LAFAYETTE -- Centaurus' 3-point specialist Lyndie Puckett was quiet through three quarters on Friday. When she came alive in the fourth, the senior guard sealed a solid conference-opening win over Silver Creek.
With the Warriors leading by two to begin the final frame, Puckett hit back-to-back 3-pointers and made a technical free throw all within 20 seconds of one another. Her scoring burst, along with a 3-pointer from Anna Hubbell, gave the Warriors the lead they needed to win 39-27 on Tuesday.
"I just knew we had to break it open a little bit to get the win," said Puckett, who leads the Warriors with 10.8 points per game. "I'm usually the 3-point shooter but I didn't have one yet. "
Puckett finished with a game-high nine points in the low-scoring affair. Afterwards, she said winning their Northern Conference opener was important to the Warriors. She also said Tuesday's win was a quality mark that will help their playoff chances and also provided the Warriors some relief after Silver Creek dealt last year's CHS squad one of its four losses.
"It was really important to start off the league with a win so we could have some confidence," Puckett said. "Tonight was a really good team effort. These wins are important because when playoffs come around, it's gonna really matter in the rankings."
Both Centaurus (7-3, 1-0) and Silver Creek (5-4, 0-1) began the season ranked in the top 10 of the Denver Post coaches poll. But they've both fallen out of the rankings since.
The Raptors took an early 11-6 lead after the first quarter. But a 13-8 second quarter from the Warriors tied the score 19-19 by halftime.
With a narrow lead in the fourth quarter, however, the Warriors defense didn't allow a single point until Raptors point guard Margaret Davis made a layup with 15 seconds left to play.
"Defense is definitely going to be our strength and focus this year," Warriors senior forward Midori Patterson said. "Lyndie and Anna are definitely the scorers but we're still trying to find an offensive rhythm. So, our defense is where were are going to find most of our success."
Overall, the Warriors forced 25 Raptors turnovers and held them to eight points in the second half. Patterson said a key was to keep a close eye on Raptors leading scorer Emilie Rembert, who entered the game averaging 19.2 points per game. The Warriors held her to three.
Rembert did finish the game with five rebounds, four blocks and four steals. Davis led the Raptors with seven points and Carrie Ramirez added five.
"Centaurus is going to challenge you and make it hard on you but you've gotta respond to those things," Kloster said. "Now we have to go back to the gym and figure out how we make that work. We'll get it done, hopefully sooner than later because we've got Broomfield coming up on Friday."
The Raptors, who have yet to play at home this season, will play on the road against the top-ranked Broomfield Eagles (9-1, 1-0).
The Warriors will travel to Loveland to take on Mountain View (5-5, 0-1), which lost 75-29 to Broomfield on Tuesday night.
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Centaurus 39, Silver Creek 27
At Centaurus HS
SILVER CREEK (5-4, 0-1)
Davis 3 0-2 7, Rembert 1 0-0 3, Bishop 1 0-0 2, Strub 1 0-0 2, Dauer 0 2-2 2, Warner 2 0-0 4, Keil 1 0-0 2, Ramirez 1 2-2 5, Reed 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 4-6 27.
CENTAURUS (7-3, 1-0)
Puckett 3 1-2 9, Langer 3 1-1 7, Anderson 3 0-3 6, Manfredini 1 2-3 4, Gofran 0 0-0 0, Patterson 1 1-2 3, Dondelinger 0 0-0 0, Hubbell 1 2-3 5, Esler 1 3-7 5, Brendefur 0 0-0 0, Gutierrez 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 10-21 39.
Score by quarters:
Silver Creek 11 8 6 2 -- 27
Centaurus 6 13 8 12 -- 39
3-point field goals -- Silver Creek (3): Davis, Rembert, Ramirez; Centaurus (3): Puckett 2, Hubbell. Total fouls -- Silver Creek 22, Centaurus 14. Fouled out -- Patterson. Technical fouls -- Hubbell, Silver Creek bench.