By JON REITER
SELLERSBURG — Host Silver Creek posted its second consecutive blowout win — and first Mid-Southern Conference victory — in capturing a 60-32 victory over visiting Charlestown on Saturday night in Sellersburg.
It was a struggle from the outset for the Pirates, who wilted underneath Silver Creek's full-court press, relinquishing 10 turnovers in the opening quarter as the Dragons opened the game with a 17-2 run.
"We didn't execute," said Charlestown coach Sean Smith, whose squad was playing in its season-opening contest. "We definitely had a deer-in-the-headlight look when we got out there tonight — and they're a veteran, excellent team. And, they sensed it. [Silver Creek] had a killer instinct."
Junior forward Gabe Bauer nailed a 3-pointer for Silver Creek (2-0, 1-1 MSC) on its opening possession, and the trey began the Silver Creek onslaught.
The hosts rolled to a 17-2 advantage with 1:55 remaining in the first quarter following a 15-footer from sixth-man Zach Davidson.
Davidson led Silver Creek with 11 first-half points as the Dragons enjoyed a 33-12 advantage at intermission.
Silver Creek's length — which includes 6-foot-6 forwards Christian Reed and Jake Steele, 6-4 forward Sam Garr and 6-3 swing forward Bauer, also hampered Charlestown all evening.
The Dragons were plus-13 on rebounding with Reed grabbing eight and Garr and Davidson grabbing six apiece.
"Our goal is to be the best rebounding team in the state," Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said. "When that ball comes off the rim, we expect to be there to grab it. It's what we're hanging our hat on."
Bauer led Silver Creek with 14 points on an efficient 5 of 9 shooting from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-point range. Davidson and junior guard Nick Tinsley chipped in with 11 points apiece.
But it was the full-court press that left Silver Creek's stamp on the win. The Dragons collected 21 turnovers in all. Smith said his squad would be bettered suited to stand up to the pressure the next time they face it.
"We're without a lot of kids who have a lot of varsity experience," he said. "This was their first game. We will improve and learn from this. These are kids who will get better."
So, in the interim, how good is Silver Creek?
The Dragons added Saturday’s win to an 84-33 drubbing of Henryville last week, but a bigger test looms Friday night as the Dragons travel to face Class 2A No. 11 Clarksville, which features two of the area’s best players in Calvin McEwen and Andrew Jones.
"We have to have our best four practices this week, that's what I've told these kids," Hoffman said. "I thoughtCal [was the best player in the conference last season, and when you add Jones to him, that's the best backcourt in the area. We're excited to play them to see how we stack up. It'll take an effort like we had tonight for us to win it."
Sophomore forward Tanner Wesp paced with Pirates with 10 points and five rebounds. Nine Charlestown players reached the scoring column.
Charlestown hosts Scottsburg in its home opener Friday.
SILVER CREEK 60, CHARLESTOWN 32
Silver Creek 20 13 15 12—60
Charlestown 5 7 8 12—32
Silver Creek (2-0, 1-0 MSC): Tinsley 11, Howell 4, Steele 1, Bauer 14, Reed 6, Davidson 11, Garr 4, Durham 2, Kirchgessner 2, Densford 5.
Charlestown (0-1, 0-1): Wesp 10, Crace 6, Ramirez 2, Combs 2, Taylor 3, Brown 3, Pollock 2, Long 2, Shaw 2.
Rebounds: Silver Creek 31 (Reed 8); Charlestown 18 (Wesp 5).
Free throws: Silver Creek 10-19, Charlestown 14-19.
3-point field goals: Silver Creek 3 (Bauer 2, Tinsley, Densford); Charlestown 0.