GREELEY — The Silver Creek boys basketball team and coach Bob Banning have a 2016-17 to-do list.
Surprisingly, winning a Northern league title wasn’t on it. They have bigger dreams and aspirations.
That’s why Friday night’s 48-40 setback to Northridge — the only team they have lost to this season — may initially sting, but it doesn’t necessarily define them.
“We already talked about some things that we need to work on to come back and be better,” said senior Khari Harrison, who spearheaded the Raptors fourth quarter rally, “And beat the rest of the teams out there.”
The loss drops No. 5 Silver Creek to 12-2 overall and 5-2 in the league, now two games behind the Grizzlies (13-3 overall, 7-0 in the Northern).
What the Raptors have in length, size and speed in the front court is matched by Northridge and for three quarters it was the Grizzlies that had the better of things.
Northridge took what appeared to be an insurmountable 40-20 lead to the fourth quarter on the Raptors, who just couldn’t get a shot to drop.
Still, Banning had faith in his team and knew that if they kept chipping away and could somehow get the lead to single digits, the Grizzlies might tighten up.
“It was just a game of runs and you just kind of have to take your chances,” said Banning, whose team cut it to 42-34 with 1:10 to play on the teams first 3-pointer of the night by Harrison. “They had a couple of timely misses for us and gave us a chance.”
Harrison hit another with 47.3 to play and then his runner after a Northridge miss made it 43-39 with 29 seconds left.
“Everybody was pretty hyped up and excited,” said Harrison, who led the Raptors with 14 points. “We were feeling pretty good.”
Said Banning, who was more than proud of his teams fight: “A lay-in was as good as a three and they weren’t going to stop the clock.”
The Raptors, who also got 10 each from Hunter Becvar and Trent Dykema, would get no closer; and two late free throws by Northridge’s Andrew Vigil (who lead all scorers with 17 points) put the game away.
The Raptors defense limited Grizzlies leading scorer Oscar Maldonado scoreless and watched the duo of Vigil and Nykolas Lange combine for 32.
Silver Creek will have a chance to get right back to their winning ways with four games next week, starting in Breckenridge on Monday against Summit. The Raptors, in addition to their two league games against Niwot and Greeley Central, have a nonleague game against Littleton at the Pepsi Center on Wednesday.
Jon Yunt: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/JonEYunt
NORTHRIDGE 48, SILVER CREEK 41
SILVER CREEK (12-2, 5-2)
Hunter Becvar 3 4-4 10, Trent Dykema 5 0-0 10, Carter Blink 0 0-0 0, Khari Harrison 6 0-2 14, Christian Warner 1 0-0 2, Sam Schlegel 2 1-2 5, Cade Call 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 5-8 41.
NORTHRIDGE (13-3, 7-0)
Elijah Llamas 1 0-0 2, Nykolas Lange 5 0-2 15, Andrew Vigil 7 3-5 17, Kaylor Werner 1 0-0 2, Devin Smith 2 0-0 4, Avery Palma 2 4-6 8, Oscar Maldonado 0 0-1 0. Totals 18 7-14 48.
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Silver Creek (2): Harrison 2; Northridge (5): Lange 5. Total fouls — Silver Creek 16; Northridge 10.
Technical fouls — Blink.