LONGMONT — The Longmont girls basketball team made the Class 4A final four last season, but this year's team now has something on that previous squad while continuing to hope for bigger things to come.
An unblemished record in the Northern League was at stake Thursday night at LHS, and though it took pulling away from a prepared Silver Creek team in the second half, Longmont was able to claim a 48-35 victory and finish off a 14-0 Northern mark heading to the postseason.
A top four seed also should be waiting for the Trojans when the brackets are revealed Sunday.
"Our goal at the beginning of the season was to win conference, host a regional and win state," Longmont head coach Mike Knaus said, his team 22-1 overall. "We've had high expectations and high goals. That's just kind of where we're at. We wanted to win (Thursday) to keep our high seed and host a region. We'd like to be one of those four teams."
The Trojans were off the mark shooting early against the Raptors, making just 6 of 24 shots in the first half with SCHS posts Jordan Carter and Violet Kennedy playing exceptionally well inside. To top that, Longmont senior and top scorer Sydney Wetterstrom had to sit out most of the second quarter after picking up three personal fouls.
Arguably winning the interior, Silver Creek gained as much as a 16-12 lead early on. But the Raptors ran into foul problems of their own when Kennedy picked up her fourth foul early in the third quarter, and from there Longmont was able to explode on the offensive end.
Silver Creek had more turnovers (nine) than shots taken in the third frame, and with the help of some breakout plays mostly finished off by Wetterstrom the Trojans took a 32-18 lead.
Wetterstrom had nine points of her 20 in the third period — she also finished with nine rebounds — while Silver Creek's Carter posted 21 points and 10 boards.
Emma Carney had six early points for Longmont and Hali Walters added six points and six rebounds.
"You can't fall apart for a quarter against a team that good," Silver Creek coach Dan Kloster said. "We went away from what we practiced doing, starting doing some freelance stuff and that did not work well for us."
With a 9-5 league record, Kloster said he thinks the Raptors will still make the postseason. But he added, "it'll be a short one if we don't figure out some execution."
Longmont 48, Silver Creek 35
At Longmont HS
SILVER CREEK (12-11, 9-5)
Kennedy 1 2-6 4, Harris 0 1-2 1, Carter 9 2-4 21, Kloster 0 0-2 0, Kim 0 0-0 0, Kasper 1 0-0 2, Noble 3 1-2 7, Salmeron 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-16 35.
LONGMONT (22-1, 14-0)
Nichols 0 4-5 4, Carney 3 0-2 6, Fixmer 0 0-0 0, Larson 1 1-2 3, Wetterstrom 8 4-6 20, Gaibler 3 0-2 6, Walters 2 2-12 6, Sheetz 0 3-4 3. Totals 17 14-33 48.
Score by quarters:Silver Creek 8 8 2 17 — 35
Longmont 10 6 16 16 — 48
3-point field goals — Silver Creek (1): Carter. Fouled out — Wetterstrom.