BY MIKE RILEY
Two teams headed in opposite directions met at Silver Creek on Thursday with the host Dragons pulling out a 41-40 victory over the visiting Floyd Central Highlanders.
Silver Creek senior Kira Jamros celebrated Senior Night by hitting 1-of-2 free throws with 6.9 seconds left to give the Dragons the win.
It was the regular season finale for both teams.
“That’s great that she had the chance,” said Silver Creek coach Scott Schoen. “Kira — she’s probably the most improved player on our team. When she went to the line, I knew she would hit at least one. I just wish it had been the first one. She made me sweat a little longer.”
The Highlanders then advanced the ball to midcourt and called timeout with 3.1 seconds left. They got the ball on the left baseline to Brooke Hinton, who was fouled by Brooke Barnett. One-tenth of a second remained on the clock. Hinton went to the line for the one and one. Her miss was rebounded by the Dragons’ Alex Tinsley as time expired.
“I was comfortable with Brooke at the line,” said Floyd Central coach Kirk Hamsley. “We got the play we wanted, getting the ball to Brooke off the screen. It just didn’t go. She’s been making them all season.”
Silver Creek finished the regular season at 15-6 and has won four in a row and seven of their last nine games.
Floyd Central (10-11) has now lost two straight and 8-of-10 to end the regualar season. Naturally, Schoen thinks his team is peaking at the right time. But overall, Hamsley feels good about his squad.
“We’ve been competitive lately,” Hamsley said. “The kids are buying into what we’re doing. Of course you want to win, but we’ve been competitive. I think we played well [in a 79-65 loss to Columbus East on Tuesday]. It came down to free throws at the end, but the kids have been fighting and clawing. Our defense has really improved.”
Silver Creek led 37-30 when the Highlanders Tori Kingsley scored and was fouled with 4:32 left. She missed the free throw but got her rebound and scored for a four-point trip. After a basket by Madison Kaiser was followed by a quick Silver Creek turnover, Kingsley found herself at the line again. This time she one to tie the game with 2:31 left.
The Dragons then built the lead back to three on 1-of-2 free throws by Barnett and a basket by Tinsley. Kaiser responded with a three — only the second one of the game for the Highlanders — to tie the game with 25 seconds left.
Tinsley led the Dragons in scoring with 11 points. Lexi McFarland added 10 points for Creek.
Kaiser led Floyd Central with 13 points. Kingsley added 11 for the Highlanders.
For Silver Creek, it was the final home appearance for seniors Barnett, Jamros, McFarland, Tinsley, Emily Clayton and Kristi Molck.
“I can’t say enough about these girls,” Schoen said. “I’ve been here three years and I’ve never had one of these girls not show up — unless they’ve been injured or sick — and they don’t make excuses. They’ve been at every practice, and sometimes I’ve had to send them home because they’ve been there when they shouldn’t have.”
Silver Creek will face Charlesown in the opening round of the Class 3A Scottsburg Sectional on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Floyd Central will face Jeffersonville at the New Albany Sectional.