SUMMIT, NJ - While a steady snow fell outside the Main Gym, an avalanche of white was descending on the visitors from Koinonia Academy -- a blizzard of 94-foot energy that buried the Seraphs in a first-quarter point accumulation which set the game's tone and, effectively, cemented its outcome.
The Summit High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team had been displaying a not-so-beneficial tendency of starting slow. Given the precipitation-laden day and an unusual Saturday 11:30 a.m. start, all 'the fixins' were there for another balky beginning.
The Maroon & White, wearing their home whites, did the exact opposite however, storming out of the gate, pressing in the backcourt, creating steals and turnovers, converting the takeaways into relatively easy transition buckets, and generally crushing a game, but out-manned Koinonia squad.
Senior captains Chip Roriston and Will Schaffer scored 22 and 14 points, respectively, and sophomore Malcolm Sidebottom added 11 as the Hilltoppers pummeled the Seraphs, 71-38. All told, eight players were on the scoresheet as Summit raised its season record to 3-5.
The opening eight minutes saw Koinonia take a standing eight count, with Summit swarming, taking the ball away, forcing miscues and-or under duress shot attempts, then pushing the ball when they had it to create direct offensive opportunities and baskets. The Hilltoppers led 14-2 after five minutes, 16-5 after one quarter, and 33-18 at the halftime break. Roriston was the big beneficiary of the transition game, scoring 14 points in the opening 16 minutes.
After a relatively pedestrian-paced third quarter, which ended 19-13 in favor of the home side, the lead was upped to 21 points at 52-31. The exclamation point on three quarters of dominance came on the frame's final play started by, fittingly, a Summit steal. Jack Washburn picked the pocket of a Koinonia guard and, with less than two seconds to go in the quarter, heaved a two-hander from 55-feet at the basket.
The final quarter saw liberal substitutions for the Hilltoppers and 12 more points were tacked on to the lead, giving the scoreboard optics a proper symmetry with the flow of the game.
""We have been starting so slow and, before the game, we talked about getting off to a fast start," said Summit Head Coach Dan Healy, who said the less-than-ideal onsets are a byproduct "of our youth" which has a tendency to wade into contests versus doing a proverbial cannonball.
"We had a little bit of a mini-break -- we haven't played a game since last Tuesday (January 3) -- so we have had some time to work on our aggressiveness and toughness which we showed today," said Healy.
Summit stays home to next take on Hillside at the Main Gym January 10. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.