NIWOT — Were it not for a late Silver Creek run in the second quarter and way too many open misses for Niwot throughout the game, Friday night's girls basketball contest between the two at NHS could have shaken up the Northern League a little bit.
As it stood, the Raptors did just enough good to keep in the race for second place, and perhaps more if Longmont stumbles somewhere down the stretch. Jordan Carter scored 13 of her 15 points in the second stanza, and Kayla Noble added 17 to lead SCHS to a 54-38 win over the Cougars and improve to 6-2 in league.
Despite the win that followed up a 61-31 series victory earlier this year, Carter was hardly satisfied coming out of the locker room post-game. For the Raptors (9-7 overall), there was frustration in their trap defense — which had to be called off because it was ineffective.
Niwot had plenty of opportunity to stay in the game but missed a number of open layups and high percentage shots that covered Silver Creek miscues.
"I think we were all frustrated with the way we were playing, so anger drove us to get the lead and keeping it. Overall we didn't play as well as we should have," said Carter, who also had seven rebounds. "We've always been hesitant with the press we ran (Friday), and it's one you have to take a lot more risks. We run that press in practice nearly perfect, but we're not confident with it in a game yet.
"We're our own worst enemies."
The Raptors were efficient on offense, shooting 22-for-52 for the game. That included a 50 percent clip (8-16) in the second quarter as they out-scored Niwot 19-7.
Niwot trailed just 13-11 entering the frame thanks to Mary Gillett's off-the-bench spark, but after Alyssa Jenkins had a putback to make it 19-15 with 5 minutes, 48 seconds to go, Silver Creek went on a crushing 13-3 run to end the half.
They were helped in that run by a number of missed opportunities from the home team. Niwot made just 2 of 16 shots in the period, and a number of those came from within 10 feet of the hoop.
They also missed countless layups after breaking the press.
"We probably get 70 percent of our shots off within that range, but we just have to make more than we're making when we're in that close," Niwot coach Terri Ward said. "We're not converting, and it's keeping us from taking that next step.
"We seem to start out really well, and have a quarter that kills us, and it was the second quarter this time."
Even after falling behind 32-18 at half, the Cougars cut the score to 37-25 at one point in the third quarter and were only out-paced by Creek 22-20 over the final 16 minutes.
Sophie Grant led the Cougars (10-7, 2-6) with 12 points and Jenkins had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Violet Kennedy added 13 points and seven rebounds for SC.
"We have to string some together before long," Ward said.
Silver Creek 54, Niwot 38
At Niwot HS
SILVER CREEK (9-7, 6-2)
Harper 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 6 1-6 13, Harris 1 0-0 2, Carter 6 2-5 15, Kloster 1 0-5 2, Kim 0 0-0 0, Kasper 0 1-2 1, Noble 6 3-4 17, Salmeron 2 0-0 4. Totals 22 7-22 54.
NIWOT (10-7, 2-6)
Mercier 0 0-0 0, Setter 0 0-0 0, Mercier 0 2-2 2, Chen 0 3-5 3, Gillett 3 3-3 9, Jenkins 4 3-3 11, Strope 0 0-1 0, Grant 3 6-9 12, Gonzales 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 17-23 38.
Score by quarters:Silver Creek 13 19 11 11 — 54
Niwot 11 7 9 11 — 38
3-point field goals — Silver Creek (3): Noble 2, Carter. Fouled out — Harris.