Young stars highlight Gowanda vs. Silver Creek

SILVER CREEK — There’s an interesting matchup set for tonight in the Silver Creek High School gym, as Gowanda (6-10, 3-5) takes on the Black Knights (8-7, 2-5) in a Division 1 East girls basketball showdown.

The game features two of the most exciting young basketball standouts in the area, Gowanda’s Miya Scanlan and Silver Creek’s Abby Rice.

Scanlan, a freshman in her second year on the varsity squad, leads the Lady Panthers with over 19 points per game, ranking in the top 20 in all of Section VI. After just over 10 points a game last season as an eighth-grader, Scanlan has developed into one of the most prolific scorers in western New York girls basketball.

As young as Scanlan is, Rice is even younger. She is only an eighth-grader for Silver Creek, also in her second year on the varsity team. Rice also leads her team in scoring, with over 16 points per game, along with over nine rebounds per game, as well. On a young team with only one senior on the roster, Rice has emerged as the clear go-to option for Silver Creek.

Gowanda’s supporting cast is led by senior Alexis Hawkins, a fourth-year varsity member who averages a double-double in points and rebounds. In addition to Scanlan, the Lady Panthers need to get Hawkins involved early and often so the scoring load does not fall solely on Scanlan.

Silver Creek’s supporting cast is highlighted by senior Tessa Douglas. A three-year varsity member, Douglas has been the sole captain of the Black Knights this season. She will likely have a lot of the responsibility in guarding Hawkins, if not Scanlan.

In a matchup of two of the most talented players in the area, it will be interesting to see how much time the two 5’10” guards spend matched up against each other. If they match up one-on-one, it could be a sign of a matchup we could be seeing for many years to come, not just this time around.

When the two teams faced off earlier in the season last month, Silver Creek came away with a 51-32 victory in Gowanda, but the Lady Panthers were without Scanlan for the game. Rice had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead Silver Creek. This time around, expect a much more competitive game.

Although both teams have not had storybook seasons so far, tonight will be a good measurement on not only the season, but the future, as well.

Tipoff is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Silver Creek High School.