Summit drops final home games to Palisade
Summit vs. Palisade, boys
1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final
Summit 10 12 11 7 40
Palisade 17 20 14 13 64
Summit vs. Palisade, girls
1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final
Summit 4 5 6 2 17
Palisade 10 3 12 8 33
This season has been a roller coaster for Summit basketball. After one loss each against Palisade on Saturday — the final home games of the season — the boy’s and girl’s teams are in two wildly different positions.
First, the girls (8-10 overall, 4-8 league). The Tigers stayed close with the undefeated Bulldogs through most of the first half, heading into the locker room down by just four points after shutting down a fast, aggressive, play-making opponent that’s currently the favorite to win the 4A Western Slope crown. Things slipped in the second half, and when they started to slip there was no stopping it. Summit was outscored 8-20 in the last 16 minutes to lose, 17-33.
After all, that’s what winning teams do — they dominate from buzzer to buzzer. Take it from Megan McDonnell, the Tigers leading scorer in her fourth and final season on the Summit hardwood. In the past three games, she alone has scored more than her entire team could muster against Palisade.
“They came out strong in the second,” McDonnell said after the game. “They knew they could do it and that’s why they’re undefeated.”
A win would’ve done wonders for the girl’s morale, especially after a 58-39 trouncing of cross-county foes Battle Mountain on senior night earlier in the week. But, for better and worse, the last two games are set in stone and it’s time to look at the last two of the regular season. If all goes well at Delta on Feb. 13 and Eagle Valley on Feb. 15, the girls have a chance (a slim chance) of making the 4A Slope tournament. They’re currently tied for fourth place with Delta at 4-8 in the league (barring a Delta win against Steamboat before press time), and a string of two wins by Summit and two losses by Delta bumps the local girls into the tournament.
It won’t be easy — Eagle Valley is in third at 8-2 — but, still, there’s a chance. And McDonnell might be the key. She’s a defensive specialist turned basket machine and this season has been hers for the taking. She set the school single-game scoring record against Glenwood Springs with a whopping 27 points, and she’s regularly led her team with steals and rebounds.
“This has been the best season of the four, not only because we won the most games, but we’ve also had great team bonding,” McDonnell said. “I knew I had to step up this year. I’m a senior, and in the past I relied on older kids. I worked harder this off-season than I have before and I think it helped.”
McDonnell needs on-point play from her teammates to get there, but her first trip to the post-season is tantalizingly close.
Nothing in the net
Now, onto the boys (1-16 overall, 1-10 league). The team’s promising early-season win against Eagle Valley was their only league victory of the year, and that means the post-season has been far out of reach for a few weeks now.
But, post-season or no, Summit has continued to play heads-up ball against much bigger, faster teams. Palisade fits the mold — just about everyone on their team was 6-foot-plus — and for some reason the Tigers just weren’t up to the challenge this time around. The Bulldogs controlled the ball, the tempo, the momentum, the everything from start to finish, with 37 points in the first half and 27 in the second. Summit forwards like Jesus Moya, Turner McDonald and Dmitri Preciado were taking smart shots and taking them often, but for some reason — call it nerves, call it drafts, call it bad luck — they just weren’t going in.
“I talk to the other coaches and we keep saying, ‘They just rattle out every time,’” varsity head coach Paul Koslovsky said. “Shot decision (and) shot choice was terrific. It’s just a matter of harnessing our energy and getting some luck on our side.”
The boys have three games remaining: Steamboat on Feb. 11, Delta on Feb. 13 and Eagle Valley on Feb. 15, which was rescheduled from the snow day match on Feb. 2.
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