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Prep Boys Basketball: Hawks tops in DSL again
Silverado clinches share of league title
VICTORVILLE • A 78-59 win?
Not good enough.
A 26th straight league win?
Still not good enough.
A third straight league title?
Nope, still not enough.
The aspirations for the Silverado boys basketball team are much higher. They want to be able to compete deep into the CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA playoffs.
The Hawks completed a season sweep against Burroughs on Friday evening with only a few stumbles. They earned a share of the Desert Sky League title with the win.
But ask coach David Brannon and his players to evaluate their performance and you’ll get some ho-hum answers.
“We tend to get big headed at times,” Silverado senior Kristian Keys said. “No competition is going to be easy in the playoffs. We have to stay level. Never too high, never too low.”
Keys and Mateo Jones each finished with 22 points for the Hawks. Jones added four rebounds and three assists, while Keys had seven rebounds, six assists and six steals. Daveone Ambers had 14 rebounds, five assists and three steals, D.J. Sylvester added four asists and four steals and Robert Evans had seven rebounds.
Playing in the top division in the section is tough, but Brannon hopes to make the road a little easier with a better ranking. The Hawks (19-5, 10-0 DSL) are ranked 15th in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 1AA poll.
“We have to get a higher ranking in Division 1AA so we have to beat opponents by as many points as possible,” Brannon said. “We understand that ranking means a lot to try and compete at that level, and we are trying to get the best ranking we can.”
Despite going into halftime with a 38-28 lead, Brannon wasn’t happy with his team’s play in the second quarter, when they gave up 21 points.
After starting the game on a 10-0 run and holding the Burros (8-13, 4-7 DSL) without a point until there was 3:25 left in the opening quarter, the Hawks play had started to recede. Burroughs went on a 9-5 run to close the gap to single digits at 32-24 midway through the second.
“We could have played better,” Jones said. “Our defense could have been way up. We let down because we were having too much fun, but we always have to take it serious. We let them shoot open shots and not run out, close out or defend or nothing. We know Silverado is way better than that. We should have kept them under 10 (for the quarter).”
The Hawks got back on track in the second half and held the Burros to 10 points in the third quarter.
Burroughs coach Douglas Hayes said he liked his team’s performance in the second quarter but knew it was going to be tough for his young squad to keep up for the rest of the game.
“I told them (at halftime), ‘Hey, we have to own the first four minutes,’ ” Hayes said. “‘We have to come out and rebound better, cut down on second-shot opportunities.’ We didn’t do a very good job of doing that, but we talked about it all the same. We came out really flat.”
What daylight the Burros had quickly faded. Silverado kept the pressure on throughout the second half with an array of in-air acrobatics and aggressive defense.
But when the Hawks started to slide, Brannon again made a statement.
Burroughs went on a nine-point run in the fourth quarter to cut the Hawks’ lead to 77-56. With mostly bench players in the game, Brannon called a timeout and switched out the entire lineup for the final 1:42 of the game. The motivation was not purely to preserve a wide margin of victory, Brannon said.
“It wasn’t just that, it was to prove to the bench they’ve got to step up too,” Brannon said. “We can’t just let down and let them go on (a 9-0) run right there at the end.”
Still, the Hawks have a lot of positives to ride into the playoffs. They can clinch the outright DSL title Wednesday at Barstow. Brannon and Jones said the team is playing better together than it has in recent years. The Hawks were bounced from the playoffs in the second round against Santa Monica last year.
“I feel great going into the playoffs with these guys,” Jones said.
Young 16, Ma. Polman 14, Ledford 12, Mi. Polman 7, Martin 5, Aichlmayr 2, Kauppi 2.
Jones 22, Keys 22, Evans 8, Ambers 7, Sylvester 7, Muro 6, Saxton 4, Patin 2.
Burroughs 7 21 11 19 — 58
Silverado 18 20 23 17 — 78
3-point field goals — Burroughs 6 (Ma. Polman 4, Jones, Mi. Polman); Silverado 7 (Jones 4, Keys, Muro, Sylvester).
Matthew Peters can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (760) 955-5365.