SILVER CREEK – A near-capacity crowd came out on a snowy night to see the boys basketball team that is ranked second in The News small school poll and second in the state Class C poll.
And the Silver Creek Black Knights showed why they have reached those lofty rankings.
Silver Creek continued its undefeated season with a 66-40 CCAA II victory over Randolph on Friday night, one in which the Black Knights displayed the team basketball that has pushed them to a 17-0 record with one regular-season game to go.
Five-foot-9 senior guard Steve Marcey scored 20 points as all five starting Black Knights finished in double figures. Five-foot-10 senior Kaine Kettle had 13, 6-7 sophomore Bill Brooks had 12, 6-2 senior Zed Williams had 11 and 6-foot sophomore Brennan White had 10 as Silver Creek finished off a 12-0 CCAA II season.
“If you move the ball up the court and don’t let it hit the ground, and just be unselfish, if you come together the way these kids come together and care about each other, it looks great,” Silver Creek coach Rob Genco said.
“The final product looks like it did tonight.”
“That’s the way we play — we move the ball around and don’t care who scores and we’re unselfish,” Marcey said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Silver Creek is a unanimous No. 2 in The News small school poll (90 points), behind unanimous No. 1 Olean (100 points). It is also ranked second in the New York State Sportswriters Association Class C poll behind Pine Plains of Section IX (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster counties).
In the teams’ first meeting, Silver Creek overcame a tremendous performance by sophomore Bryce Morrison of Randolph (12-6, 7-4), who had nine threes during a 39-point night, as the Black Knights prevailed, 86-79.
Williams tried to pay attention to Morrison’s every move on the defensive end, and the Black Knights did an excellent job sharing the ball on offense.
After the first quarter in which Brooks (15 rebounds) had three of his four blocks, Silver Creek had a 14-10 lead.
After Morrison hit a deep three with Williams just a step away to put Randolph up, 15-14, early in the second, Silver Creek opened it up thanks to long-range shooting and great sharing of the ball.
Williams (eight rebounds, seven assists) twice fired on-target skip passes through the zone defense for open threes, one by Marcey (which became a four-point play for a 23-15 lead as he was hit on the release), and one by White (to make it 26-15).
Marcey (five three-pointers and five assists) swished another three from the top of the key after a well-run, well-spaced set by Silver Creek.
Soon after, the Black Knights turned a Randolph miss into some showtime, as Marcey delivered a behind-the-back pass to White, who finished a layup very nicely for a 37-17 lead.
Randolph drew to within 48-36 after three quarters, but Silver Creek soon pushed the lead back to 20 and beyond as it started the fourth with a 7-0 run.
After two Williams free throws, White hit a three-pointer and Kettle finished a break nicely by taking it straight down the lane for a 55-36 lead that would only grow from there.
“That’s a state championship football team,” Genco said of Randolph, “and those guys come to compete. It’s a credit to our guys and their character to battle back and keep us in a comfortable lead.”