LONGMONT — In a series that has strongly favored one side or the other in recent memory, the cross-town rival Silver Creek and Longmont girls basketball teams are about as evenly-matched as it gets this year.
On Tuesday, one point was the difference for the Longmont Trojans in a 51-50 win that separated the teams by one game in the Northern League standings.
“We’ve been talking about that game all year and we just wanted it really bad,” Trojans sophomore Madi Gaibler said. “We went in there knowing that we were going to win and we worked really hard. Even though we were down, we had the spirit to come back and win.”
Gaibler, a 5-foot-9 guard, turned in 11 points and eight rebounds for the Trojans. Head coach Mike Knaus said she carried her team early by scoring the Trojans’ first six points and clutch free throws down the stretch while the final lead was up for grabs.
Sophomore center Sydney Wetterstrom led the Trojans (12-3, 6-1) with 13 points on what she felt was an off shooting night. But in crunch time, she hit a turnaround post jump shot that gave the Trojans the game-winning lead with 11.3 seconds left in the game.
The Trojans led nearly the entire first half but trailed by as many as nine points following a 10-0 Raptors run midway through the third. There were six ties and 14 lead changes in the game.
“They got us twice last year,” Knaus said. “They ran us out of the gym over there and then here we came back and played them within seven here at the end of the season. We knew this was going to be a tough game. I was pleased that our kids hung in there when we were down and when it was back-and-forth at the end.”
The Raptors (12-4, 5-2) had a chance for a last-second shot but couldn’t penetrate the Trojans defense, which held Raptors top scorer Emilie Rembert to six points largely because of Lydia Pane’s defense.
Raptors sophomore center Jordan Carter tied a season high with 18 points, including the Raptors’ final six points in the game. Silver Creek seniors Margaret Davis and Julie Dauer returned from a seven-game suspension and combined for 14 points.
“I was proud of our effort and I thought both teams played well,” Silver Creek coach Dan Kloster said. “Offensively, we went through a stretch there in the third and early fourth quarter when it seemed like we just couldn’t buy a basket and they came back. It was a classic in-town rivalry game.”
On Friday, the Raptors will return to action on the road against Centaurus (4-11, 2-5 Northern) while the Trojans will remain at home to host Greeley Central (9-6, 2-4 Northern). The two Longmont rivals will meet again in each team’s regular-season finale at Silver Creek High School on Feb. 21.
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Longmont 51, Silver Creek 50
At Longmont H.S.
SILVER CREEK (12-4, 5-2)
Davis 3 0-0 6, Rembert 2 2-2 6, Bishop 0 0-0 0, Dauer 4 0-0 8, Strub 0 0-0 0, Knechtel 0 2-2 2, Ramirez 2 0-0 4, Carter 9 0-2 18, Litt 3 0-0 6. Totals 23 4-6 50.
LONGMONT (12-3, 6-1)
Wetterstrom 5 4-4 13, Gaibler 4 3-6 11, Cox 2 4-6 8, K. Schell 1 0-0 2, A. Schell 5 0-0 12, McKee 2 1-1 5, Pane 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 12-17 51.
Score by quarters:
Silver Creek 12 12 16 10 — 50
Longmont 16 6 10 19 — 51
3-point field goals — Silver Creek (0); Longmont (2): A. Schell 2. Total fouls — Silver Creek 11, Longmont 7.