LONGMONT — Rygell Hubert had more than a year to envision just how her return to the court would play out.
The Silver Creek senior wasted no time showing the Raptors what they missed without her last year. Hubert, who missed both the volleyball and girls basketball seasons as a junior after suffering a torn ACL, made her first shot moments after the Raptors tipped off their season on Friday.
Fellow senior Ana Gurau, meanwhile, took care of the heavy lifting to lead an impressive 56-39 victory for Silver Creek.
Hubert immediately knocked down a jumper from the left wing to stake the Raptors to a lead they would never relinquish while serving notice she is ready to make up for lost time.
“It was awesome — mentally I was just thinking that I was back in it,” Hubert said. “It was tough mentally, physically, and emotionally having to just sit there and watch the girls. I enjoyed encouraging my team, but there is only so much you can do from the bench. I’m so excited to be back and out there with the girls.”
While Hubert registered a solid comeback effort, finishing with seven points, it was Gurau who paced the Raptors.
Gurau knocked down all four of her field goal attempts in the first quarter, including a 3-pointer, as Silver Creek built a 29-16 halftime lead. Gurau also went 6-for-6 at the free throw line while finishing with a game-high 24 points.
“For a first game, we all had pre-game jitters, so we finally were able to get those out,” Gurau said. “At any given time, we all work well together.”
Silver Creek retained its 13-point lead early in the third before the Wildcats rallied, using four points from Kori Eurich to spark a 7-0 run that trimmed the Raptors’ lead to 33-27 late in the third. But Gurau scored five consecutive points to end the frame, and sophomore Shelby Keil added a 3-pointer at the beginning of the fourth. Hubert and Margaret Davis also knocked down 3-pointers during the fourth as the Raptors steadily pulled away.
It was solid start for Silver Creek against a club that reached the Class 4A state tournament last season. The Raptors play three such clubs during their first four games, including a tough road match on Wednesday at Green Mountain. With Gurau running the show, Hubert displaying a return to form, and a surplus of depth, the Raptors are expecting to be in the postseason mix when the regular season winds down. Head coach Dan Kloster will get a good measure of how his club stacks up during the season’s first three weeks.
“It’s nice to start off on the right foot,” Kloster said. “Our two captains, Ana and Rygell, we’re going to lean on them a lot. Ana is a heck of a player and we kind of expect her to do great things for us. I think we had a lot of contributions from a lot of people. We have a deep bench and everybody can go in and contribute. Everyone played tonight and everybody did something for us.”
Pat Rooney can be reached at email@example.com.
Silver Creek 56, Pueblo Central 39
At Silver Creek HS
PUEBLO CENTRAL (0-1)
McGraw 2 0-0 4, Morgan 3 3-6 9, Eurich 5 4-6 16, Cardenas 0 1-3 1, Mulske 2 1-2 6, Finn 0 3-6 3, Campos 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 12-23 39.
SILVER CREEK (1-0)
Hubert 3 0-0 7, Gurau 8 6-6 24, Reed 1 0-0 2, Davis 1 3-5 6, Rembert 2 3-3 7, Dauer 1 0-3 2, Keil 3 0-0 8, Warner 0 0-0 0, Strub 0 0-0 0, Bishop 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 12-17 56.
Score by quarters:
Pueblo Central 7 9 11 12 — 39
Silver Creek 18 11 9 18 — 56
3-point field goals — Pueblo Central (3): Eurich 2, Mulske; Silver Creek (6):Gurau 2, Keil 2, Hubert, Davis. Total fouls — Pueblo Central 21, Silver Creek 23. Fouled out — Eurich, McGraw.