Brooks shines as Knights down Marauders

The Silver Creek Black Knights (5-2, 3-0) used 10 first-quarter turnovers to jump out to a 17-4 lead in the first quarter, expanded that lead to 45-10 at the half, and ultimately defeated the Dunkirk Marauders (0-4), 75-41, Monday in a CCAA West 1 boys basketball matchup.

“We’ve had a lot of hiccups in the first quarter this season,” Silver Creek coach Rob Genco said. “We are a very special team, but unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get everybody dialed in and everybody at every single game. Tonight was another game where we were missing two guys that would normally be in the starting lineup.”

Despite missing two starters, Silver Creek came out aggressive by playing suffocating defense and were able to keep Dunkirk out of its offensive sets for nearly the entire game.

“Silver Creek played very well. They came out and dominated that whole first quarter,” Dunkirk coach Steve O’Brien said. “We got our heads handed to us. I do think that at halftime we went in and had a little talk and made a better effort in the second half, but it didn’t make much difference.”

Shot-blocker extraordinaire Billy Brooks turned away 10 shots with many of them turning into fast break points in the other direction.

“He’s special. The one thing he does that’s special is he blocks shots,” Genco said of Brooks. “He’s blocking 10 shots a game. That just doesn’t happen at any level. Any big man in western New York isn’t averaging 10 blocks a game. That’s 20 possible points (he turns away), not to mention the ones where he is in a guy’s head.

“There are times they will pass the ball down in the paint and they don’t even square up; they just dribble out,” Genco continued. “It could be a 25-point swing if he’s not in there. That’s why I’m always telling him, ‘You don’t have to get every one, big man.'”

Brooks finished with yet another triple double, pulling down 15 rebounds and scoring 22 points to go with his 10 blocks. All three were game highs.

While Brooks was busy dominating the paint, Brennan White was knocking down open 3-pointers. White hit three 3-pointers in the game and finished with 17 points.

Ayden John also turned in an impressive performance for Silver Creek with 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Dunkirk got down early, but didn’t quit. Trailing by 42 points going into the fourth quarter, the Marauders turned up the intensity and finally were able to establish a rhythm on offense while finishing the game on a 16-6 run.

“I think – at least in the second half – we were able to run our plays and get up and down the court,” O’Brien said. “In the first half, to Silver Creek’s credit, they took us right out of our game. We literally did almost nothing we wanted to. So that’s disappointing. But like I said, when we came out in the second half, we played a little more aggressive. You always try to take a positive away from a game like this.”

Willy Ray scored a team-high 13 points for Dunkirk. Esmond Colvin had nine points and 13 rebounds in the loss while Rashad Brown added nine points and nine rebounds.

Dunkirk is back in action Thursday when it travels to Fredonia to take on the Hillbillies before making the trip to Southwestern for a tournament this weekend.