LONGMONT -- With exactly half its roster two days removed from a football state championship, the Silver Creek boys basketball team wasn't sure what to expect from itself in its season opener against Conifer.

The Raptors were rusty at home on Tuesday night and, at times, downright sloppy. They missed 15 free throws and committed 26 fouls, which the Lobos converted into 20 points to hang around for three quarters.

But the Raptors eventually found a comfortable rhythm to pull away for a 71-57 win.

"It was just a little leftover football stuff and mental stuff from the first-game crowd," Raptors senior forward Brock Johnson said. "I think we got a little too excited at times. But it was also good because it kept the energy up. We slowed things down and pulled it out."

Leading his team with 14 first-half points, Johnson finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six steals.

Leading scorers Patryck Woodley-Minter (11.5 points per game) and Austin Apodaca (10.3 ppg) were among five seniors who graduated after last season. Eric Machmuller and Trey Fleming, both receivers on the football team, are the Raptors' only returning starters.

Machmuller logged 10 points and five steals, including several key takeaways in the fourth quarter. Fleming scored eight points, all in the fourth quarter. Senior Luke Goforth scored 11 points, including eight in the second half.

"We've had some chemistry for a couple years, though, so it all jelled together," Machmuller said. "A big point was making our free throws towards the end. It was a little sloppy in the beginning."


The Raptors jumped out to a 22-12 first-quarter lead but rampant fouling and missed free throws quickly became an issue.

The Lobos got a couple quick baskets to pull within six early in the fourth quarter. Banning put in a veteran group -- Machmuller, Fleming, Johnson, Luke Goforth and Francisco Echevarria.

"We really haven't had time to practice as a group," Banning said. "But our spread game was in last year. Essentially, I said, 'You five guys, you know that I want to run time off the clock. Make them come to us. The boys executed that."

Banning said Tuesday's opener looked like a season opener. But he was pleased to see the Raptors shoot 7 of 9 from the free-throw line and outscored the Lobos 23-14 in the fourth quarter.

Despite the high foul count, the Raptors aggressive defense and trapping press also forced the Lobos into 24 turnovers.

Silver Creek and Conifer met on the football field in the 3A state semifinals.

Only two players on Conifer's 14-man basketball roster were on the football roster for the 3A semifinals on Nov. 24. Six players on Silver Creek's 12-man roster were also on the roster for the 3A football state championship on Dec. 1.

The Raptors will play KIPP Denver Collegiate High School on Wednesday.

Follow Brad on Twitter: @BradCochi

Silver Creek 71, Conifer 57

At Silver Creek HS


Furman 1 1-2 3, Nolan 0 0-1 0, A. Macauley 1 4-4 7, Henderson 1 2-2 5, S. Macauley 1 7-8 9, Morrison 0 0-0 0, Stevenson 2 1-2 5, Danks 6 3-5 16, Derande 2 0-0 4, Ryan 3 2-6 8. Totals 17 20-30 57


Lindsey 1 1-2 3, Fleming 4 0-0 8, Machmuller 4 2-4 10, Johnson 6 4-9 17, Grine 0 3-4 3, Goforth 5 0-2 11, Campbell 2 2-4 6, White 0 2-2 2, Tarin 1 0-0 2, Echevarria 2 2-4 6. Totals 23 16-31 71

Score by quarters:

Conifer 12 18 13 14 -- 57

Silver Creek 22 14 12 23 -- 71

3-point field goals -- Conifer (3): A. Macauley, Henderson, Danks; Silver Creek (2): Goforth, Johnson. Total fouls -- Conifer 23, Silver Creek 26. Fouled out -- None. Technical fouls -- None.