SILVER CREEK - The No. 4 Silver Creek Black Knights may not have played their best basketball of the season Thursday night, but when it came crunch time, the Black Knights stepped up to the occasion and edged out the No. 5 Barker Lady Raiders, 47-42 in a Section 6 Class C-1 quarterfinal game.
Jordan Brooks continued her stellar season by recording a triple-double, which helped carry the Black Knights to victory. Brooks scored 33 points, pulled down 23 rebounds and made 10 blocks.
Despite the winning outcome, Silver Creek had some bumps along the way, especially in the first quarter.
OBSERVER?Photo by Sean?Pecuch
Silver Creek’s Nichole Jimerson (5) runs the offense during Thursday’s?Section 6 Class C-1 quarterfinal girls high school basketball game against Barker.
The home team's rough start was caused by four straight turnovers on the first four possessions, which allowed Barker to jump out to a 6-1 advantage.
"We've had trouble with our nerves all year," Silver Creek coach Tammy Rice said. "I think the biggest thing was that we were surprised by (Barker's) speed. It had us a little frazzled for the first couple of minutes."
It wasn't until 2:10 was left on the clock in the first quarter that Silver Creek made a free throw.
After breaking the ice with the team's first bucket of the game, the Black Knight ball handlers settled down and were able to make the passes necessary to allow Brooks to score down low.
Silver Creek carried the momentum of its six straight points at the end of the first quarter into the second quarter where Brooks took over.
Brooks recorded 14 of her game-high 33 points in the second frame as the Black Knights rolled past the Lady Raiders for a 23-17 halftime lead.
"It was a different kind of game, we didn't run that much of our offense," Rice said. "It was a lot of us just playing basketball. We had some turnovers because of it, but when we were able to settle down and get the ball down low to Jordan, a lot of the time we were successful."
Silver Creek continued to see offensive success in the third quarter as the team jumped out to a 12-point advantage.
"Obviously Jordan had another great game," Rice said. "I think Nichole Jimerson also played well. She scored seven points, but kept her composure for us. The more she handled the ball, the more things went well for us."
Jimerson scored five of her seven points in the third quarter.
Although Silver Creek had all the momentum in its favor heading into the fourth quarter, it was Barker who came out surprisingly strong.
The Lady Raiders played a much more physical style of defense which kept Brooks from hitting the shots down low. In return, Barker had the scoring chances they needed to claw its way back into the game.
The Lady Raiders scored eight straight points in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter to cut Silver Creek's lead to 35-31.
"Our defense usually plays much better than we did," Rice said. "We usually do a good job of making adjustments on defense, but we kept leaving holes in our zone open, which led to a lot of points being scored on us."
After a costly Black Knight turnover, Barker's Caitlyn Mason hit the only 3-pointer of the game to cut Silver Creek's lead to 40-37 with 1:25 left on the clock.
After a less than memorable day from the free-throw line, the Black Knights were clutch down the stretch as they knocked down five-of-six in the final 1:22 of the game to seal the victory.
With the win, Silver Creek secures a spot in the Class C-1 semifinals, which will take place next Thursday.