LAFAYETTE - Christian Warner had a tissue shoved up his nostril trying to stop the bleeding after he took an inadvertent elbow to the face.
The Silver Creek senior's nose symbolized his team's task against the Centaurus Warriors on Tuesday night. The Raptors led big early and then had to hold off a late charge to leave with a 63-51 win in a 4A Northern League matchup.
The bleeding wasn't just Tuesday night. The No. 7 Raptors (11-3, 4-2) had lost three of their last four before beating Centaurus.
"It's been tough losing the last three out of four games but we have to keep grinding, keep playing through everything," said Warner, who had 15 points.
Trent Dykema finished with 19 points, including two clutch free throws in the final minute for the Raptors.
Silver Creek looked like it would run the Warriors (5-10, 2-5) out of their own gym. They methodically built a 17-point halftime lead and were up by 19 with 5:22 left in the third quarter.
Instead of folding, Centaurus starting chipping away at the lead. The turnovers that plagued the Warriors in the first half disappeared and their defense began creating problems for Silver Creek.
Junior Nate Totel, who finished with 12 points, kept Centaurus in it with four buckets in the third and then Nick Vaver heated up. He hit two 3-pointers during a stretch where the Warriors got within 48-37 early in the fourth quarter
"We fed the post more and we kept making our shots," Totel said. "We really got on fire in the third quarter."
Things tightened up even more when Vaver, who had 15 points, hit another 3-pointer to make it 58-51 with 1:35 left. Pedro Medina's 3-point attempt to make it a four-point game was off and the Raptors were able to close it out.
Silver Creek coach Bob Banning was happy with the win, and the way his team closed it out down the stretch.
"They've been giving everybody games and in this building we knew they would make a run," he said. "Any win at this time of year is important. Everything is a work in progress."
That's the situation Centaurus is in. The Warriors are trying to establish an identity, and games like Tuesday's will help.
"It's a progression in where we're trying to move," Centaurus coach Travis Maron said. "We're not good enough to play a first half like that. The second half I was happy with our resiliency."
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Silver Creek 63, Centaurus 51
Dykema 7 4-4 19, Warner 5 4-6 15, Grossaint 7 0-1 14, Riters 3 0-0 6, Duquette 1 1-5 3, Belcher 1 0-0 2, Eaton 1 0-0 2, Roth-Bogrett 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 9-16 63.
Vaver 6 1-2 15, Totel 6 0-1 12, Koonce 3 1-2 8, McGuire 3 0-0 6, Lynch 2 0-0 5, Rubin 1 0-0 3, Medina 1 0-1 2. Totals 22 2-6 51.
Score by quarters:Silver Creek17191017—63
3-point field goals — Silver Creek (2): Dykema, Warner ; Centaurus (5): Vaver 2, Koonce, Lynch, Rubin. Total fouls — Silver Creek 10, Centaurus 18. Fouled out — None. Technical fouls — None.