Silver Creek took control early and surged in the third quarter to beat host Borden 45-25 in a high school boys’ basketball game Saturday night.
Silver Creek (12-1), ranked No. 4 in Class 3-A, used a decided height advantage to control the paint and the boards for most of the game — on both sides of the court. The Dragons’ front line included 6-foot-7 Jake Steele and 6-foot-6 Christian Reed while the Class 1-A Braves (8-4) didn’t have a starter over 5-10.
“Obviously our advantage was inside,” Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said. “But give Borden credit, they controlled the tempo of the game,” he added, referring to the low scoring by both teams.
Silver Creek took advantage of a slow start by the Braves, taking control early on. With the score tied at 2-2, the Dragons got four points apiece from Gabe Bauer and Cameron Cook for an 8-0 run. Borden, meanwhile, committed four turnovers late in the first quarter and trailed 10-2 going into the second.
Borden’s Noah Hart scored his second basket of the game to start the second quarter — accounting for all of the Braves points to make it 10-4. Silver Creek responded with a steal and layup by Sam Garr, then the Dragons made it a double-digit lead (14-4) on a basket by Steele at the 6:08 mark.
Bryce Moore became only the second Borden player to score when he knocked down two free throws moments later, making it 14-6, but the Braves had precious little offense after that.
Over the final six minutes of the first half, Silver Creek used a 3-pointer by Nick Tinsley and a steal and layup by Ryan Baker to help put together an 8-2 run for a 22-8 halftime lead.
With points hard to come by, the Braves weren’t able to keep up in the third quarter.
Reed got the Dragons off to a hot start in the second half, scoring six points during a 6-2 run by Silver Creek to start the third quarter. Bauer took over after that, scoring six points to help the Dragons go on a 12-2 run for a 34-10 lead.
Borden’s lone second-half basket — to that point — was made by Caleb Hart and it finally put the Braves into double figures with a minute and a half gone in the third quarter.
Hoffman wasn’t overly impressed by his team’s offense, but he was pleased with the other end of the floor.
“I thought our defense was pretty good for the most part,” Hoffman said.
Despite allowing Borden to score twice in the final minute of the third quarter, the Dragons still had held the Braves to two, six and six points in each of the first three quarters, respectively, and led 36-14 going into the fourth.
Silver Creek’s Tinsley started the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer for a 25-point lead, but the Braves showed some moxie after that. Over the final seven minutes, Borden outscored Silver Creek 11-6.
Still, the Dragons were able to win handily by steadily pulling away in the first half, then icing it in the third — a by-product of not being overanxious against an outmatched foe.
“We don’t need to hit a home run every possession,” Hoffman said.
Reed finished with 13 points and Bauer added 12 to lead the Dragons. Borden was paced by Caleb Hart’s eight points.
Silver Creek (12-1) – Reed 13, Bauer 12, Cook 4, Garr 4, Steele 2, Tinsley 6, Baker 2, Simmons 2.
Borden (8-4) – N. Hart 6, Moore 8, Bachman 3, C. Hart 8, Franklin 0.
3-point goals – Tinsley 2, Bachman 1.