Knights have easier time with Cards in 2nd meeting

SILVER CREEK – The last time Silver Creek (17-0, 12-0) and Randolph (10-6, 7-4) met on the basketball court, the Black Knights escaped with an 86-79 win, surviving a 42-point effort by the Cardinals’ Bryce Morrison, as Zeddie Williams went over the 1,000-point mark for his career.

On Friday night, on their home court, the Black Knights had a much easier time, as they defeated the Cardinals, 66-40, during CCAA Division 2 boys basketball action.

“The first time we made 17 (3-pointers) and tonight we were 6-for-33,” Randolph head coach Kevin Hind said. “And there’s your difference. Defensively, we held them to 66 points as opposed to 86 points. And I told them coming into the game we really want to focus on defense and slowing (Silver Creek) down and play a better defensive game, and we did.”

Silver Creek received a balanced scoring attack in closing out a perfect league record, moving them to 23-1 in CCAA Division 2 over the past two seasons.

“Those are my favorite nights,” Genco said of having multiple players in double-digit scoring. “That’s what we’re selling to them and when the book shows this, you smile and say, ‘Man, they’re doing it. They’re buying it and they apply it and the final product is exactly what it should be.'”

Stephen Marcey led the way with a game-high 20 points while Kaine Kettle added 13, Billy Brooks 12, Williams 11 and Brennan White 10.

“It was his night (Friday),” Genco noted of Marcey. “But it could be someone else’s another night. I’m happy for him and it’s what he can do every night. He knows the nights that he has to sacrifice points, because it’s not part of the recipe that night.”

Randolph started the game on a 6-2 run, but a 3-pointer by Marcey got the Black Knights going, as they finished the quarter on a 12-4 run, taking a 14-10 lead into the second quarter.

The second quarter was much different as the Black Knights got back to playing the brand of basketball that has given teams fits all season long, outscoring the Cardinals, 23-10. Marcey scored 11 while Williams and Brooks each added five in the frame.

“(Silver Creek) plays a physical basketball game,” Hind said. “They bothered us a little. They challenged our shots, they did a good job on Bryce (Morrison) and they’re a good basketball team. They deserved to win tonight. They were the better team.”

Silver Creek pushed its lead to 26 at one point in the third quarter, but found itself in foul trouble, allowing Randolph to get back into the game.

“They get out and go,” Hind said. “They hit (3-pointers), they run the floor, they’re in transition … I was real happy with the third quarter. We battled back, we cut it to 12 points and (we were) right there with a chance to win. You hit a couple of shots early in that fourth quarter and it’s a different game. (Silver Creek) did that and pushed (the lead) back to 17 and we kind of ran out of gas and that was the game.”

Nathan Beaver and Mitchell Maycock each had six points in the third for the Cardinals, as they cut the Black Knights’ lead to 12, 48-36, as the teams headed into the final quarter.

“Randolph, they’re champions,” Genco said. “These kids compete. They just came off a state title. Everyone that started (Friday) was on that state champion football team. They’re not intimidated, and that’s just a credit to building a winning program in everything.”

However, early in the fourth quarter, after a pair of free throws by Brooks, White hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 17, and the Black Knights cruised from there, finishing the game on a 13-4 run.

“We gave (Randolph) a little life and they took it,” Genco said. “And we needed that dagger. I said (in the locker room) that shot by Brennan was the dagger. (Randolph) made (its) final push and that kind of ended it. Then we just pulled away.”

Brooks, a sophomore, finished with a game-high 15 rebounds and four blocks to go with his 12 points, but it was his ability early in the game to take away the Cardinals’ post game that really stood out.

“When you put a (6-foot, 7-inch) kid in the middle, it changes things,” Hind said of Brooks. “As far as post play – and that’s what I said in the locker room – you go with a 6-2 against 6-7, that kind of hurts that matchup.”

“He had to learn too,” Genco added of Brooks. “He’s a young kid and he had to learn. He’s capable of being another guy that can score 30 points. On other teams, he would probably get 30 a night. But he’s realized that if he gets 30 a night, we might not win. He’s embraced his role.”

NOTES: Williams added eight rebounds, seven assists and three steals … Kettle hauled in six rebounds and dished our four assists … White finished with five rebounds, three assists and as many steals … Beaver had a team-high 14 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals … Morrison finished with 13 points in the loss.