The Silverdale Seahawks didn’t play a very impressive first half at Grace Friday night, yet they were only down by a point at intermission.
Responding to a personal challenge from head coach Slater Belew, the Seahawks turned up the intensity in the final 16 minutes and were rewarded with a come-from-behind 50-42 victory in a game that really wasn’t that close at the end.
It looked almost like a carbon copy of the first game where the Silverdale girls played much better in the second half in a come-from-behind 38-29 victory.
The Silverdale boys improve to 8-9 overall and 3-3 in D-II-A, Region 2-East while Grace falls to 8-7 overall and 2-4 in the same region. The Lady Seahawks are now 11-8 overall and 4-2 in region play while Grace falls to 6-6 and 1-4.
“We were eager to see how we’d respond tonight after getting beat pretty good at Chattanooga Christian yesterday. We challenged our guys to give all they had. They responded much better in the second half than the first,” said Belew after a brief talk with his team following Friday’s win.
“I want to specifically mention Caylor Crockett and Ryan Mench as you don’t read their names much in the stories and they normally don’t do a whole lot of scoring, but they were the difference tonight as they provided the energy and defensive intensity we needed to win,” the coach praised.
“They did all the dirty work and never get enough credit for what they do as they’re our only seniors, but we could have given up and didn’t. Not many visiting teams win in this gym, but we found a way to grind it out. We felt like if we could ever get over the hump and get the lead that we’d be okay.
“We’re going to enjoy this one tonight, but we have to get back to work on Monday as we have two two more big region games next week,” the slender coach concluded with a smile.
Grace coach Jon Mattheiss liked the effort his kids gave, but not necessarily the final result.
“Silverdale turned up the pressure in the fourth quarter and we have to do a better job of handling it,” he said after his team got outscored by a 17-7 margin in the fourth quarter alone when the game was still on the line.
“I thought we had them on the ropes, but we have to do a better job of cutting back on our turnovers and making more free throws. We played really good defense for the first three quarters, but we dropped our intensity and they were able to adjust.
“Effort wasn’t the problem tonight. We always want to be able to reward ourselves for good effort, but we didn’t do that tonight,” the veteran coach added.
Garet Gibson converted a layup right off the opening tip and Cade Hannah added two free throws a minute later to give Silverdale an early 4-0 lead before the Golden Eagles went on a 15-0 run over the next 10 minutes.
Hannah sank two more charity tosses at the 4:35 mark of the second quarter for Silverdale’s next points. The Seahawks then finished the half on a 14-4 run and were only down by a point (19-18) following a layup by Gibson right before the halftime buzzer.
The Golden Eagles were able to keep the lead in the third quarter and even had a seven-point spread at 35-28 following two free throws by Conner Ferrell with 2:07 showing.
Ian Johnson then sank three of four free throws in the final 30 seconds as that lead was cut to 35-33 with one quarter remaining.
Ferrell scored on a layup with 5:35 to play for a 39-33 Grace lead, but by the time Jaden Hossler sank the third of three free throws with 41.5 seconds left, the Seahawks were up 45-40 and well on their way to a big road win.
Hannah finished with 14 points to lead Silverdale while Johnson and Gibson both finished with a dozen points apiece.
Ferrell and Tinsley were both tops for Grace with 11 points each.
SILVERDALE GIRLS 38, GRACE 29: The Lady Seahawks used a strong second half to overcome the Lady Golden Eagles and improve to 11-8 overall and 4-2 in region play with the nine-point victory.
Grace took a 19-14 lead into the dressing room at intermission, but the hostesses must have left their shooting touch there as they got outscored 24-10 in the second half, including 10-1 in a pivotal third quarter when that five-point lead turned into a four-point deficit.
Audrey Canter scored 13 points to lead Silverdale while Megan Long was the only Grace player in double figures as she finished with 11.
SILVERDALE 9 5 10 14 -- 38
GRACE 9 10 1 9 -- 29
SILVERDALE (38) – Marcus 2, Canter 13, Caldwell 7, K. Patrick, Woodard 7, Renegar, Gibson, Montgomery 8, C. Patrick, Sheridan 1.
GRACE (29) – A. Smith 4, L. Smith 2, Gonzalez 7, Ma. Long 2, Conner, Fulgham 3, Poppert, Corcoran, Me. Long 11, Engelbrecht.
3-POINT GOALS: Silverdale 1 (Montgomery); Grace none.
SILVERDALE 4 14 15 17 -- 50
GRACE 6 13 16 7 -- 42
SILVERDALE (50) – Sims 3, Crockett, Keylon 7, Johnson 12, Hannah 14, King, Gibson 12, Mench 2.
GRACE (42) – Hossler 7, Ferrell 11, Billingsley 4, Tinsley 11, Fisher 2, Cravett 4, Bradley, Halloran 3, Linten.
3-POINT GOALS: Silverdale 1 (Johnson); Grace 2 (Ferrell, Tinsley).
(Email John Hunt at firstname.lastname@example.org)