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January 17, 2013

GREG'S PICKS: Dragons improving at right time

Silver Creek faces tough upcoming games against NA, Providence

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Coming into the 2012-13 season with a team with almost no varsity experience, Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman knew the start to the season would be treacherous.

It was. His third Dragon team started with a win over Henryville, but then dropped five straight. After a victory over New Washington, Creek dropped three more.

On Jan. 5, the Dragons won their third game of the season, knocking off then-unbeaten Borden 60-51.

“There’s not a question that we’re a lot better team than we were in November, even December,” Hoffman said. “We’ve shown a lot of signs of improvement and we’re not making the same mistakes we were before.”

Last Friday, Silver Creek went to Brownstown and held one of the state’s leading scoring teams to 39 in a 16-point loss.

The Dragons have held their opponents to 55 points or under in five of their last six games.

“If you’ve seen our scores lately, we’ve developed into one of the better defensive teams around,” Hoffman said. “The goal is to keep that up and hopefully bring the offense along with it.”

Tonight, Hoffman’s young team goes to New Albany to face the 7-6 Bulldogs. Then on Tuesday, the Dragons will host 11-1 Providence.

“There aren’t any easy ones, especially in December and January,” Hoffman said of Creek’s schedule. “These two games are ones the kids look forward the playing. The like the opportunity of going down to New Albany to play against the great program they have. Providence is undoubtedly one of the best teams in Southern Indiana.

“There’s no doubt our kids will look forward to both of those games.”

GAMES TO WATCH — WEEKEND

GAME OF THE WEEKEND

BOYS — Jeffersonville at Columbus East

• Time/Day: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

• Records: Jeffersonville 11-2 (4-0 Hoosier Hills Conference); Columbus East 8-1 (4-0 HHC).

• Rankings: Jeffersonville — Class 4A No. 13.

• Last year: At Jeffersonville 90, Columbus East 65.

• Last 15 years: Jeffersonville 8-7.

• Analysis: This isn’t the official clincher, but unless Jennings County is better than expected, the winner of this game is going to be at least tied for the conference championship. Both of these teams have shown a ton of toughness and the ability to come back late in games. Both are sectional contenders and both feel like they’re the best team in the Hoosier Hills Conference. However, Jeff has just a tiny bit more talent and has Darryl Baker. Nothing against East’s Bryce Leinhoop, but with the game on the line, Baker’s proven to be the guy to have.

• Greg’s Pick: Jeffersonville 71, Columbus East 66.

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