it a great game. We’re both good teams, but tonight we proved we’re the better team.”
The Tigers started out a little slow, down 8-13 after the first quarter, then picked up a 22-19 half-time lead thanks to quick shots and interceptions headed up by Sara Olbright and Summit’s high scorer Dolly Fiedelman (18 points). The Tigers pulled ahead 33-28 by the third quarter, but in the middle of the third quarter, things got a little ugly. Passes bounced between legs and down the court and traveling calls were made on players trying to walk on their bellies. After this charade ran its course, it was the Tigers that cleaned up their game and, in a scoring rally led by freshman Cissy Daniels (11 points), began pulling significantly ahead. Summit then left the Mustangs to make desperate and sloppy offensive bursts and poorly placed swats at the ball. In the final two minutes, Fiedelman and Buhler left the court to standing ovations, Kendra Carlberg stepped in for a fast layup, and the win was sealed.
“I don’t think we were nervous or scared or anything all night,” said Summit junior Kelly Kastberg, who only put away one free throw all game, but played a key role in defensive rallies and rebounds. “We knew we were going to come away with a victory. We both really wanted it bad – it’s the game to determine if your season’s over or not. We wanted it more, and we came up with it in the end. It means everything right now.”
The Tigers, who were seeded No. 8 going into Monday’s game with a 4-5 conference and 10-9 overall record, take on No. 1 Evergreen High School tonight on the road. Summit lost to Evergreen by 19 points two weeks ago, which is undefeated in the league, but since then, have evolved into a winning team themselves.
“We’ve definitely shown people we can win,” said Megan Skulski, who, despite missing half the day of school Monday due to being sick, scored nine points against Ralston, and was almost always the first to have her hands on the ball for every rebound. “I think we’re going to have to play really strong, knowing the last game against (Evergreen). They’ll go in there knowing they can beat us, having that attitude, and I think we can show them differently.”
Summit coach Julie Norman certainly believes her team can show Evergreen differently in tonight’s rematch.
“The girls know that anyone can win on any given night,” Norman said. “I know they have the heart for it and they don’t want to go down. I don’t think anyone’s walking in thinking, “OK, we’re going to lose this one, but we’re going to win Wednesday.’ They’re going in thinking, “It would be really fun to knock them off.’ Right now, they’re feeding off each other really well. They’ve got the intensity and they’ve got the heart. They’re going to go out there and they’re going to fight.”
Tonight’s game begins at 5:30 p.m. at Evergreen High School. Jim Williams will broadcast live on Krystal 93 FM.
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