LONGMONT — If teams made posters out of high school basketball games, Centaurus’ John Lewicki would be one.
On Monday night at Silver Creek, Lewicki skied over one of his Raptor enemies, who tried unsuccessfully to block his shot, before slamming it into him with a two-fisted dunk. This edge is going to be a little sore tomorrow morning.
That stuffing, though insignificant at that point late in the fourth quarter, defined what turned out to be a dominating performance for the No. 9 Class 4A Warriors en route to a 59-36 win.
It all came down to a perfectly executed Centaurus game plan from start to finish.
“For matchups at all levels, they have Andrew Scott and Tanner (Call) matching well with JT (Lewicki) and Kevin (Bedford) so we knew we had to take them out of the game,” said senior John McGill. of the Centaurus. . “Defensively, they pressure all the teams very well. I think we did really well to take care of the ball tonight and do what we do best.
Lewicki led the Warriors with 22 points as McGill and Bedford added 11 and 10 more, respectively. Silver Creek’s Aidan Miller and Call took the brunt of the offensive pressure for the Raptors as they each scored 10 points.
Despite a strong performance throughout the season and recognition among the state’s top 10 coaches, Centaurus head coach Travis Maron believes his boys still have a ways to go. The Warriors seem to be hitting their peak at the right time, and it’s been a good test for them as the regular season draws to a close.
“(Silver Creek is) a good, very physical team. They are really good at home and obviously have a very good record. It was a very, very good challenge for us to finish the league game on the road, to prepare for this little inter-league tournament,” Maron said. “We talked, are we going to play our best basketball in the next few weeks? It is a very good sign. »
The Warriors took an early lead thanks mainly to Lewicki’s precision shooting inside. That left the Raptors playing catch-up for the rest of the first half until the halfway break buzzer sounded with a 29-20 Centaurus advantage.
Then the Warrior offense really took off and left the Raptors in the dust late in the third quarter, and Silver Creek couldn’t rally after that.
Centaurus improved to 15-4 overall and 6-4 in the Northern League as Silver Creek fell to 12-6 and 4-5. Silver Creek head coach Bob Banning believes the loss will help his boys prepare for a tough end to the season with good league play ahead of them.
“Centaurus played really hard and we had no shots to spare,” Banning said. “We turned the ball around too much tonight so I guess that gives us an idea of where we are. We had a lot of tough competition. This league is good.
Now, the two teams will turn to an inter-league tournament between the Northern and Longs Peak leagues, which will start on Thursday and Saturday and continue into next week. The top eight teams from each league will make up a 16-team pool, and five teams ranked in the CHSAANow.com 4A poll are expected to attend.
Call is ready for the challenge.
“We’re going into this heated tournament, and we’re going to want things,” he said. “Our all-court press, we got a few steals out of it, but we should get more out of it. We lead the state in keeping the lowest scoring teams and we just didn’t do that tonight.