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Boys basketball: Silver Creek’s season ended by hot-shooting TJ

DENVER — Much like its entire season, the Silver Creek boys basketball team simply could not maintain any continuity on Tuesday.

The Raptors put together two solid quarters in their Class 4A state tournament opener at Thomas Jefferson, yet the problem for Silver Creek was that the Spartans completely dominated the other two quarters. Silver Creek, which was put on its heels early and blown out late, had no answer for TJ’s athleticism and 3-point prowess in a 52-32 defeat.

“They’ve got quick hands and they got to the ball a few more times than we did,” Silver Creek coach Bob Banning said. “I think TJ is very athletic. They’re long and they jump well.”

Silver Creek, which ends the campaign with an 8-16 mark, fell behind 18-4 early in the second quarter after TJ knocked down four of its first five 3-point attempts. The Raptors, however, answered with a big second quarter, outscoring the host Spartans 11-4 to crawl within 20-15 at the break.

Silver Creek remained within four points in the opening moments of the fourth quarter when the wheels abruptly fell off the Raptors’ season. TJ hit a pair of 3-pointers and also put together a pair of three-point plays during an 18-0 fourth-quarter run that propelled the Spartans into the second round. The Spartans (11-13) finished with eight 3-pointers.

“Even their bigs could shoot 3’s,” said senior Patryck Minter-Woodley, who led the Raptors with 15 points. “They had a night. Sometimes you have a night where you make everything, and they had one tonight.

“We knew nobody could hit 100 percent from 3-point range the whole game, so we played our game and grinded it out like we’ve tried to do all season, but they got hot at the right time. They hit shots when it counted.”

Putting together two solid quarters along with two erratic quarters was somewhat of a microcosm of the Raptors season, which was marked by inconsistency.

Even after several of the team’s basketball players, including guard Austin Apodaca and forward Trace Gray, got a late start on the court due to the Raptors’ run into the Class 3A state title game, Silver Creek still was unable to enjoy continuity in its lineup due to injuries.

On Jan. 3 against Niwot, senior Brandon Bane suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for nine games. On the night Bane returned during a win against Skyline on Feb. 4, Apodaca went down with a hip injury that kept him on the shelf for the rest of the season. The Washington State-bound quarterback expects to be ready for the Raptors’ baseball season, albeit perhaps somewhat slowly at the season’s outset.

“I think it was almost three different seasons for us,” Banning said. “You don’t want to lean on excuses, because high school sports are about overcoming adversity. But I thought we grew through it, and we showed well against a very good ball club that has a chance to go deep in the field.”

Pat Rooney can be reached at rooneyp@dailycamera.com

Thomas Jefferson 52, Silver Creek 32

At Thomas Jefferson HS

SILVER CREEK (8-16)

Fleming 1 2-2 5, Bane 1 0-0 3, Minter-Woodley 7 1-4 15, Machmuller 1 0-0 2, Gray 1 0-0 2, Lindsay 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Echevarria 1 0-0 2, Cecil 1 1-2 3. Totals 13 4-8 32.

THOMAS JEFFERSON (11-13)

Clark 4 4-5 13, Roland 4 0-0 11, Boston 2 2-2 6, Brewer 1 0-2 2, E. Andres 2 1-1 6, Brown 1 1-2 3, T. Andres 4 0-0 11, McAfee 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-12 52.

Score by quarters:

Silver Creek 4 11 12 5 — 32

Thomas Jefferson 16 4 13 19 — 52

3-point field goals — Silver Creek (2): Fleming, Bane; Thomas Jefferson (8): Roland 3, T. Andres 3, E. Andres, Clark. Total fouls — Silver Creek 16, Thomas Jefferson 12. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.

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