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Boys basketball: Evergreen nips tough-minded Silver Creek

Two scoring runs from Evergreen make the difference in close game

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    LONGMONT, CO - Dec. 11, 2019: Silver Creek High School's Andrew Duquette goes for a layup during a game against Evergreen on Tuesday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    LONGMONT, CO - Dec. 11, 2019: Silver Creek High School's Andrew Scott goes for a layup during a game against Evergreen on Tuesday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    LONGMONT, CO - Dec. 11, 2019: Silver Creek High School's Matt Koelfgen takes a shot over John Wagner during a game against Evergreen on Tuesday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    LONGMONT, CO - Dec. 11, 2019: Evergreen High School's Griffin Lauritano takes a shot over Tanner Call during a game against Silver Creek on Tuesday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    LONGMONT, CO - Dec. 11, 2019: Silver Creek High School's Andrew Scott takes a shot over Carson Poupore during a game against Evergreen on Tuesday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    LONGMONT, CO - Dec. 11, 2019: Evergreen High School's Cooper Dyess takes a shot over a swarm of defenders during a game against Silver Creek on Tuesday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    LONGMONT, CO - Dec. 11, 2019: Silver Creek High School's Dylan Johnson drives to the hoop during a game against Evergreen on Tuesday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

  • Jeremy Papasso/ Staff Photographer

    LONGMONT, CO - Dec. 11, 2019: Evergreen High School's Griffin Lauritano takes a shot over Brody Kuehl during a game against Silver Creek on Tuesday in Longmont. (Photo by Jeremy Papasso/Staff Photographer)

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LONGMONT — For most of Tuesday night, the Silver Creek Raptors looked up to the Evergreen Cougars on the scoreboard, albeit by the slimmest of margins.

Evergreen took an early lead and sustained it until the fourth quarter when Zach Noesen hit a 3-pointer that put Silver Creek ahead 48-47. But the Cougars (5-1) would answer with a 10-0 run and held on in the final moments to defeat the Raptors (2-3) 66-60 in Longmont.

The loss was a close one, but it’s one that Silver Creek coach Bob Banning felt showed growth from his team that is starting two sophomores and a junior.

“Evergreen is a very good team, they were ranked in the top-10 and lost to Green Mountain in the top 10,” Banning explained. “I thought we grew up quite a bit tonight. We pressed the floor well and were aggressive. I was pleased with our effort.”

Evergreen’s first scoring run came in the first quarter to put it ahead 11-5. Leading the way in the run were Griffin Lauritano and Jackson Mott, two of the leading scorers that would go on to have big nights for the Cougars. With dribble penetration to get in the lane, Evergreen was able to get plenty of looks in the paint while also finding the open man from the outside when the Silver Creek defense collapsed.

Noesen and Andrew Scott hit a pair of 3-pointers to help cut the lead to two going into the second quarter, and big shots from Scott, Matthew Koelfgren and Andrew Duquette pushed Silver Creek within striking range. Every time Silver Creek got within a point or two of Evergreen, the Cougars seemed to answer with a small run, mostly from Lauritano and Mott creating shots.

“That comes with experience, but I thought we held our own,” Banning said.

Again the Raptors cut the Evergreen lead a one-possession game a handful of times in the third quarter, but the Cougars would continue to hit timely shots to stay in the lead. It was a fight Banning said his team was up for Tuesday night.

“I knew we would have to grind,” Banning said.

His team did, and Banning eventually saw SCHS climb over the hump and take that 48-47 lead a couple of minutes into the fourth — the first edge for the hosts since 5-2 early in the opening quarter. It only lasted a few seconds with Evergreen hitting a 3-pointer to go back in front and then following with Lauritano and Mott creating more havoc getting in the paint and scoring.

The 10-0 run, according to Banning, was a brief letdown by his team that Evergreen capitalized on.

“We got the lead late in the fourth quarter, but then we had a little lull and something happened with the clock that slowed time down,” Banning said. “It just happens in a basketball game.”

His team fought hard, but a few empty possessions on one end and Evergeen free throws on the other helped the Cougars claim victory.

Duquette hit all nine of his free throws he attempted and led Silver Creek with 15 points. Tanner Call scored 10 of his 12 points in the paint and Scott was the third player to reach double figures with 11. Evergreen saw Lauritano score 27 and Mott finish with 16, giving them 65 percent of the points for the Cougars in the win.

Having battled with some newer players in the lineup, Banning hopes the game will serve as a momentum boost for his team to close the week with a crosstown rivalry game at Skyline on Thursday, as well as for them in Northern League when the team returns from winter break in January.

“One break here, one break there, this game could have gone a different way,” Banning said. “It’s early in the season, so we just have to keep getting better and working on our identity and style. I want to see the same kind of effort (versus Skyline) and to clean a few things up.”