By Maurice Patton
SPRING HILL — After going nearly three weeks without a game, the prospect of going even longer was more than veteran Summit girls basketball coach John Wild could take.
So when a holiday classic that the Lady Spartans were scheduled to participate in this week fell through because of pandemic-related issues, Wild worked the phones, e-mails and social media to pull a three-day event together on his home court.
The efforts were successful Monday, as Summit played – and won, defeating Nolensville 42-32.
“I think the biggest thing is we got the taste of a game situation back in our mouth,” Wild said as his squad won in its first outing since defeating District 11-AAA rival Centennial 48-22 on Dec. 8. “Now, we get to do it two more days after we hadn’t done it in 20.
“I think we looked fine offensively. We took care of the ball, we took good shots. You can tell the ‘cardio’ isn’t there, which happens when you haven’t played. It showed on defense – we were a stop slow. We lost our game shape, but I think we’ll get that back in the next week.”
Against a 7-1 Nolensville team that brought a five-game winning streak into the contest, Summit (5-3) started slowly – trailing 8-2 before closing the first quarter with eight unanswered points. The Lady Knights led 17-16 at intermission, but pulled away in the second half.
Coincidentally, that was the time frame during which Eastern Illinois signee Ellie Colson began to win more of her individual matchups with Nolensville post Zoe Piller. Despite giving up two inches to the 6-2 West Florida signee, who finished with a game-high 16 points, Colson was the hosts’ catalyst on both ends of the floor down the stretch.
“We’re just trying to get back into the flow,” Colson said. “We fell back into it fairly quickly. Everybody’s willing to work their butts off to get performances like these.”
Colson finished with eight points, supplementing 11-point outings from Claudette Runk and Delaney Noe (three 3-pointers), while battling Piller in the paint.
“She’s a good player. I played with her this summer,” Colson said. “When you play against someone that plays at such a high level, there’s a mutual respect. In the second half, I could feel a switch flip. I couldn’t let her beat me the rest of the way.”
While Nolensville hadn’t been idle for as long as Summit, Monday’s game was the fourth in as many weeks for the Lady Knights.
“We’re definitely not in game shape,” coach Chris Ladd said. “We were missing some sharpness out there. This time of year is always tough, but that’s why you do these things. Summit is a quality opponent. We hung in there for a bit, and it’ll hopefully help us down the line.
“We don’t see many teams built like Summit – well-coached, disciplined in what they do. We’re usually that team. It’ll be good for us, and Wednesday will be, too.”
Though Tuesday’s schedule was canceled because White House and Stewarts Creek are unavailable, the classic will resume Wednesday with Summit facing Westmoreland at 3 p.m. Nolensville will take on Father Ryan – a 38-28 winner Monday over Franklin – at 4:30 p.m.
While the event didn’t go completely as Wild had hoped, he expressed gratitude to the Summit administrative team of principal Sarah Lamb, athletic principal Greg Glass and athletics director Chad Kirby.
“After Goodpasture fell through, we were scrambling for a place to play,” Wild said. “It’s great to be some place that’s got such great athletic leadership. I’m thankful to them for letting us do this.”
Summit girls 42, Nolensville 32
N 8 9 11 4 – 32
S 10 6 14 12 – 42
Nolensville (32) – Chloe Earls 9, Caymin Ladd 2, Sara Grutesie 2, Paige Dickinson 3, Zoe Piller 16
Summit (42) – Delaney Noe 11, Bergen Allee 6, Claudette Runk 11, Ellie Colson 8, Jaidyn Ramzy 6
3-pointers – Nolensville 4 (Earls 3, Dickinson), Summit 4 (Noe 3, Ramzy)