Demons rout Tigers in boys hoops opener

Summit correspondent
Glenwood Springs High School Basketball player Patrick Hailey reaches for a tip off Saturday night against the Summit Tiger.

FARMER’S KORNER ” The mercury fell to 24 degrees Fahrenheit before Saturday’s tip-off at Summit High School and the Tiger boys basketball team’s shooters weren’t much warmer.

The SHS boys basketball team shot 10-for-28 from the field including a dubious 2-for-17 from behind the 3-point line in a 56-30 loss to Glenwood Springs Saturday at Farmer’s Korner.

The contest was the season opener for both squads.

“These guys can shoot,” SHS coach Mark Ruybal said. “We do a lot of shooting drills in practice. They’re just not yet in tune with the offense.”

The Tigers unfamiliarity with the new offense showed. The team couldn’t find any rhythm, constantly threw the ball to areas unoccupied by teammates and committed 25 turnovers.

“That’s why they struggled,” Ruybal said after the game. “Instead of being focused on the basket, they were more concentrated on where they should be on the floor and if they were in the right spot. When the guys get more comfortable with the offense, we’ll become a better scoring team.”

Joe Felton was the only player who didn’t seem distracted by the new offense. The 6-foot-2 forward led all scorers with 19 points, accounting for all 11 of the Tigers first-quarter points. But SHS was unable to get him consistent looks the rest of the game.

“That seems to happen a lot with me,” Felton said. “I start off hot, but then they start throwing a lot of defense at me, two or three guys. When that happens, I try to do too much and turn the ball over.”

The game was tied at 11 with 53 seconds left in the first quarter before Glenwood went on a 14-point run that lasted deep into the second quarter. SHS trailed 29-17 at half.

The Tigers got on the right track after the break, holding the Demons to just two points in the third quarter, but SHS was outscored 19-6 in the fourth.

“I think that’s one of the biggest and better teams we’ll see,” Felton said. “We banged with them. Me and (Ryan) George are the only ones with varsity experience. We had a sophomore at the point (Taylor Troutman), who I thought did great. We were right there, but unfortunately we only played three solid quarters.”

Although Felton was pleased with his performance, the co-captain of the Tigers made it clear where his priorities lie.

“I don’t care how many points I have,” he said. “I could score zero, it doesn’t matter as long as we win.”

Ruybal, in his first season with SHS, said there was a lot of positive things he saw in the team’s play.

Troutman conducted the game beyond his years at the point and David Leopold was tough on the boards. George, who played with a broken finger in his right hand, was a spark plug on defense, recording four blocks and four steals.

“Hey, I’ve done this five times now, starting over with a new team,” Ruybal said. “With only 15 practices in, I didn’t expect everyone to be on the same page ” but I did expect them to hustle and they did that. The effort was there from these kids. We want to be ready when league starts.”

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