LONGMONT — You have to hand it to coach Bob Banning and his Silver Creek Raptors.
Finding any sort of rhythm in the opening month of the season has been a bit of a challenge. After their opener on Dec. 1, they waited 10 days before playing again, and then played three games this week — closing out the December portion of their schedule on Friday night against Summit.
"And on top of that we had finals this week," said Banning, whose team remained perfect at 4-0 with a well earned 71-50 victory over a scrappy Tigers side that put a scare into the hosts for the first 16 minutes,
"The schedule is just kind of funny that way."
Now the Raptors, currently No. 4 in the Class 4A CHSAANow.com poll, will spend a few weeks practicing before getting going again shortly after the break on Jan. 3 in Greeley against Northridge.
In the first half on Friday night, Silver Creek found itself trailing 11-9 midway through the first quarter against the Tigers but was able to string together a 10-0 run behind with hard work on the defensive end (they created 15 first half turnovers) and Charlie Belcher, Trent Dykema and Erik Grossaint accounting for the scoring.
And, at least in the first half, every time the Raptors would build a lead and threaten to run away with this thing, Summit would answer. The Tigers closed the first half on a 7-0 run of their own to make it a two possession game (35-29) at the half.
"We talked about getting back to basics at halftime," Banning said. "They have a good shooting team from the corners and they spread the floor out pretty well.
"And I'm happy with the way we adjusted at halftime."
The Raptors man-to-man defense smothered the Tigers in the second half and the hurried pace of the game favored the Raptors, who out-scored Summit 22-12 in the third quarter.
Dykema did his thing, scoring 26 points, but the Raptors are far from a one-man show. Grossaint had 14, Nick Eaton had 10 off the bench and Belcher chipped in with seven.
"Trent is definitely the leader, but we have a deep team and a lot of talent on this team and we try to go out there and get it every night," Grossaint said. "We wanted to go into the break with a win to kind of keep up the momentum and end (December) with a nice win."
Summit (4-3) was led by Dimitri Preciado's 15 points. Mario Ramirez added 13 and Wyatt Buller finished with 10. The Tigers' leading scorer, Tanner McDonald (who came in averaging 17.7 per game) was limited to just four points after picking up his fourth foul early in the third period.
SILVER CREEK 71, SUMMIT 50
At Silver Creek
Turner McDonald 2 0-2 4, Dimitri Preciado 5 4-5 15, Taggart Allen 0 0-0 0, Brendan Collins 0 2-2 2, Thomas Ryckman 0 0-0 0, Chance Jacobs 2 0-0 5, Wyatt Buller 4 2-2 11, Lorenzo Lucia 0 0-0 0, Mario Ramirez 5 0-0 13. Totals 18 8-11 50.
SILVER CREEK (4-0)
Charlie Belcher 3 0-0 7, Nick Eaton 5 0-0 10, Trent Dykema 10 6-7 26, Andrew Duquette 2 0-1 4, Joe Roth-Bogrett 3 0-0 6, Ashton Hubert 0 0-0 0, Trevor Riters 1 2-4 4, Erik Grossaint 6 2-3 14. Totals 30 10-15 71.
Score by quarters:Summit1316129—50
3-point field goals — Summit (6): Ramirez 3, Preciado, Jacobs, Buller; Silver Creek (1): Belcher. Total fouls — Summit 16, Silver Creek 14.