Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Home News
Friday, Jan. 23, 2009 | midnight
More Thursday basketball coverage
Silverado senior Wade Collie has seen plenty in his three years as a starter for the basketball team.
But Friday's 57-52 win over Liberty provided him with a new experience -- one he doesn't hope to repeat.
Despite averaging a team-high 23 points per game for the Skyhawks (17-4, 5-1) this season, Collie was held scoreless through the first half -- a first for his varsity career. Though Collie went on to tie James Lata for a team-high 13 points in the second half, Collie said the first half was a wake-up call.
The Liberty/Silverado game has become a heated rivalry and with both teams muscling for an early edge in playoff seeding, Friday's matchup saw its share of hard fouls and flared tempers. Collie said he allowed himself to be affected by the atmosphere of the game and took too long to put that behind him.
"Sometimes I let myself get caught up in my emotions," Collie said. "I have to quit all of that and just play the game. When I went in at the half with zero points I felt like the team didn't even need me. I came out in the second and just played hard, played good defense and the points came."
Liberty senior Kenneth Peters came out of the gate hard and fast scoring 18 of his game-high 20 points in the first half. Silverado coach Ron Childress moved from man-to-man coverage to a triangle defense and held both Peters brothers, Kenneth and Cameron, to five combined points in the second half.
While senior Milos Knezevic scored 16 and junior Ashante Ross added 12, the Patriots were unable to adjust to the new look.
"Cameron and Kenneth are the backbone of that team," Childress said. "A lot of people think it's Milos but those two can hurt you. Playing man-to-man we were picking up too many fouls. We needed a change of pace, we had to switch it up."
Liberty coach Pat Welby said the difference in the defensive showdown was the poor rebounding of his Patriots (3-2) who he said allowed the Skyhawks to steal too many second chances.
"Both teams played very strong defense. It was like two fighters feeling each other out," Welby said. "It took us a while to adjust to what they did in the second half but we figured it out. I'm happy with how we played with the exception of the rebounding. That has to be fixed."
Silverado senior Ali Sabra, who collected 12 points on the night, said the win felt good and saves them from falling in the Southeast Division rankings after the Skyhawks' 67-61 loss to Foothill on Tuesday.
"It feels great to beat them but we didn't play our best tonight," Sabra said. "We definitely have to keep our intensity up. We come out like we're sleeping sometimes. We can't do that. We have to stay intense."
Jared Harmon can be reached at 990-8922 or firstname.lastname@example.org.