NEW WASHINGTON — Silver Creek got out to a 17-0 lead and led by as many as 36 points Thursday to open its season with a 60-39 victory at New Washington in a clash of Clark County teams.
Savannah Kirchgessner hit a 3-pointer and finished an old-fashioned 3-point play to cap the 17-0 run to start the game. The junior finished with a game-high 18 points and eight rebounds, leading four Dragons in double figures. Jaclyn Emly added 15, Emme Rooney 14 and Alana Striverson chipped in eight of her 10 points in the third quarter.
Silver Creek coach Scott Schoen wasn’t surprised at all by Kirchgessner’s performance. The junior hit her second 3-pointer of the first half in the second quarter to put her team ahead 33-8.
“She could easily average a double-double just because she runs the floor so hard and she’s worked really hard on her shot,” Schoen said. “We got off to a good start, our energy was really good. It helped to get a lot of points in transition. We scored a ton in transition. That’s one of our goals, get the ball up and go.”
Emly capped the first half with an offensive rebound bucket to make it 40-10 going into the break.
“It was very nice to get Game 1 out of the way, the nerves and everything,” said Kirchgessner, who liked her team’s energy and aggressiveness defensively. “Our press, that was one of the key things and just getting it out and running was most effective for us.”
New Washington’s Makynsie Barger led the Mustangs with 15 points and Grace Ellison chipped in nine. Barger had 10 of her points in the fourth quarter as the Mustangs put a dent into their deficit.
“We had to reset the score in our minds and play possession by possession to counter some of the things they were doing,” New Wash coach Kirsti Holloway said. “We had a lot of good looks offensively, we just didn’t knock down shots in the first half.”
One dilemma for opponents of Silver Creek is the danger in crashing the offensive glass, typically a strength for the Mustangs.
“We didn’t get a lot of offensive putback opportunities because we’re trying to prevent breakaways. You have to sacrifice something,” Holloway said. “Unfortunately, they were still able to leak out. We have to get better at communicating in transition defense. We just needed the mentality that we’re going to battle every possession regardless of what that scoreboard says. Our kids did a pretty good job of that tonight. We didn’t back away from the physicality of the game.”
For Schoen, his team will have a week to prepare for its home-opener Nov. 15 against Seymour.
“Four players in double figures is great. We’ve got to have that consistently. [Point guard] Kynidi [Striverson] did a good job running the show,” Schoen said.
New Washington plays at South Dearborn at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
SILVER CREEK 60, NEW WASHINGTON 39
Silver Creek 23 17 15 5 — 60
New Washington 5 5 9 20 — 39
Silver Creek (1-0): Savannah Kirchgessner 18, Jaclyn Emly 15, Alana Striverson 10, Emme Rooney 14, Meredith Wilkinson 0, Sydney Sierota 2, Jenna DuPont 2, Kynidi Striverson 2, Hallie Foley 0, Abby Grimm 0, Olivia Johnston 0.
New Washington (0-1): Taylor James 5, Kalin Campbell 4, Grace Ellison 9, Makynsie Barger 15, Haylie Spear 1, Adrian Miles 3, Macy Fields 2, Mackenzie Krouse 0, Emma DeCamp 0.
3-point field goals: Silver Creek 3 (Kirchgessner 2, Emly), New Washington 4 (Ellison 2, Barger, Miles).
Next: Silver Creek plays host to Seymour next Thursday. New Washington plays Saturday at South Dearborn.