By GREG BURTON
Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — Class 3A No. 10 Silver Creek was impressive Tuesday night at the Larkin Center against Providence.
Really impressive - the kind you need to add numerous exclamations marks at the end of the sentence.
The Dragons of coach Brandon Hoffman simply pummeled their hosts 63-35, especially in the first half. Silver Creek held Providence (5-10) to just two points in the first quarter. At the same time, the Dragons seemingly never missed from the field.
Providence coach Rob Murawski was duly impressed with Silver Creek’s start.
“They did not score on (only) two possessions that I am aware of,” said the Pioneer boss.
Hoffman was ecstatic with his team’s play from the tip.
“The big thing coming in here we talked about was getting off to a good start. It exceeded my expectations, to say the least,” said Hoffman.
Silver Creek (11-3) scored the final 21 points of the opening quarter and led 26-2. A 3-pointer to lead off the second quarter made it 29-2, and any remaining mystery was gone from this game.
Murawski was baffled and miffed at his team’s inability to be competitive.
“We had two points in a quarter,” he said. “They’re varsity. You can’t do that. That’s two games in a row they didn’t come out ready to play. If you would have asked me that Saturday and Monday after practice, I would have said no. We’ve got to make some adjustments.”
Silver Creek’s offense was on fire in the first half, and the Dragons led 37-14 at the intermission. The offense, as impressive as it was and as much as Hoffman liked, was not his main point for this game.
“We’ve kind of had a motto the last four or five years that we’re going to guard you, and if we make our shots, you’re in trouble,” he said.
The Dragons’ defense limited Providence’s offensive opportunities. Silver Creek completely shut down Providence’s Blake Murphy and Cullen Ebert in the first half. The pair is usually the main offensive threats for the Pioneers.
“I thought we had the physical advantage in size and speed,” said Hoffman.
By contrast, Murawski did not like his team’s defensive effort.
“We don’t play hard on defense sometimes,” he said.
Silver Creek built its advantage to as much as 34 points in the third quarter when they led 52-18.
Providence has lately been enduring strong shooting nights from recent opponents, something noticed by Murawski.
“We’ve been pretty good the last three years. People want to come out against us,” he said.
Still, what the Dragons did was impressive.
“Silver Creek is real good,” Murawski added.
Jack Hawkins led Silver Creek with 18 points. Zane Gross added 11. After being held scoreless the first half, Murphy pumped in 13 points in the second half to lead the Pioneers.
Silver Creek will play a weekend home doubleheader this Friday and Saturday. On Friday, the Dragons will play Madison (6-8). Then on Saturday, they will play Class 4A No. 6 Bloomington South (15-2), a schedule addition last year.
Hoffman likes the challenge of facing a top 10 team. He also believes his team will not overlook Madison.
“We put Bloomington South on our schedule to make us better,” he said. “We’ve got six seniors, and they’re kind of having fun now. You get to this part of the season, and you want to embrace every game you have. If they overlook somebody, shame on them.”
Providence will play at Christian Academy (7-7) on Friday.
SILVER CREEK 63, PROVIDENCE 35
Silver Creek 26 11 15 11-63
Providence 2 12 11 10-35
Silver Creek (11-3): Zane Gross 11, Jack Hawkins 18, Bennett Beyl 6, Sammy Barnett 3, Jacob Garrett 0, Ty Kessinger 5, Hunter Popp 6, Josh Landers 5, Kooper Jacobi 2, Trey Kaufman 6, Keaton Goss 1, Kobe Coleman 0, Holden Groher 0, Elijah Bays 0.
Providence (5-10): Blake Murphy 13, Cullen Ebert 2, Sterling Huber 6, Austin Barnett 2, Reece Libs 4, Trey Beatty 0, Hayden Burke 2, Nick Sexton 4, Aidan Finnegan 0, Bishop Edwards 0, Alec Fougerousse 2, Zack Johnson 0.
3-point field goals: Silver Creek 11 (Gross 3, Hawkins 3, Beyl 2, Barnett 1, Popp 1, Landers 1); Providence 3 (Huber 2, Murphy 1).
Total fouls: Silver Creek 11, Providence 12.
Fouled out: none.
Junior varsity: Silver Creek 61, Providence 26.