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Clark County Sports

March 5, 2014

CLASS 3A NORTH HARRISON SECTIONAL: Creek overcomes slow start, beats Madison

Dragons will face No. 8 Corydon in Friday’s semis

NEW SALISBURY — Silver Creek caught fire at the end of the third quarter and overcame a very poor start shooting the basketball and an early deficit to Madison in capturing a 55-51 victory in the Class 3A North Harrison Sectional on Wednesday.

The Dragons (13-8) were ice cold during the first quarter, going 1 for 12 from the field and being outscored by the Cubs 13-2. The only Silver Creek score came with 4:55 remaining in the frame when forward Gabe Bauer scored on a layup following a steal.

The Dragons defeated the Cubs 61-54 in Sellersburg on Jan. 31. Still, Silver Creek, which struggled down the stretch during the regular season in losing four of its last five games, never lost its nerve.

With only five first-half field goals to its credit, Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said he was encouraged being down only 22-15 at intermission.

What was even more encouraging, Hoffman said, was how his troops responded, particularly after dropping three games last week, including a painful 61-51 loss at 3-16 Seymour Friday night.

“At halftime, we told everyone to not freak out and panic. We were taking good shots, we just weren’t making them,” he said. “We had some bad turnovers though, too. I’ll tell you what though, after the way we finished last week — we had some injuries, we lost three in a row — we get down big early tonight, we never stopped fighting. The guys showed a lot of grit tonight. Couldn’t be more proud of them.”

One of those injuries was a gimpy ankle for 6-foot-6 sophomore center Christian Reed, who had been the Dragons’ leading inside threat this season.

Reed, who had missed the last three games, re-entered the lineup, finishing with 11 points and seven rebounds. His short jumper in the lane gave Silver Creek the lead for good at 41-40 with 2:40 remaining in the contest.

The other underclassman who showed up big for the Dragons was Bauer, who was held scoreless in the first half but scored 10 of his game-high 15 points in the third quarter as Silver Creek mounted their charge.

“Gabe believes that he is an elite player. Elite players do that in crunch time,” Hoffman said. “He was able to get to the basket and find his rhythm from the outside — he saved us in that third quarter.”

Silver Creek’s three seniors also played huge roles in the win. Reserve guard Shae Durham came up with a steal and converted a 3-point play with 42.3 seconds left in the third quarter that gave the Dragons their first lead at 35-34 headed into the fourth quarter.

Before that play, guard Brooks Howell nailed a 3-pointer to close the gap to 34-32 with less than a minute to play in the third quarter. And starting forward Zach Davidson, who chipped in with 12 points, scored back-to-back baskets early in the third quarter to cut a 24-15 deficit to 24-19 with six minutes remaining.

“You always hope for sectional that your players play like seniors,” Hoffman said. “Those three guys have a lot of pride and showed that they weren’t ready to go out just yet.”

The Dragons will face Corydon Central — a 64-43 winner over tournament host North Harrison in Friday night’s nightcap. Charlestown faces Brownstown Central in Friday’s early semi.

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