By: Samantha Bonifas & Taylor Hanson
There is truly nothing more fierce than a rival town matchup game. On January 8th, the Silver Lake Mustangs traveled to Blue Hill for a conference game. The long night of games began with the junior varsity. The JV girls lost after a tough 3 quarters, and the JV boys battled through a double-overtime but lost.
As the clock neared six, the gym began to fill up with spectators from both towns. It is well known that Blue Hill and Silver Lake have always been strong rivals: a lot was on the line for both teams. “The Silver Lake versus Blue Hill games have been competitive and entertaining for generations. Both schools have strong traditions of supporting their athletic teams, and the fans in the bleachers were cheering loudly as usual when we played in Blue Hill,” said assistant coach and Silver Lake alumni, Kim Bonifas. To start the game, the Bobcats came out and jumped a 12-5 lead in the first quarter. Silver Lake answered in the second quarter with an improved offensive rhythm and put an impressive 19 points on the board to put the Mustangs up 24-22 at the half. In the third quarter, the Mustangs continued their strong offense and added 15 more points. The Bobcats thrived crashing the offensive boards, with Brooklyn Kohmetscher tallying up a total of 7 offensive rebounds to help give the Bobcats 11 points in the third. Going into the fourth, the Mustangs were up 39-33. Bobcat guard India Mackin got into a fourth-quarter groove and gave the Bobcats a great part of their 18 fourth-quarter points. The Bobcat zone defense shut down the Mustangs and only gave up 2 points. After a tough game, the Mustangs lost 51-41. “Our shots didn’t fall in the fourth quarter and I wished they could have. We kept fighting. I don’t think we ever gave up. We were intense the whole game, but we just couldn’t quite come out with a win,” said Amanda Ehrman. Kerigan Karr led the Mustangs with 19 points, with Georgi tenBensel adding 11. “The outcome of the game wasn’t in our favor, but our team played well under pressure in a close game. We kept our composure, which can be hard when playing a rival school down the road,” commented Bonifas.
The varsity boys game was an even player matchup. To start the first quarter, the Bobcat boys jumped on a 3 pointer streak and put 13 points on the board, to give the Bobcats a 13-9 lead. At the half, the Mustang men were behind 22-19. “At halftime, Coach Rosno told us, “Blue Hill is like our big brother and they’re always going to put up a fight against us.” We haven’t beat them since 2011. We knew we had to put up a fight and that made us want to win so much more,” said senior guard Blaine Simonton. The tight game continued into the third as Silver Lake put 11 points on the board and Blue Hill put 9 points on the board. “The key to the game was ball movement from the inside to the outside. That’s what opened our offense up. We took advantage of it, and it really became effective for us in the third and fourth,” said Simonton. The Mustangs made it clear that they were ready to win in the fourth, and pulled away from Blue Hill 21-14 to take the victory home with a 51-45 win. “It felt rewarding to beat Blue Hill. We go to the gym each day and work hard so this win was promising for us and our season.” Oakley Rosno led the team for 19 points, with Simonton adding 12, and Matthew Hansen with 8. Rosno was 9 for 10 at the free-throw line. The win puts the 6-3 Mustang men to first in their district.