Tigers ignore obnoxious fans to beat Palisade, 67-57
Summit vs. Palisade — Feb. 4
1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final
Summit 15 17 18 17 67
Palisade 19 11 11 16 57
Man do I loathe it if childish fans get in the way of a fun and physical basketball game.
When Summit met up with Palisade for girls and boys games at home on Saturday, a few obnoxious folks in the stands spent more time whining about the intense (and sometimes sloppy) game than they spent, you know, actually watching it.
But enough moaning and groaning — guess that’s for those parents to do. Back to the game.
Man do I love it when the Tigers play the kind of basketball they know how to play: physical, fast-paced and constantly changing, so that the other team doesn’t have any idea who or where to cover. A whopping eight Summit boys made baskets in the 67-57 victory, from beautiful fade-aways by Eddie Jain and Jesus Moya to clutch 3-pointers by Ilja Bubukin and Turner McDonald to twisting layups for and-one fouls by Dimitri Preciado. Both sides came to play, obnoxious fans or no, and head coach Jordan Buller was relieved to see his team come away with a much-needed home win.
“Palisade plays extremely tough basketball,” Buller said. “And it feels good to compete with them and sneak away with a win.”
Summit and Palisade started the game playing more like a lazy Sunday pickup than a Saturday varsity match. There were sloppy passes and plenty of turnovers on both sides, but the Bulldogs managed to pull away in the final minute to end the first quarter up, 19-15.
Summit wasted no time making up ground in the second and ended the quarter up, 32-30, led by the junior-senior duo of McDonald and Jain. McDonald was an assist machine, feeding the ball to Jain and fellow junior Mario Ramirez on fast-break attacks that forced the Bulldogs to bunch up below the net. McDonald ended the night with five assist and six points. Jain also had six points.
Things got rowdy in the third when the Bulldogs got slapped with a technical. Ramirez stepped up to the line and sank three-for-three, which finally (finally) brought roars of approval instead of bile from the crowd. Palisade tried to fight back, but the momentum was on Summit’s side for once and they entered the fourth quarter still ahead, 50-41.
Man what a difference it makes to have the lead in the final frame. For most of the season, Summit has been forced to claw back in the fourth, and it’s one of several reasons they have a losing record.
“It makes such a difference to have the advantage in the end of the game,” Buller said. “You can see that we struggled even then because it’s new for us.”
Summit looked sloppy again at the start of the fourth, but the team quickly regained composure and ended with a few wham-bam plays, including two you might call cherry picking. But who cares? The crowd was eating it up, and by the time Palisade started fouling Preciado in frustration, the game was over. Final score: 67-57, bumping the Tigers to 7-11 overall and 2-6 in the 4A Western Slope. Palisade drops to 4-15 overall and 3-6 in the Slope.
“We were hoping for more wins, but I’m trying to keep the big picture in mind,” Buller said after the game. “Even though the seniors might not get to participate in the program were building, we’re trying to build the respectability we want.”
Girls lose in last minute
The crowd for the girls match was much more courteous, but the game itself was just as wild. Summit stayed neck and neck with the league-leading Palisade team (15-2 overall, 6-1 league) and even entered the final minutes with a slight lead, 45-43.
That’s when the Bulldogs put on their championship face and out-hustled the Tigers, forcing two key turnovers and drawing one clutch penalty to take the lead, 45-47, with less than 10 seconds remaining. Summit struggled to get the ball off its baseline and into enemy territory until Palisade forced one more turnover and converted a layup to seal the win, 45-49.
The Summit girls are now 4-15 overall and 1-7 in the 4A Slope. They next face Glenwood Springs on Feb. 7, at 5:30 p.m. for Senior Night and the home closer. The boys take on Glenwood the same day at 7 p.m.
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