SELLERSBURG – Zane Gross poured in 33 points and hit a career-high eight 3-pointers as Class 3A No. 6 Silver Creek rolled to a 93-44 victory over Mid-Southern Conference foe Eastern Friday night.
The senior guard netted his first four attempts from distance and finished 12-of-15 from the floor overall – in just three quarters of play. Gross, who tallied 15 of his 33 points in the third quarter, added nine rebounds and three assists.
“I don’t like considering myself ‘hot,’” Gross said. “But after hitting four or five, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m feeling it.’”
Sophomore big man Trey Kaufman added 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and fellow sophomore post Kooper Jacobi tallied 16 points and seven rebounds. The duo went a combined 16-of-20 from the floor for the Dragons (10-1, 4-0), who shot 61 percent (39 for 64).
Silver Creek, which entered ranking second in the state in average margin of victory (28.9) and fifth in points per game (75.2), held the Musketeers (1-11, 0-3) to 25-percent shooting (14-for-55), including a 4-of-26 clip from inside the arc. It’s the Dragons’ sixth straight win in the series.
The hosts wasted no time nabbing a resounding advantage. Silver Creek made its first six shots and assisted on nine of 12 makes to open up a 29-10 lead after one quarter. The Dragons led by as many as 25 points early.
“The first quarter was beautiful in terms of the ball movement and getting the ball where it needed to go,” Silver Creek coach Brandon Hoffman said. “Trey and Kooper did some damage inside. They found Zane open, and he did his job of making shots. Super efficient there in the first quarter.”
Jacobi’s fifth bucket of the first half extended the Silver Creek lead to 41-16 midway through the second quarter before Gross’ fifth 3-pointer — a product of the Dragons’ efficient inside-out offense — made for a 30-point lead, the largest of the first half.
“[Inside] is where the ball needs to go,” Hoffman said. “If it’s single coverage, I like their chance to score. If they double team, they do a tremendous job of finding who’s open.”
Gross’ 15 third-quarter points helped balloon the lead to 77-34 entering the fourth quarter, and the Dragons got a strong effort late from senior big man Jackson Jacobi, who recorded seven of his nine points in the fourth, before the final buzzer.
Sixth-ranked Silver Creek travels to New Castle on Saturday for a matchup with Louisville Male at 6 p.m.
SILVER CREEK 93, EASTERN 44
Eastern 10 13 11 10 – 44
Silver Creek 29 21 27 16 – 93
Eastern (1-11, 0-3): Ryan Adamson 14, Rhett Pennington 7, Caleb Jones 6, Matt Coats 5, Todd Branaman 4, Cauy Motsinger 3, Parker Walton 3, Tevin Jeter 2
Silver Creek (10-1, 4-0): Zane Gross 33, Trey Kaufman 17, Cooper Jacobi 16, Jackson Jacobi 9, Jack Hawkins 7, Josh Landers 4, Ty Kessinger 2, Nolan Gilbert 5.
3-point field goals: Eastern 10-for-29 (Adamson 4); Silver Creek 11-for-24 (Gross 8).
Field-goal shooting: Eastern 14-for-55 (25%); Silver Creek 39-for-64 (61%).
Free-throw shooting: Eastern 6-for-8 (75%); Silver Creek 2-for-6 (33%).
Rebounds: Eastern 19 (Coats 4); Silver Creek 41 (Kaufman 10, Gross 9, Jacobi 7).
Assists: Eastern 8 (Coats 3); Silver Creek 25 (Kessinger 6, Kaufman 6).
Turnovers: Eastern 15, Silver Creek 8.
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