Summit boys basketball team hosted Nantahala last Friday for the Bears’ season opener but ended with a loss, 69-57.
Top scorers included three players who scored double digits, Summit Anthony Qemali had a career high of 21 points and Chance Wilson and Noah Becker both scored 10.
Qemali said they are often viewed as underdogs, but keeping pace with Nantahala shows that the Bears have what it takes to be competitive, but there are things to work on.
“We need to work on being more aggressive,” he said. “If we can learn to take charges and box out on defense, our team has the opportunity to develop tremendously.”
Summit was without big man John Campbell and leading scorer Benito Morales, which may have made a difference against a much larger Nantahala team.
“Playing against a team so much bigger than us shows the level of physicality we need to strive for,” said Qemali. “We were missing two of our best players, and if they can heal before our next matchup, I like our chances.”
Summit Zach Russell said compared to last year the Bears have made significant improvement.
“I think we did we did a good job with two of our main players down,” said Russell. “But they’re size; we have the same speed but they are just taller and bigger. We played better against them this time, last year we got wrecked. This year we kept up with them.”
Summit’s team is also made up of several middle schoolers, including 7th-grader Wilson.
“I think we did pretty well,” said Wilson. “We need to work on our defense, stop floating passes, and get those big guys stopped. I didn’t think we’d play that good or that I’d even score, but I ended up scoring a lot.”
Summit played Eagle Ridge on Thursday on the road and ended with a tough loss of 52-30. Summit Coach Jeremy Robinson said at one point they were down to down to 2 high schoolers and 5 middle schoolers. He said Summit players were getting knocked around but they never backed down or gave up.
The Bears were lead by high scorer Ed Marquina who put 11 points on the board.
Pictured at the top of the article is Lauch Young boxing out for a rebound.