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Silver Creek's Maddy Blair (10) looks to pass as she is guarded by Dunkirk's Brooke Szymczak (22) during a non-league girls basketball game Wednesday night at the high school Silver Creek. OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen

SILVER CREEK – Down double digits with a minute left in the third quarter on Wednesday, things looked bleak for the Silver Creek Black Knights.

About 20 minutes later, in real time, the Black Knights had nothing but smiles.

After falling behind 30-20, the Black Knights rallied for 19 of the game's final 20 points over the final nine minutes to defeat the Dunkirk Marauders, 39-31, in a non-league women's basketball game at Silver Creek High School Wednesday evening. .

“They are always good matches” Silver Creek head coach Kevin Rice said he played against Dunkirk. “…Tonight it was a good win for us, it really was. It was a good win the way we did it. We didn't give up. »

The game started with three scoreless minutes, but the next two minutes saw 10 points, seven of which went to Silver Creek (4-4), including five of the first six points.

Dunkirk's Shyla Karin (13) jumps for a rebound during a non-league girls basketball game against Silver Creek. OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen

Dunkirk (4-2) trailed 7-3 with two minutes left in the first quarter, but then senior Molly DiCara caught fire. DiCara finished the quarter with 9 points in the final two minutes, including a 3-pointer to start the run and a jump shot in the final seconds to close the quarter with a 12-9 Marauders lead.

Just like after the first three minutes of the game, after three minutes of the second quarter the score was tied. Dunkirk tied the score again later in the quarter at 16 with 2:26 left in the first half, as senior Shyla Karin converted an easy layup on an outlet pass in transition. Dunkirk took a two-point halftime lead, 18-16, after Ema Pacheco scored a corner kick in the final minute of the second quarter.

The Marauders scored the first seven points of the second half, as DiCara hit a 3-pointer and a layup, followed by a quick layup from Karin to extend the lead to 25-16. DiCara then gave Dunkirk the largest lead of the game on either side with his third 3-point basket of the night with 4:24 left in the third quarter for a 30-20 Dunkirk advantage.

But after that, both teams failed to score for almost three minutes. The Black Knights were faced with a double-digit deficit against a team they had already lost to once this year, in a one-point game in Dunkirk a month earlier.

This time, Silver Creek came out on top when it mattered.

In the final 30 seconds of the third quarter, Silver Creek cut the 10-point lead in half, thanks to a contact layup for a 3-point play by Lucille Jimerson, followed by a jumper just inside. inside Maddy Blair's 3-point line. Dunkirk led 30-25 in the fourth quarter, but the home crowd at Silver Creek turned up the intensity with the game in their hands.

“We let the crowd get in our heads and we were way too emotional. » said Dunkirk head coach Quinn Bankoski.

In the fourth quarter, the Marauders went 1 of 4 from the free throw line in the first minute. Over the next seven minutes, they scored no goals. One reason DiCara missed much of the second half was foul trouble.

“She is a key part of our team. When she's not there, it shows. » said Bankoski.

Silver Creek, however, scored a lot – and most of it came in a minute.

The Black Knights scored 12 points in 2:30 of play, including eight points in one minute of play, to take the lead and never look back. Four of the eight points in one minute came on a fast break after steals, and four of the eight came on a single possession after a flagrant foul was called on a behind-the-back push by Gracie Williams, who still converted the lay-up to gain the upper hand. lead, 33-31. Although the ensuing two free throws were missed, the Black Knights converted a second shot on Gracelin Stevens' possession to double the lead from two to four, 35-31.

“They went into panic mode” Rice said of Dunkirk. “We were in panic mode for the first three quarters of the game.”

Silver Creek then scored the final four points of the game to cap a 14-1 fourth quarter for the victory.

“It was a good win for us… for the confidence in ourselves and what we can do and that we are slowly developing,” » Rice said. “…Every game is a roller coaster, it really is. But with this victory, it ended in our favor.

Sparked by her nine-point surge to close the first quarter, DiCara led the Marauders with a game-high 17 points. Karin finished second on the team with six points.

Including his go-ahead layup, Williams led the Black Knights with 13 points in the victory. She also had six rebounds and five steals.

“She never played basketball before this year,” Rice said of Williams. “She’s a dynamite girls lacrosse player, she’ll probably be a DI lacrosse player. I begged and begged her once she transferred here to play basketball. She's just a pure athlete, a great kid who loves to win.

Stevens had 11 rebounds and five steals to go along with his six points, while Jimerson had a team-high 15 rebounds along with all five of his points in the second half. Blair had eight points and four steals, while Khloe Karnes had seven.

Next, the Marauders will host the Lake Shore Eagles Friday night at Dunkirk High School in a non-league contest.

“We will definitely work on our mentality and emotions.” » Bankoski said after Wednesday's loss.

The Black Knights host the Pine Valley Panthers Friday night at Silver Creek High School.

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