Metthew Jonas/Staff Photographer
LONGMONT — Andrew Scott attacked the rim without a defender on the court who could seemingly stop him Wednesday night. He splashed the deep ball with such ease.
When Silver Creek’s star senior carves out his hoops furrow, he’s exactly the kind of X-factor that can shake up the playoff season.
“If he plays like that every game and we play as a team we have a pretty high ceiling,” Silver Creek coach Bob Banning said.
Scott, only inhibited with foul trouble on this night, scored a game-high 25 points, Aidan Miller added 17, and the 21st-seeded Raptors beat No. 44 Fort Collins 84-73 in the first round of the Class 5A state postseason.
With the win, Silver Creek won its first postseason game since moving up to the state’s largest classification last season.
The Raptors also improved to 6-0 when Scott has scored at least 20 points in a game this season. Sizzling over his last five games, Scott has scored 25-plus three times, which includes a season-high 34-point performance in a win over Holy Family a week ago.
“It all came together, and we were like let’s put it together for the playoffs, we know how good we can be,” Scott said. “We felt good from the start. My shot was feeling good, and I think that just helped everyone get in a groove.”
Scott’s strong night could be captured by the start of both halves. He began the game scoring his team’s first seven points, getting to the bucket and swishing from deep.
The second half, much of the same. He scored a quick six in the opening minute, spearing through defenders for a hoop-and-harm. Then shortly after, he broke away on the break and sunk another 3-pointer to push the lead to 18.
The game was never in peril after that. The Lambkins trimmed the deficit to nine with 1:21 remaining but would get no closer.
“I think we’re coming (at the postseason) with the same mindset we do in conference,” said Scott, whose team finished sixth in the 5A/4A Northern Colorado Athletic Conference. “We are just trying to put everything together that we worked on. We know how good we can be. We just want to attack in these 5A playoffs. Nothing to lose.”
Much of the first half was tight, with Scott’s hot start leading the way for Silver Creek.
A 14-4 run before the break finally provided separation.
After Tanner Call dunked over a Fort Collins player and a teammate was called for a questionable technical foul for taunting, Silver Creek responded with a strong final three minutes to the half.
Scott scored another five straight and Bridger Sutherland had a silky-smooth finish on a 180-degree reverse layup to fuel a 9-0 spurt over 1:35 of game time. Miller then closed the half, going up strong in contact on the front end of a three-point play to push the advantage to 36-26.
Fort Collins never recovered.
“We came from the dunk, and we exploded from it,” Call said. “We did not let that technical bother us.”
Silver Creek will travel to Colorado Springs Saturday to face No. 12 Vista Ridge. It’ll be the team’s second straight Round of 32 appearance in 5A after last year’s tournament started with just 32 teams due to the pandemic.
“I feel that we’re hitting a stride,” Banning said. “I’ve seen it in spurts these last five or six games, and with the boys buying in like this I think they’ll go down to Vista Ridge to win.”