LONGMONT — Losing two-thirds of its roster to graduation after last season, the Silver Creek High School girls basketball team is still searching for cohesion and trying to identify what type of team it will be for the 2014-15 season.
Now through all seven of their early-season nonconference games before the holiday break, the Raptors still aren’t quite where they’d like to be. But after a 55-29 win over the cross-town rival Skyline High School Falcons on Friday night, the Raptors are at least over .500 mark.
“I think we played pretty well as a team,” Raptors senior guard Mikayla Litt said. “It’s a pretty new team and we’ve been struggling to find each other. But we did that tonight and we really worked together. We lost six out of our nine players last year but this was a cross-town rivalry so we were all really pumped for the game and ready to go. We came out with confidence and I think that really helped.”
Still searching for some consistency, the Raptors have been doing so against a slew of tough 5A competition in the Fairview Festival tournament, where they went 1-2. The Raptors’ three losses are to Evergreen (5-1), ThunderRidge (6-1) and Arvada West (3-4).
Against the Falcons (3-4), the Raptors (4-3) jumped out to an early lead and poured it on for a 30-11 halftime lead. Though Skyline gained some ground in the third quarter, the Raptors held the home team to two points in the fourth.
Silver Creek head coach Dan Kloster was happy to head into the holiday break with a win before his team’s schedule gets tougher with 4A Northern League play commencing in January.
“I thought we did some things well tonight,” Kloster said. “One of the things we’ve struggled with is the press. They didn’t press us much tonight but when they did, I think we showed we could handle it. Still, that’s something we’ve got to get better at. We’re sort of on a rollercoaster right now where some games we look better than others. If we can even that out a bit, I think we’ll be tough.”
Sophomore Kayla Noble led the Raptors with 17 points on Friday night. Senior Teagan Knechtel scored 14 points and junior Jordan Carter added 13.
The Falcons struggled to get good looks against the Raptors, who list three varsity starters at 6-foot-2, and their matchup zone defense. It was their worst loss to this point in the season.
“They’re a good team, they’re well coached and they traditionally play very well against us,” Falcons head coach James Pappas said. “We struggled offensively. But we have to give credit to them and their height for playing good defense and causing that to happen. That’s the second-highest points we’ve given up all season too. We got a bad, slow start and dug a hole for ourselves against a good team. We did a better job in the third quarter but we used up all our gas to get that done.”
After the break, the Raptors will host Mountain View (2-6) on Jan. 9. Skyline will host Berthoud (5-4) the same day.
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Silver Creek 55, Skyline 29
At Skyline H.S.
SILVER CREEK (4-3)
Mikayla Litt 0 2-2 2, Erin Kloster 0 0-0 0, Heidi Stauss 1 0-0 2, Violet Kennedy 2 1-2 5, Jordan Carter 5 3-5 13, Teagan Knechtel 7 0-0 14, Miranda Salo 0 0-2 0, Danielle Berning 1 0-0 2, Jaymie Ackerman 0 0-0 0, Kayla Noble 5 4-5 17. Totals 21 10-16 55.
Leah Osborn 2 0-0 6, Naomi Barron 4 0-0 8, Kelsey Robison 2 0-0 4, Marie Montante 0 0-0 0, Biance Pedraza 1 0-0 2, Alyssa Steed 1 1-2 3, Brianna Robison 1 2-4 4, Rachel Kissinger 0 0-0 0, Amber Montante 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 3-6 29.
Score by quarters:
Silver Creek 22 8 14 11 — 55
Skyline 7 4 16 2 — 29
3-point field goals — Silver Creek: Noble 3; Skyline: Osborn 2 . Total fouls — Silver Creek 15, Skyline 13.