GYPSUM — Vail Christian is probably going on Summit County boys basketball schedule next year.
After all, the Tigers like playing Eagle County teams. After thumping Battle Mountain, 62-38, this past week, Summit came into Gypsum and knocked off Eagle Valley, 54-41, on Tuesday night. That’s two wins in three outings for the suddenly resurgent Tigers.
“This, I don’t what to say is what we envisioned, but this is what we’ve been talking about the whole time,” Summit coach Phil Tronsrue said. “We went down to Denver (in December) and lost some close games. … We just need to tighten it up a little more in some little areas. It’s the old adage, doing some of the little things.”
DEVILS UP AT THE HALF
There are also big things like rebounding. The Tigers trailed the Devils, 24-18, at the half, but started crashing the boards in the final 16 minutes.
“We played well as a team and boxed out,” said Summit junior Merrick Crispell, who led the Tigers with 16 points. “That’s what we’ve focused on in practice the last couple of weeks.”
Crispell started the rally with two buckets to start the second half. Tigers junior Thomas DeBonville (14 points) and Eagle Valley’s Slater Sabo traded 3s and the two teams were tied at 31 with 1:27 left in the third quarter. DeBonville and Marco Reifstock, also a junior, gave the Tigers the lead for good and junior Jason Engel jarred a 3 at the buzzer of the third for 38-32 lead.
If you think there are a lot of juniors on Summit County’s roster, well, there are. The Tigers have two seniors, a sophomore and the rest are juniors on the roster.
Summit (2-8 overall and 2-4 in the 4A Slope) got its lead up 46-34 before Eagle Valley made a bit of a charge with a 3 from Sabo and a lay-in from Turner Glissman before Tronsrue called a timeout and Summit reestablished the tone. The Tigers still need to work on free throws late, but they seem to be moving in the right direction.
In the meantime, Tuesday night was a bitter pill for Eagle Valley (4-8, 2-4).
‘YOU CANNOT GET COMPLACENT’
“If we could have put a whole game together, we would have been fine,” Devils coach Jim Bair said. “We played well in the first half, and moved the ball well. In the second half, we got stagnant and complacent. Summit kept up the intensity and passed us up. You cannot get complacent in this league.”
Summit hosts Glenwood Springs on Thursday, and Bair and the Devils probably hope that game goes about 20 overtimes as the Demons are in Gypsum on Friday.