SUMMIT, NJ - Rahway is a highly-talented and well-drilled opponent, and hanging with them was going to be a stout task for the Summit High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team under the best of circumstances, but the Hilltoppers made the incline on their roundball treadmill even steeper by getting overwhelmed early, an outcome which saw them fall behind by a dozen points.
Even though -- keyed by their second unit -- Summit clawed back to get within four points at the half, the Indians found the accelerator pedal again to ease away from The Maroon & White, winning going away 66-47 at the Main Gym.
Senior captain Chip Roriston scored 13 points and sophomore Jackson Tyler had 10 -- eight in the third quarter -- to lead Summit. Keyshawn Cummings had a game-high 23 points for Rahway.
The opening quarter was entirely forgettable for the Hilltoppers, with the Indians bolting out to a 14-2 lead after five minutes.
Trailing 18-6 after the first frame, Summit Head Coach Dan Healy brought in five reserves and the move had an immediate effect. The Hilltopper subs ignited a rally, and the Summit deficit was nine points, at 20-11, when the starters were re-introduced. Summit then went on a 7-2 run to close the half which included a power moves to the hoop for buckets by Will Schaffer and Roriston.
After looking like they 'weren't at the races' at the beginning of the contest, the Hilltoppers second quarter, 12-4 statement now indicated it was Game On, with observers wondering which Summit and Rahway teams would come out for the third quarter, with each having played one up and one down quarter so far.
Unfortunately for the home team and its fans, the Indians side that owned he opening eight minutes was the one the exited the locker room after the break.
Despite a vibrant third quarter performance from Tyler, Summit was outscored by eight points in the stanza and surrendered 21 points. When the Indians sank three at the horn, it was 43-31 Rahway at the end of three.
The closest the Hilltoppers, now an even 7-7 on the season, would come in the final quarter was 10 points when sophomore Malcolm Sidebottom splashed at three-ball at the 5:09 mark to make it 49-39.
Summit would get outscored 17-8 over the final five minutes, allowing a way-too-many 23 points in quarter,, meaning Rahway scored 62 points in 24 minutes while only tallying 4 in the second quarter.
"They (Rahway) are too good of a team to chase," said Healy referring to the early deficit. "We needed to play tougher today, especially on the defensive end."
Summit is back in action at the Main Gym January 26 when they take on Cranford. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.