By CHIP CIRILLO
Slow starts forced Summit to make some big comebacks in close games during the past two weeks.
That certainly wasn’t the case Tuesday night, as a 14-0 run in the second quarter and a 13-0 surge in the third powered the Spartans to an 80-61 win over visiting Franklin on Tuesday night.
Summit’s win and Brentwood’s 63-61 double-overtime loss to Independence clinched the first District 11-AAA title in the six-year history of the school for the Spartans (19-2, 8-0).
“It’s a great starting point for us moving forward,” Summit coach Josh Goodwin said. “It’s special. Really, the big thing is in our district because we have seven teams, it guarantees us an automatic berth into the region tournament.”
Navy signee John Carter, a 6-foot-4 guard playing on a sore left ankle, led the Spartans with 29 points and five 3-pointers.
Summit, ranked seventh in Class AAA, extended its win streak to five games.
“Offensively, we just tried to get the best shot and defensively we tried to take away what they wanted to do,” Carter said. “And then we just tried to rebound and get out on the break and do what we do best.”
Demontay Dixon, a 6-9 forward who has an offer from East Tennessee State, added 17 points despite sitting out the entire second quarter with foul trouble and leaving the game with 6:56 left with Summit holding a 31-point lead.
The junior took over in the third quarter with five dunks, a blocked shot and he scored nine points in the 13-0 run that expanded the Spartans’ lead to 46-26.
“I didn’t play much in the first half because of fouls, so I guess I was a little more rested up and I had a little fire because they put me out early, so I had to come back with a vengeance,” Dixon said. “It got me fired up because I had something to prove after they put me out.”
Dixon picked up his second foul with 1:07 left in the first quarter, went to the bench and didn’t return until the third quarter.
Summit started a busy stretch of four games in five nights with a solid outing.
The Spartans play Centennial on Wednesday, Independence on Friday and Division II’s top-ranked team in Brentwood Academy on Saturday. The BA game will be at Lipscomb University.
Jaden Lewis added 13 points and Tai Carter scored 10.
Sophomore point guard Parker Dillon led the Rebels (13-8, 5-4) with a season-high 23 points, including four 3-pointers. Jack Patton added 13 and Reese Glover had 10 for the Rebels, who were outscored 26-7 in the third quarter.
“I thought we got buzz-sawed there a little bit in the third quarter, obviously,” Franklin coach Darrin Joines said. “They got on a little bit of a run and we couldn’t seem to stop it. They were great in transition.”
Summit built a 33-24 halftime lead and stretched it to 59-31 after the third quarter.
Six days earlier, Franklin took Summit into overtime before falling, but the Spartans were so dominant in the rematch the Summit students began chanting, “Thanks for practice” with three minutes left.
“I think we did a better job defensively and, honestly, Franklin missed a lot of shots that they made against us last week,” Goodwin said. “I thought our guys were bad in the first quarter, OK to good in the second quarter and great in the third quarter. Demontay and John were great finishing.
“Tai and Jaden were very good at getting the ball out of those traps and splitting those traps, and creating situations where we ran three-on-ones and three-on-twos in the half-court and that made it easy for us offensively.”
Franklin, Brentwood and Ravenwood are tied for second in the district at 5-4. Fifth-place Independence is a half-game back at 5-5.
Summit visits Centennial on Wednesday.
Franklin hosts Ravenwood on Friday.