Tigers bested by Rifle, 44-29 | SummitDaily.com

Tigers bested by Rifle, 44-29

The Summit Tigers are still holding onto hope that the playoff cards will play out in their favor.

A loss Friday night to the Rifle Bears didn’t help, though.

At the end of the third quarter, the Tigers (4-13 overall; 3-9 Western Slope) and Bears (7-8 overall; 4-6 Slope) were at each other’s throats, battling it out for the win. It was 24-21, with the Bears in the lead.

But then, the fourth quarter hit.

“We kind of fell apart,” Summit head coach Phil Tronsrue said.

The Bears had a small streak and Summit attempted to respond with three-pointers. Those didn’t convert.

As the clock ticked down, the Tigers began fouling to regain possession, but the Bears hit their free throws to tick the score further in their favor.

The final score was 44-29.

It was a must-win game for Summit, which has been hoping to sneak into postseason play. But things aren’t looking good: Summit is at the bottom of the rankings. Depending on how things shake out this week for Battle Mountain and Glenwood Springs, though, the bottom of the rankings could get shaken up a bit.

“It depends. We could all be right there. If both got beat tonight, we’re all still there with three wins,” Tronsrue said.

Meanwhile, Rifle is neck-and-neck with Steamboat Springs for the fourth and fifth spots.

The teams played evenly throughout the night, which was also senior night for the Tigers.

“Defensively, we played really well. It was a battle. We were right in there, we were battling with them. We held them to good stops,” Tronsrue said. “But, we missed some easy scoring opportunities offensively – we didn’t finish.”

Next Friday, Summit plays at Delta.

There’s a week between games, plenty for the Tigers to consider their loss and rally for another win against Delta.

It won’t be easy, though – the Panthers will likely be remembering their 66-53 road loss to Summit.

Meanwhile, Rifle takes on Eagle Valley today, then has nearly a week to consider its fate in the conference.

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