Looking to run teams right out of the gym on a nightly basis, the Fastbreak Falcons are cruising into the holiday break.
Now, if they can run and defend like they did Tuesday — well, the good times might just be getting started.
Ashayla Powers scored 14 points, Lindrey Schendel added 12, and Skyline allowed only three points through the second and third quarters en route to a 48-20 win on Tuesday night at Silver Creek.
With four returning starters leading the way, the Falcons (5-2) finished their nonconference schedule with five wins in seven games. Their only losses during the stretch came to Greeley Central and Vista PEAK Prep, a pair of teams that came into Tuesday night with a combined 15-1 record on the year.
"We've busted our tails over the last two months," first-year coach Kirk Blackard said. "We just figure we can try to run the kids out of the gym that we're playing. And the defense, we've really worked on that this year. And that's what's really turned our game around."
Skyline's defensive scheme against Silver Creek (2-6) was a last-minute addition. Blackard said he worked an up-tempo defense into the plan last night — something he said he's worked into other teams he's coached in the past and is similar to the speedy and aggressive defenses that have been utilized by some of the state powers over the years.
He didn't give a name for it. Whatever it's called, the Falcons used it to keep the Raptors off the board for long stretches Tuesday.
"You have to have speed on the team (to run the defense) and we don't have a true big on this team," Blackard said. "We're able to move around on defense really well, and collapse and trap."
Skyline went on a 13-0 run from late in the first quarter to midway through the second. Charlee Neb attacked the rim with consistency, kicking off the spurt with five straight points. Later, Powers finished the run with three consecutive baskets, including two off a rebound and another on a layup in traffic that sent her crashing to the ground.
Silver Creek, meanwhile, ended a quarter-long scoring drought on Grace McCaffrey's 3 with 3:29 left in the half.
After that, Skyline held the Raptors scoreless in the third and Aly McKrola converted a 4-point play to put the Falcons ahead 39-9 early in the fourth. Mackenzie Larson's 3 with 5:18 remaining ended the 16-0 run and a drought of 13 minutes and 23 seconds.
"I think us coming back as a team with four-returning starters," Powers said, "I just feel we've grown as a team."
Silver Creek will host Erie on Thursday before heading into the break. The loss snapped back-to-back wins for the Raptors, who are opening up a new chapter under first-year coach Ashlee Viveros following a 4-19 season.
Brent W. New: firstname.lastname@example.org and @brentwnew
Skyline 48, Silver Creek 20
At Silver Creek HS
Neb 3 3-4 9, Hennessy, 1 0-0 2, Pitts 1 0-0 2, Alvidrez 0 0-0 0, Powers 6 2-3 14, Dunder 0 0-0 0, Schendel 6 0-2 12, Basha 0 1-2 1, McKrola 2 3-6 8.
SILVER CREEK (2-6)
Canvasser 0 0-0 0, Larson 2 2-4 7, Tyrrell 1 2-2 4, Lovell 0 0-2 0, McCaffrey 3 0-1 7, Jensen 0 0-0 0, Becvar 0 0-2 0, Hawley 0 0-0 0, Shaw 1 0-0 2, Scott 0 0-0 0.
Score by quarters:Skyline (5-2) 15 14 4 15 — 48
3-point field goals — Skyline (1): McKrola; Silver Creek (2): Larson, McCaffrey. Total fouls — Skyline 17; Silver Creek 14. Fouled out — Tyrrell. Technical fouls — No technical fouls.