LONGMONT — Perhaps the first signature win for Silver Creek girls basketball head coach Ashlee Viveros came Wednesday when her Raptors defeated the Longmont Trojans 43-37 in their annual rivalry game.
The win came at a much-needed time for the Raptors having lost seven in a row and falling to the bottom of the Northern League standings.
"It's just an amazing feeling," Silver Creek's Emily Canvasser said after the win. "We've been fighting all season. The past couple of games, it just hasn't felt like it has been clicking. It's almost been there, but we haven't quite put it together. Tonight it finally all came together."
Getting the win wouldn't come easy in a long game that was drawn out due to turnovers, fouls and timeouts scattered throughout the game. It left the game playing at more a stop-and-go pace with little opportunities to get into a rhythm. Instead, both teams had to find little spurts of offense to work with.
Six lead changes through the first quarter, Longmont made the first run of the game in the second with Annika Wetterstrom scoring inside and getting some free throws to take a 19-13 lead. Silver Creek answered to prevent the lead from reaching double figures with a 7-0 run to end the half, putting them up 20-19.
"We try to teach them to play the game one possession at a time," Viveros said. "I think they understand that each moment is critical to the whole game. They did that better tonight than they had in the past."
The game was tight late in the fourth when Wetterstrom hit two big shots from 3-point range that pulled the Trojans to within two entering the final minute. Now going against the momentum, Silver Creek was able to break the press and kill time off the clock in the half court to force Longmont to foul. An intentional foul from Sarah Wormke sent Canvasser to the line with eight seconds left, and the senior drilled both free throws to go up by four.
Canvasser would get the ball on the inbounds and hit the final two free throws to seal the first win since Jan. 8 shortly after.
"It felt amazing," Canvasser said. "It was pretty nerve racking going up there, but hitting the bottom of the net was awesome."
For Viveros, it was a positive sign to see her team battle and not fold under the pressure late to secure a rivalry win over the Trojans.
"I was proud of Emily (Canvasser) making those free throws down the stretch," Viveros said. "It was great to see those smiles on their faces. I see them work hard every day and the selflessness from the girls. It was great to see those smiles after the game."
While the season has not gone the way they hoped, for one night, Silver Creek felt on top of the world for one night, cheering loudly in the locker room to enjoy a win over their rivals they lost to by 26 the previous season.
"Moving forward, we're going to try to keep the intensity and keep this (win) in our heads," Cavasser said. "We know how good this one feels, and we want to keep that the rest of the season."
Silver Creek 43, Longmont 37
At Longmont High School
SILVER CREEK (4-14, 2-7)
Grace McCaffrey 6 1-4 18, Emily Canvasser 2 4-4 8, Colleen Tyrell 2 2-4 6, Mackenzie Larson 1 0-0 3, Erin Jensen 2 0-1 2, Monet Becvar 1 0-2 2, Emmaline Hawley 1 0-0 2, Savannah Trujillo 0 2-4 2. Totals 15 9-19 43.
LONGMONT (7-11, 5-4)
Annika Wetterstrom 6 1-6 15, Tanna Carson 2 2-2 7, Tara Hitchcock 1 3-3 5, Jordynn Lee 2 0-0 4, Ashley Dillow 0 3-4 3, Shalee Gray 1 0-2 2, Sarah Wormke 0 1-2 1. Totals 12 10-20 37.
Score by quarters:Silver Creek (4-14, 2-7) 10 10 9 14 — 43
Longmont (7-11, 5-4) 11 8 7 11 — 37
3-point field goals — Silver Creek(6): McCaffrey 5, Larson; Longmont(3): Wetterstrom 2, Carson. Total fouls — Silver Creek 18, Longmont 20. Technical fouls — Longmont scorer's table.