SUMMIT, NJ - Greg Meyers and Brian Kelly combined for 45 points, and the Summit High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team could not overcome double-digit first quarter and halftime deficits, eventually falling to the Pioneers 68-59 on a foul-filled 'Senior Night' at the Main Gym.
Meyers scored a game-high 28 points, Kelly added 17, and the duo combined for five three-balls to spoil an evening which saw the Hilltoppers honor seniors Will Schaffer, Chip Roriston, Jack Washburn and Michael Poyner in a pre-game ceremony.
Schaffer delivered a 19-point, 13--rebound double-double, and sophomore Malcolm Sidebottom also had 19 points to pace Summit.
The Hilltoppers found themselves trailing 21-11 after the opening quarter and 36-23 at the half.
The Pioneers, who avenged an earlier 64-57 defeat to Summit in the Chatham Holiday Tournament on December 27, 2016, tacked another point onto their lead by edging the the third quarter 13-12 and took a 49-35 lead to the final frame.
The third quarter was noteworthy in the fact that Summit was called for three technical fouls in a four-minute span, the charity stripe tosses and subsequent possessions giving the Pioneers added leverage in maintaining their lead.
The Maroon & White put up 24 points in the fourth -- 10 from Schaffer -- and actually got the game to within four points late-on. The Hilltoppers, however, had simply dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out of, the Pioneers hit their free throws down the stretch, and Summit saw their season record dip to 10-12.
The contest was a free throw fest, with New Providence hitting 27 free throws and the Hilltoppers 23 (out of 29 attempts). Summit was far less accurate from the floor, shooting under 30% from the field.
Things do not get any easier for Summit, as they next travel to Rahway February 21 for a match-up against the Indians, who boast a 17-2 record. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.