This was no real surprise for Sarah Reeves. Honestly, this is more of an every-game expectation.
The chemistry between Summit teammates Reeves, Sarah Heinly and Raja Char is key, as each player has a solid grasp on where the others are on the floor.
What it leads to is a scoring onslaught, and it supplies the Storm girls basketball team with an offensive arsenal that creates mismatches and proves difficult to defend.
“On any given night, any one of those three can be a leading scorer,” said Summit coach Ryan Cruz, whose team improved to 7-3 overall Wednesday night after cruising past visiting Crook County 63-38 in both squads’ Intermountain Hybrid opener.
“With those three,” Cruz added, “you just kind of have to pick your poison with who you’ll defend harder. It’s fun to watch every night because we have had those games where one will outscore the other. That’s a good thing to have within our team.”
Reeves paced the Storm with a game-high 20 points against the Cowgirls, as she, Heinly and Char combined for 47 points.
“It’s a big win,” said Reeves, Summit’s freshman standout. “We want to win the IMC, so every win counts. We know it’s a long road, but that was a great way to start.”
Reeves added four assists and three boards, Heinly chipped in with 16 points, and Char finished the night with 11 points, four assists and three boards for the Storm.
Summit headed into the half with just a nine-point lead at 27-18, a byproduct, according to Cruz, of poor decision-making offensively and a defense that was out of position, leaving holes for Crook County (5-5) to exploit.
But in the first three minutes of the third quarter, the home team turned up the pressure. The Storm continually forced the Cowgirls into turnovers in the backcourt and eventually strung together a 13-2 run that led to a 40-20 advantage. By the start of the fourth quarter Summit held a 52-29 lead.
“We were all kind of a little upset after the first half,” Reeves said. “We wanted to come out and pull away right away. We just came out with this intensity and got it done.”
“We’re capable of doing that,” Cruz added. “I would have liked to see that in the first four minutes (of the game), but it didn’t happen.”
Crook County emphasizes pace and ball security, Cowgirls coach Mark Malott said. His group had the pace on Wednesday night, but ball security proved to be an issue against Summit’s defensive pressure.
“We executed in the halfcourt pretty well,” Malott said. “We did not handle that pressure. Plain and simple. That’s 20 points. We gave them 10 points in the first half (off turnovers), we probably gave them 10 or 15 points in the second half. That’s the difference.”
Michaeline Malott led the Cowgirls with 12 points, and Kimmer Severance contributed eight points and 11 rebounds — although she was limited to just two points and one board in the second half.
“I don’t put a lot of value on how many points you lose by,” Malott said. “If you lose by one (point) or 20, it’s a loss. ... We’ve got to learn to handle the press.”
Summit’s scoring trio gave the Storm their sixth victory in seven games and snapped Crook County’s three-game winning streak. It was an ideal way for the Storm to open up IMC play, and it provided an early statement for Summit in its quest for the league title.
“It really shows that we’ll just fight every single game out,” Reeves said. “We’re gutsy and we want to go out and work the hardest to do it. It shows that we can take on any challenge.”
—Reporter: 541-383-0307, firstname.lastname@example.org .