Silverado High basketball coach Martin Ferriter expected his team to win Monday night, but he never imagined it would be so easy.
The Class 4A Skyhawks rattled off the first 11 points and cruised to a 74-24 home victory over 3A Virgin Valley.
Thomas McKay had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Skyhawks (2-0), and Ruben Jackson supplied 14 points and six rebounds.
“Last year we played (the Bulldogs) and it was a three-point game,” Ferriter said. “But we returned all five of our starters, and ultimately that’s what it was tonight.”
Ferriter’s veteran lineup wasted no time in establishing the tempo against a Virgin Valley team that lost all but one starter after last season.
After Nolan Tanner nailed a 6-foot floater and a subsequent free throw to get the Bulldogs (3-4) on the board midway through the first quarter, Silverado embarked on a 12-0 run to go ahead 23-3 on a layup by Isaiah Glover.
Silverado led 25-5 at the end of the quarter, and the Skyhawks were only beginning to roll. Jackson scored four quick points early in the second quarter, and the Skyhawks forced 13 first-half turnovers to keep Virgin Valley from getting into the game.
Silverado also dominated the backboards, finishing with a 47-20 rebounding advantage.
“Rebounding is what we work on in practice,” Ferriter said. “At first, the kids struggled with it, but you just don’t leave things to chance on defense.”
While McKay, Glover, Michael Wiley and Frank Washko were controlling the boards, the Skyhawks continued to make nearly every shot they attempted. Jackson nailed two more baskets in the final 1:30 of the first half, and Silverado led 49-15 at halftime.
The Bulldogs, whose 90-minute bus ride from Mesquite lasted longer than the game that took 65 minutes, were limited to two field goals in the third quarter, and a running clock went into effect.
Silverado, which finished with nine steals, played its bench but still managed to outscore Virgin Valley 8-5 in the final quarter.
Ferriter said he learned some things about his team despite the lopsided outcome.
“I liked that we just went out there and executed what our system is,” the coach said. “Defense first, then rebounding.”
Washko added 10 points and five rebounds for the Skyhawks, who scored 27 bench points compared to Virgin Valley’s five. Glover and Justin Johnson scored nine points apiece.
Tanner and Tyson Teerlink each scored five points to lead Virgin Valley.