By Julieann Challacombe
NASHVILLE — What began with a display of confidence on the floor, ended in shattered bits as Summit succumbed to host Hillsboro’s explosive second half in an eventual 54-47 Region 6-AAA Tournament quarterfinals decision.
Summit began with a sturdy foundation, but the Lady Burros forced multiple turnovers and grabbed continuous offensive rebounds for second-chance points, an effort that put them up early.
The visitors regrouped, leading 21-16 at halftime, but couldn’t build on that offensive momentum in the second half against Hillsboro’s defensive pressure. Against that effort, Summit’s inability to make shots emerged as the primary factor in the season-ending loss.
“We have to make shots; it’s kind of been our downfall this year – not being able to put the ball in the basket,” Lady Spartans coach John Wild said. “I thought we got some great looks. Some of them went down, but a majority of them didn’t. I think that was it in a nutshell.”
Despite the loss, Wild had nothing but prideful thoughts in his heart about the seniors who helped build the success of this season — especially Ellie Colson, who put on an exceptional performance in Friday’s loss.
Colson, an Eastern Illinois signee, put up a team-high 16 points, posting nine of them in the second half. She maintained a hopeful and fighting spirit until the final buzzer, as she continued to create opportunities to get to the charity stripe and chip away at their loss even though it seemed doubtful they would come back.
“I think tonight, in the district consolation game and in the district first round game, Ellie played like an (Ohio Valley Conference) post player,” Wild said. “As a program, we’re not where we are without her. A lot of our success has come because she was playing up to her capabilities.”
Fellow senior Delaney Noe also put a great deal of effort into what turned out to be the final game of her high school career, totaling 11 points — including two 3-pointers in the second half that increased the Lady Spartans’ chances of coming back.
Along with the two seniors, junior Bergen Allee put up 12 points to lead a promising group of Summit returnees.
“The sky’s the limit for the underclassman,” Wild said. “There’s a lot of players returning and we have a lot of ability in the locker room – the remainder of our group has a chance to win a couple district championships.”
Carleigh Wilson scored a game-high 26 points to lead Hillsboro, with Cori Allen adding 13.
Hillsboro girls 54, Summit 47
S 9 12 10 16 — 47
H 6 10 17 21 — 54
Summit (47) – Ellie Colson 16, Bergen Allee 12, Delaney Noe 11, Nicole Rizane 5, Claudette Runk 3
Hillsboro (54) – Carleigh Wilson 26, Cory Allen 13, Latisha Parris 7, Kimora Lockett 5, Kamil Washum 2, Derriona Salter 2, Latazia Williamson 2
3-pointers – Summit 6 (Noe 3, Allee 2, Runk) Hillsboro 4 (Wilson 3, Lockett)
Photos by Ric Beu / SM-Tn Sports