Richard M. Hackett/Times-Call
Silver Creek girls basketball player Ana Gurau

LONGMONT — Even through a rocky 2010-11 run Silver Creek girls basketball had its bright points. One of the Raptors’ most brilliant was Ana Gurau.

The tiny guard brought her team’s biggest game to the court, proving she was equally adept at stealing the ball, draining it from behind the arc or penetrating the lane. But a season that saw Gurau lead Class 4A in steals at points and turn in 12 double-digit showings could just be a warm-up for things to come.

The 5-foot-4 senior more than has the talent and motivation to outshine almost any other guard on the court.

“She has a complete toolbox to work with,” Silver Creek coach Dan Kloster said. “She was an All-(Northern League) first-team player last year and she has only improved this season.”

Gurau’s ability was evident in Silver Creek’s first outing last season.

The guard was red hot in her team’s 62-35 win over cross-town rival Skyline, hanging up her first double-digit showing. She cashed in 19 points in the game, hitting 7 of 12 field goals. And her 5 steals in the game kicked off an impressive defensive run. Over the course of the next six games, Gurau came up with 38 steals to lead the classification at that point.

Even with the top-notch performances, Gurau had to take the good with the bad. She had a nasty scoring dry streak for the better part of a five-game skid her team suffered.

“It was tough, because I had started strong then dropped off,” she said. “But it provides motivation for me, because I know I can play better than that.”

The athletic ability and leadership skills of the Raptors’ star guard is huge to the team this season. Silver Creek has a potential to make a 180-degree turn from last season, when it won only nine games.

The team is as experienced as it has been in a while, with a nearly intact roster from last season. And the Raptors get a boost with forward Rygell Hubert back for her senior year after sitting out last season due to an ACL tear.

“It’s exciting to be back,” Hubert said. “It was difficult sitting on the sidelines last season. There were a couple of times where coach looked down the bench and was disappointed he couldn’t put me in.”

The biggest asset Silver Creek brings into the season is not one single athlete, but its entire roster.

Eyeing his talent, Kloster believes he could play as many as 10 girls at any given time this season. The throngs of fresh legs are certain to help the Raptors wilt the competition with the run and press. And the numbers will also aid the team in overcoming it biggest challenge — size. Silver Creek has only two 6-foot-plus players.

Most of all, however, the team’s large roster means tons of talent for Kloster to choose from — no matter the situation.

“Right now, we’re still working out who our top five are,” the coach said. “And the fact we don’t know who those are right now tells me we have some depth.”