Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 | 12:30 a.m.
Even after scoring 38 points and leading the Silverado boys' basketball team to a 78-68 victory against Foothill Friday night, Skyhawks senior Wade Collie was thinking of ways he could have improved his shot.
"There is always at least one more shot you could have made," Collie said. "I missed five free throws so I'm going to have to get in the gym for that."
Aside from a few missed free throws, Collie was close to perfection against Foothill.
The 6-foot-5 guard caused match-up problems all night for the Falcons, and dominated the third and fourth quarters, scoring 22 of the Skyhawks' 32 second-half points.
The league victory gave Silverado (23-4, 11-1) sole possession of first place in the Southeast Division. A win at Liberty on Feb. 10 would clinch the league championship and a No. 1 seed in the post season.
"I felt I needed to step up," Collie said. "I don't know if it was my strongest game but I felt like I played hard all the way through. It was definitely one of our best wins."
After trailing for most of the first half, Foothill (17-8, 10-2) erased an 11-point Silverado lead midway through the third quarter.
The Skyhawks had a 46-35 advantage at halftime but missed its first five shots of the third quarter. The Falcons took advantage by going on a 19-6 run.
Foothill guard Thomas Smith gave his team a 54-53 lead with a 3-pointer three minutes into the third quarter.
"I thought we played a pretty good third quarter," Foothill coach Kevin Soares said. "But it was almost like once we got the lead we took a deep breath and stopped playing."
Foothill benefited from strong play from starting guards Kadeem Minor and Evan Roquemore, who led the team with 19 and 18 points, respectively, but could not swing the momentum.
After Silverado briefly surrendered the lead, Collie dominated in points and rebounds for the rest of the game.
Silverado coach Ron Childress said beating Foothill, the defending Sunrise Region champions, was the most important win of the season.
It's a win he hopes will give his team confidence going into the playoffs, which begin Feb. 17.
"No matter who Foothill puts on the court, you know it's going to be a tough game with them," Childress said. "We had to have this game."
Silverado guard Ali Sabra, who scored 21 points, said the Skyhawks learned from its 67-61 overtime loss at Foothill on Jan 20 and was anxious to avenge that game.
"We are a different team from earlier in the season," Sabra said. "When we're playing at our best we can beat anybody."
Meanwhile, Foothill has started to slip since winning its first eight league games.
Soares said his team, which has lost two of its last three games, has played sloppy and allowed too many turnovers.
"We have a couple seniors who need to step up and finish the games," he said.
Sean Ammerman can be reached at 990-2661 or email@example.com.