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Silver Lake Girls and Jeff West Boys Open Season With Win
By Justin Fluke
Copyright: MSC Sports
12/06/2019

GIRLS - Silver Lake 51, Jeff West 48

The season tipped off with a game of runs and despite Jeff West building a 12-point lead early in the third quarter, Silver Lake closed the third period with an 18-4 spurt to take a 39-37 lead and then held on in the fourth quarter by making three free throws in the final 20 seconds to earn the 51-48 home victory.  Both teams did a lot of great things for the first outing of the year, especially at the foul-line where Jeff West was 18 of 24 and Silver Lake finished 16 of 22, including 8 of 10 makes for the Eagles in the fourth quarter.  

Silver Lake scored five straight to take a 5-2 early lead before Jeff West went on a 9-0 run to lead 11-5 late in the first frame. A 12-4 run by the Ealges put them back ahead 19-16 but the Tigers would again answer before halftime scoring 11 straight points to push the margin to 27-20 at intermission.  The Tigers then scored six of the first seven points after the break and led 33-21 when Loren Zeigler called the first timeout of the game and watched his girls respond by attacking and being more aggressive on offense during the 18-4 push to close the third stanza.  

Grace Fitzgerald scored 15 points and made two free throws with 18 second left to break a 48-48 tie.  She also hit two treys in the first quarter although the Eagles were just 3-11 behind the arc in the first half and struggled knocking down the triples most of the night.  Jayme Lindstrom added 12 points and was 5-5 at the stripe as Lake overcame 14 turnovers to improve to 1-0 in Coach Zeigler's 41st and final year (543-206). 

Coach John Malloy was anxious to see who was going to step up as a scoring leader and who would handle the basketball this year following the loss of the Negonsott twins. Kristin Biltoff (sophomore) answered that question as she scored 14 of her 19 points in the first half and made 9-11 at the charity stripe while also hitting the teams only two trifectas.  She missed a potential game-tying long three in the closing seconds. The Tigers did however battle foul trouble, including Heather Kahler who chipped in 10 points before fouling out with 3:02 remaining.  Neva Roenne (senior) and Mellany Roenne (sophomore) combined for 15 points, but no other JW player scored more than two points before falling to 0-1. 

BOYS = Jeff West 61, Silver Lake 46

In his first game as a head coach, Matt Simmons admitted he was pretty nervous before the Tigers first contest. Those nerves didn't subside much during the first eight minutes as Jeff West trailed Silver Lake 12-11 after one quarter.  However, the Tigers scored the first eight points of the second quarter and never really looked back in route to a 61-46 road victory.

As one of four returning starters, Bryce Clements did his best to get JW rolling by scoring their first eight points of the contest and finished with a game high 18. Adding to a strong inside presence that gave the Tigers a huge rebounding advantage and a lot of high percentage field goals was Garrett Athon who chipped in 10 points off the bench. Quinn Neuenswander and Carson Brading each scored nine points and Joe Anderson added eight while setting the tone with contant ball pressure that ignited an impressive and aggressive Tiger defense throughou the night. 

Jarek Clark and Gannon Remer each delivered 13 points for the Eagles who came into the new year replacing all five starters from a season ago. Silver Lake was plagued by 17 turnovers. Trailing 28-14 late in the first half, the Eagles tried to stay in the game with freshman Trey Koelzer scoring seven straight points to make it 28-21 at the break. But those were the only points he scored as Lake struggled to get in much offensive rhythm and flow before falling to 0-1.     

The Tigers boys played with all league junior Josh Broxterman who is still recovering from a football injury and will be out for likely a month. Jeff West will take a full week off before their next game against Sabetha to open Big 7 League play. 

 


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