LONGMONT — Home-court advantage played a significant role in this year's home-and-away rivalry series between the Silver Creek and Longmont girls basketball teams.
In the teams' first meeting of the season, the Trojans held off a late rally to beat the Raptors, 53-48 at Longmont High on Jan. 17. In the second meeting of the season, this time at Silver Creek, the Raptors pulled ahead early in the second half and stayed ahead to beat the Trojans, 49-45 on Thursday night.
It was the second time this season that the Raptors led the Trojans by two points at halftime. This time, however, the result was quite different.
"It was a big win," Raptors senior guard Kayla Noble said. "Our goal this time around was to play with confidence and determination for four quarters and I think we did that this time around. Having the pep rally and the crowd cheering us on helped a lot. At halftime, we knew we'd been here before and we didn't want to make the same mistakes as last time."
The Raptors (12-8, 5-6 Northern) held a narrow 27-25 lead to start the second half. The Trojans (6-13, 5-7 Northern) tied the game three times in the first several possessions of the third quarter. But with the game tied at 31-31, Silver Creek went on an 8-0 run to build its lead and held a six-point advantage to start the fourth quarter.
Holding the Trojans to one point through the first half of the fourth quarter, the Raptors led by as many as 11 points in the final frame and rode that margin to victory.
"I'm pleased with our ability to maintain our composure in a tight game," Raptors head coach Dan Kloster said. "A lot of times this season, we've collapsed after we make a few mistakes and then nobody wants the ball but Kayla. Of the eight losses we've had, seven have been by six points or less. But tonight we did what we needed to do in the fourth quarter to win."
Coming off back-to-back narrow losses to Greeley Central and Thompson Valley, the Raptors jumped the Trojans for fourth place in the Northern League with less than two weeks left in the regular season. Violet Kennedy (11.2 ppg) led the way with 20 points, while Noble (18.25 ppg) scored 10.
The Trojans, who were still without head coach Mike Knaus on Thursday, have lost four straight. Junior Sydney Fixmer led them with 14 points.
The Raptors will host Niwot (9-10, 4-6 Northern) on Saturday. Also on Saturday, the Trojans will travel to Pueblo Central (5-14, 1-6 South Central) for a non-conference game.
Silver Creek 49, Longmont 45
At Silver Creek H.S.
LONGMONT (6-13, 5-7)
Wiley 1 3-5 5, Moore 2 2-2 6, Wetterstrom 0 0-0 0, Carney 2 1-2 5, Fixmer 4 2-4 14, D'Epagnier 3 0-0 6, Bolte 3 0-2 7, Sheetz 1 0-1 2. Totals 16 8-16 45.
SILVER CREEK (12-8, 5-6)
Noble 4 2-4 10, Kennedy 9 1-4 20, Hebert 0 0-0 0, Volkmann 1 2-3 4, Salmeron 2 4-6 8, Scott 1 0-0 2, Nicholas 1 0-0 2, James 1 0-0 2, Tyrell 0 1-4 1. Totals 19 10-21 49.
Score by quarters:Longmont 13 12 8 12 — 45 Silver Creek 12 15 12 10 — 49
3-point field goals — Longmont (5): Fixmer 4, Bolte; Silver Creek (1): Kennedy. Total fouls — Longmont 17, Silver Creek 12.