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Tigers taken down at home

BRYCE EVANS
summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

FARMER’S KORNER – It’s been a tough start to the season for the Summit High boys’ basketball team. And after the Tigers’ 10th loss of the season Tuesday at home against Centaurus, head coach Mark Ruybal had a strong message for his young squad.

“You go through ups and downs in life, during a basketball season and during a game,” the coach said. “It’s not the ups that you’re judged on, it’s the downs and how you react to those downs that will cause you to be a better basketball player, have a better season and have a better life.

“I hope they understand that when things get down, you have to play a little harder, you have to think quicker and respond better.”

Tuesday’s game certainly was an up-and-down affair for Summit.

Solid defense and strong post play by junior Keynan Roggasch kept the Tigers in the game for much of the first half, but the shooting prowess and team speed of Centaurus was too much for Summit to handle. In the end, the Tigers were handed an 82-26 loss.

“They’re the best team in the conference, I think,” Ruybal said of Centaurus. ” … They have size, plus they have quickness – they have everything you’d need to win a championship.”

The visitors also had a lopsided advantage in team experience. While the Tigers played an eight-man rotation that included four freshmen, the Warriors had eight seniors and two juniors on their 10-player roster.

The age difference showed.

A 3-point shot by freshman guard Coy Coker and a pair of short-range jumpers from Roggasch helped the Tigers to a slim 18-7 deficit after the opening quarter.

But the Warriors’ offense exploded in the second. Centaurus hit four 3-point shots and scored 26 points in the quarter to build an insurmountable 44-14 lead at halftime.

The second half didn’t get much better for the Tigers, as they were only able to hit four field goals in the final two quarters to end with the lopsided loss.

Both Coker and Roggasch finished with 11 points on the night, and junior Michael Leopold and senior Ross Jackson each had two points.

Even in the loss, Ruybal felt his team showed some signs of things to come. He pointed to freshman Connor Hebert as having an outstanding game in his first career varsity action.

“He was boxing out, got five rebounds and because he was boxing out so well, he got a couple over-the-back calls,” Ruybal said of the lanky rookie forward. “That’s a positive for us.”

And the coach said the team needs to focus on the positives, especially with a short turnaround before playing again tonight against Westminster.

“You don’t have time to think about what happened,” Ruybal said of the back-to-back games. “You have to get focused on that next game. Sometimes, it’s a good thing. We can just throw that game away and go after it.”

Tip off for the Tigers (1-10) is at 7 p.m. tonight at SHS.


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