JOHNSTOWN — This year's Silver Creek boys basketball players view themselves as a squad capable of finishing in the 18- to 20-win range, which would place them among the winningest Raptors teams in school history.
With such lofty goals, the Raptors won't take losses lightly in 2017. Their first of the season, a one-point loss to Northridge despite leading most of the game on Tuesday, still ate at the Raptors as they traveled to the Roughrider Shootout at Roosevelt High School on Friday.
In the opening game of the round robin-style tournament, the Skyview Wolverines bore the brunt of the Raptors' first-loss frustrations for 32 minutes until the game ended, mercifully, in a 80-34 Silver Creek win.
"We have high expectations this year," Raptors senior Sam Schlegel said. "We're coming off that loss on Tuesday and that was a tough one. We knew Skyview was going to be a scrappy team so we just wanted to come out and play to our identity and play solid defense."
The Wolverines (5-3) averaged 47.3 points through their first seven games but the Raptors held them to single digits in three of the four quarters, and allowed just 11 points in the third. While the Wolverines surpassed 10 points in the third quarter, the Raptors (4-1, 0-1 Northern) filled the frame with 29 points to expand on a 33-16 halftime lead.
Led by two third-quarter long balls apiece from Schlegel and senior Carter Blink, the Raptors hit five of their nine 3-pointers in the third frame. A total of 13 Raptors checked into Friday's game and 10 of them score at least one point, so Schlegel said they accomplished their goal of getting everyone involved.
"Everyone on our team can score and we'll need everyone if want to make a deep playoff run," he said. "We've got shooters, and guys who can score from different positions, so we just tried to get them the ball as much as we could. We like to use our depth to our advantage."
In the team's second 80-point output of the young season, junior Trent Dykema (19.2 ppg) led the Raptors with 15 points. Senior Hunter Becvar scored 13, Blink scored 12, and Schlegel scored 10.
Silver Creek won 19 games during the '05 and '06 seasons, which stands as the school's best marks to date. Following back-to-back 14-win campaigns, this year's group thinks it has the potential to vault into that class.
"You talk as a team and set goals, and as a coach you always want to be as cautious as possible, but these boys want to try to beat that and if it's important to them, I'm not going to try to stop them," Raptors head coach Bob Banning joked after Friday's win. "They play within our system really well, stay low on defense and play patient offense. Today's win was a good way for them to get back to that and back on track."
Because Thursday's Roughrider Shootout games had to be moved because of snow canceling schools, the Raptors will look to continue their hot start with two games on Saturday. They will face Conifer (2-7) at 1 p.m. and Denver West (2-6) at 5:30 p.m.
Silver Creek 80, Skyview 34
At Roosevelt H.S.
Butler 1 4-7 6, Huerta 0 0-0 0, Garcia 4 0-0 10, Valdez 1 1-2 3, Kemm 0 0-0 0, Medina 0 0-0 0, Padilla 0 0-0 0, Gutierrez 0 0-1 0, Mireles 3 0-2 6, Gilley 1 2-2 5, Gully 2 0-0 4. Totals 12 7-14 34.
SILVER CREEK (4-1)
Belcher 1 0-0 2, Becvar 5 0-1 13, Dykema 7 0-1 15, Blink 4 2-3 12, Harrison 2 1-1 5, Warner 3 0-0 7, Graves 0 0-0 0, Tanner 0 0-0 0, Hubert 0 0-0 0, Riters 0 1-3 1, Schlegel 3 2-2 10, Call 3 0-0 6, Grossaint 3 3-4 9. Totals 31 9-15 80.
Score by quarters:Skyview 8 8 11 7 — 34
Silver Creek 20 13 29 18 — 80
3-point field goals — Skyview (3): Garcia 2, Gilley; Silver Creek (9): Becvar 3, Blink 2, Schlegel 2, Dykema, Warner. Total fouls — Skyview 15, Silver Creek 17.