LONGMONT -- It was raining 3-pointers Tuesday night at Silver Creek, and in the end the Raptors couldn't withstand the deluge.

Greeley Central drained 11 treys, including six by 5-foot-5 Matt Garcia, and blew open a close game for a 78-60 road victory over Silver Creek.

The Raptors were impressive from long range as well, nailing six 3-pointers, but they were still no match for the small, deadeye shooters from Greeley Central.

"They were lights-out shooting," said senior Brock Johnson, who led Silver Creek with 14 points. "They played a real good game. We let down on defense and they were knocking down those open shots -- and even the contested ones. There was nothing special we could do. They were just hitting their shots really well."

But unlike in the teams' previous matchup -- which Greeley Central won by 27 in holding the Raptors to 35 points -- Tuesday's game was a nip-and-tuck affair well into the second half.

When Eric Machmuller made his third straight 3-pointer with 5:19 left in the third quarter, Silver Creek trailed by just one. But Greeley Central scored the final 15 points of the period, and the Raptors missed 12 straight field goal attempts late in the third and early in the fourth quarter.

"I wish when we got up by two or three that we would have been a little more patient and controlled the tempo and pulled the ball out and taken them out of their tempo," Silver Creek coach Bob Banning said. "I felt like offensively we were in their tempo most of the evening."


And the Raptors couldn't stop the Wildcats, who shot 60 percent from the field for the night. Garcia scored 22 points to lead Greeley Central -- "he punished us," Banning said -- while 5-8 Danny Butherus added 19 and 5-10 Jevon Martinez contributed 16.

"We're not big, but if we shoot the ball well we play with a lot of confidence," said coach Troy Graefe, whose 12-8 Greeley Central team has won nine times in a dozen games in calendar year 2013. "So we hit a couple of shots and our kids started feeling pretty good about themselves. And we've got several guys who can hit pretty consistently, which seems to put a little more pressure on defenses."

In losing for the seventh time in its last nine games, Silver Creek dropped to 10-10 and 4-7 in the 4A Northern League. So the Raptors could use a win or two in their final three regular-season games to lock up a state playoff berth.

"I have no idea where the bubble teams are; I imagine we're probably going to be one of them," Banning said. "But one or two wins could put us in a completely different category."

Next up for Silver Creek is a home game against Thompson Valley on Friday.

Greeley Central 78, Silver Creek 60

At Silver Creek HS


Vigil 5 0-0 12, Parks 0 0-0 0, Butherus 7 3-4 19, Martinez 7 2-3 16, Garcia 7 2-3 22, Conway 0 0-0 0, Herr 1 0-0 2, Ramirez 3 0-0 7, Hernandez 0 0-0 0. Totals 30 7-10 78.

SILVER CREEK (10-10, 4-7)

Lindsey 5 0-0 12, Fleming 1 0-0 2, Machmuller 4 0-0 11, Johnson 6 1-4 14, Goforth 4 5-5 13, Grine 0 0-0 0, Tarin 1 0-0 2, Engles 1 0-0 2, Bachman 1 2-2 4. Totals 23 8-11 60.

Score by quarters:

Greeley Central 16 28 20 14 -- 78

Silver Creek 20 15 13 12 -- 60

3-point field goals -- Greeley Central (11): Garcia 6, Vigil 2, Butherus 2, Ramirez; Silver Creek (6): Machmuller 3, Lindsey 2, Johnson. Total fouls -- Greeley Central 11, Silver Creek 11. Fouled out -- none. Technical foul -- Greeley Central.