LONGMONT — Adjustments were being made, but they didn’t seem to matter to Mead’s Rylee Ward. It just meant she’d have to shoot from a little farther away.
On the opposite side of one of the area’s finest perimeter display over the past several seasons Saturday, the Silver Creek girls basketball team was just happy to escape with a 56-54 nonleague win against Ward and the Mavericks.
Ward, a 5-foot-7 senior guard, poured in 34 points, including six 3-pointers. But the balanced Raptors did just enough to overthrow the scintillating effort.
“It was crazy,” Silver Creek point guard Heidi Stauss said. “That’s like NBA-level shooting right there.”
Stauss and the Raptors countered with four double-digit scorers, including Stauss herself with 12 points, including her team’s only two 3-pointers. Jordan Carter and Kayla Noble led the way with 13 points apiece, and Teagan Knechtel rebounded from a scoreless first half to finish with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Silver Creek (10-4) trailed by six at halftime but quickly wiped out the deficit and played with the lead for most of the second half.
“I think we came out after the half just really determined to win,” Stauss said. “We did a good job fast-breaking and moved the ball really fast, and that helped us.”
After drilling two 3s in the first quarter, Ward scored 10 points in the first two minutes of the second quarter to help Mead (10-5) build a 30-24 halftime lead. She continued to fire away in the second half, including a 4-point play that trimmed the deficit to 51-47 in the latter going.
She finished 11 for 18 from the floor, including 6 for 12 from 3-point range.
“I’ve actually been struggling with my shot lately,” Ward said. “I’ve been trying to work on it a lot in practice, but what really helped was how we moved the ball, honestly, inside-out.
“We knew it’d be tough to go inside because they’re so big all the way across, and we knew they were going to have posts guarding our guards, so we tried to take advantage of that.”
Ward scored a mere two points Friday night in the Mavericks’ Tri-Valley League win against Windsor, when she was under the weather. She undoubtedly was recuperated Saturday.
“It would have been nice to come out with a win, but it’s always a good thing to have a good game,” she said.
Ward credited Silver Creek’s ability to deftly move the ball, even though the Raptors are a sizable team, as the chief reason they were able to prevail. Raptors coach Dan Kloster said spectators got their money’s worth in this one, but that didn’t make it any less stressful on the bench.
“She’s got range, boy, she can shoot the ball,” Kloster said. “We even talked about it at halftime, and I thought we did a decent job of getting out on her. I think our girls didn’t expect her to be two-and-a-half feet behind the arc and still drain one.”
After absorbing their first Northern League loss of the season the night before against Thompson Valley, the Raptors and Kloster cherished the quick turnaround.
“We wanted to make sure we responded and rebounded after that,” Kloster said. “It was a tough loss and we didn’t play particularly well, so we wanted to show that we could do a better job.”
Silver Creek visits Northern League-leading Longmont Tuesday at 5 p.m.
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Silver Creek 56, Mead 54
At Silver Creek HS
Cami Kamigaki 0 1-2 1, Katie Maher 2 0-1 4, Kari Lozinski 2 2-2 6, Rylee Ward 11 6-6 34, Haylee McCullough 1 0-0 2, Sophie Smith 0 0-0 0, Courtney McKrola 2 3-5 7. Totals 18 12-16 54.
SILVER CREEK (10-4)
Mikayla Litt 1 0-0 2, Heidi Stauss 5 0-0 12, Jordan Carter 5 3-4 13, Teagan Knechtel 3 4-7 10, Kayla Noble 4 5-9 13, Violet Kennedy 1 0-0 2, Miranda Salo 1 0-0 2, Danielle Berning 0 0-0 0, Jaymie Ackerman 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 12-20 56.
Score by quarters:
Mead 10 20 9 15 — 54
Silver Creek 16 8 19 13 — 56
3-point field goals — Mead (6): Ward 6; Silver Creek (2): Stauss 2. Total fouls — Mead 17, Silver Creek 19.