NIWOT — The Silver Creek girls basketball team returned from the holiday break with a conference game and cross-town rivalry at stake against Niwot.
The Raptors trounced the Cougars, 85-29 on the road, in the 4A Northern Conference opener. And they did it in front of a handful of coaches from conference rival teams who were in attendance to scout.
“It was just a statement,” Raptors point guard Ana Gurau said. “We’re 1-0 in conference and that’s usually what matters for playoffs. It’s really cool that it’s a conference game and an in-town rival. We always want to be city champs. It’s a good start for us in conference play and a good game all together.”
Gurau led all scorers with 22 points. But it was sophomore forward Emilie Rembert who jumpstarted the Raptors’ scoring with seven first-quarter points. She also scored seven points in the third and finished with 16.
“I wanted to come out strong and help my team get more energy and just bring the game to a start,” Rembert said. “I just got the energy to help my team out a little bit.”
After Rembert kicked it off, her teammates all joined the scoring parade. The Raptors had six players with six or more points and everyone that made the trip to Niwot scored.
“As a team, I thought we moved the ball well today and it made a difference,” Raptors coach Dan Kloster said.
Rembert said the Raptors still could have done better on their passing, which the Cougars defended well, particularly early on. But the Raptors defense was better still.
The Raptors wanted to turn the game into a full-court contest rather than play in the halfcourt. The Raptors guards bothered the Cougars ball handlers, consistently forcing turnovers with their press and trapping defense and converting them to points at the other end.
Stretching the floor also helped the Raptors limit Cougars post player and leading scorer Sara Bishop to four points.
“We thought that would help keep Sara out of the mix a little bit more, so we started off in a press for that reason,” Kloster said.
Kloster was most pleased that his team avoided a lull in its upward trend after the long break.
“Our skills every week, our unity as a team and the way we keep playing keep getting better every week,” Kloster said. “I didn’t want to see us take a step backwards from that. When we came into break, I was seeing an improvement every game. I thought we continued that tonight.”
Senior forward Jane Olsen led the Cougars with six points, which she scored on three straight jumpers from the elbow in the third quarter.
“At halftime we cheered each other up and supported each other and it kind of got me fired up,” Olsen said. “My team didn’t get down no matter what the score was and it fired me up.”
On Friday, Niwot faces a tough test in undefeated Broomfield and Silver Creek will face Greeley Central, continuing a span of six straight road games.
Brad Cochi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Silver Creek 85, Niwot 29
At Niwot HS
SILVER CREEK (5-2, 1-0)
Hubert 3 0-0 7, Rembert 6 4-9 16, Bishop 2 0-0 4, Gurau 10 0-1 22, Dauer 0 3-4 4, Warner 3 2-3 8, Keil 0 2-4 2, Davis 5 2-3 12, Strub 2 0-0 4, Reed 3 0-0 6. Totals 34 13-24 85.
NIWOT (2-5, 0-1)
Hansen 2 0-0 4, Bulsley 1 2-4 4, Sarosi 0 0-0 0, Trauner 0 0-2 0, Blick 1 0-0 2, Bishop 1 2-4 4, Sigg 0 1-4 1, Dunnell 2 0-0 4, DiScipio 0 0-0 0, Montgomery 1 2-3 4, Olson 3 0-0 6. Totals 11 7-17 29.
Score by quarters:
Silver Creek 19 27 20 19 — 85
Niwot 7 7 6 9 — 29
3-point field goals — Silver Creek (3): Gurau 2, Hubert; Niwot (0): None. Total fouls — Silver Creek 16, Niwot 18. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — Silver Creek bench.