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Girls basketball: No. 5 Centaurus keeps rolling vs. Silver Creek

LAFAYETTE — After what happened a year ago, the Centaurus girls basketball team doesn’t want to get ahead of itself. But suffice it to say this season is shaping up quite nicely near the midway point.

The Warriors, ranked fifth in the state in Class 4A, took care of business Tuesday night with a 58-42 victory over a quality Silver Creek squad to improve to 9-1 overall, including 3-0 in the Northern League.

“We’re getting there,” said co-captain Maurissa Ortega, who hit four 3-pointers and scored a team-high 16 points Tuesday. “We’re not as good as we could be, but we’re definitely on the way.

“We’ve had high hopes for this season since last season. And we’re going to do everything in our power to make sure we don’t end like last season. We have potential and we know exactly where we can go and what we can do. We’re going to work hard every day to get there.”

Last season, the Warriors seemed to be sitting pretty at 11-4, but late-season injuries to Ortega and Andi Houck led to CHS losing seven of its last nine games and being ousted in the first round of the state playoffs.

“Our goal is about the end of February and March,” said coach Jeff Jackson, whose team’s only loss was by four to 5A No. 3-ranked Legacy. “I expect us to make a run come March, and that’s our goal. I hope we can rise up to that challenge.”

On Tuesday, Centaurus certainly seemed to be on the right track in picking up its fifth consecutive victory. Silver Creek, which had been allowing just 33 points per game, gave up a season-high 58 to CHS. The Raptors turned the ball over 24 times and their leading scorer for the season, Ana Gurau, was held to two points, 14 under her average.

“I thought we turned the ball over at some key times, and pretty soon we’re down by six, then eight,” Silver Creek coach Dan Kloster said. “That rattled our cage a little bit. Then we started dribbling the leather off the ball, and that doesn’t help us.”

The loss snapped Silver Creek’s five-game win streak and leaves the Raptors at 7-3 and 2-1 in league action. They haven’t played at home since their season opener on Dec. 2, and won’t host another game until Jan. 20.

“I think we’re a little bit road weary,” said Kloster, whose team played at Estes Park Monday night. “We’ve forgotten what our gym looks like.”

Silver Creek led 7-5 in the early going Tuesday, but watched Centaurus go on a 22-6 run to essentially dash the Raptors’ hopes. During that stretch, Silver Creek recorded nine turnovers.

The Raptors didn’t seriously challenge in the second half, never getting closer than 13 points.

Sophomore Margaret Davis led Silver Creek offensively with 17 points, but no teammate managed more than six.

Houck (13 points) and Taylor Langer (10) joined Ortega in double figures for Centaurus, which plays at Brighton on Thursday.

Silver Creek’s next road trip takes the team to Thompson Valley on Friday.

Centaurus 58, Silver Creek 42

At Centaurus HS

SILVER CREEK (7-3, 2-1)

Hubert 3 0-0 6, Rembert 3 0-4 6, Gurau 1 0-0 2, Dauer 1 0-0 2, Davis 5 6-7 17, Bishop 0 0-0 0, Warner 1 0-0 2, Keil 1 2-2 4, Strub 0 1-2 1, Reed 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 9-15 42.

CENTAURUS (9-1, 3-0)

Langer 3 4-4 10, Ortega 5 2-4 16, Hubbell 1 0-2 2, Houck 4 4-7 13, Puckett 1 0-1 3, Manfredini 1 0-0 2, Patterson 1 0-0 2, Harriger 0 0-0 0, Matosky 2 3-3 7, Anderson 1 1-2 3. Totals 19 14-23 58.

Score by quarters:

Silver Creek 9 10 10 13 — 42

Centaurus 16 19 9 14 — 58

3-point field goals Silver Creek (1): Davis; Centaurus (6): Ortega 4, Puckett, Houck. Total fouls — Silver Creek 17, Centaurus 14. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.