Century’s boys basketball team has asserted itself as one of the most successful teams in Class 2A West over the last two months.
The Knights have lost just one game since Dec. 28, a 79-78 overtime battle at the hands of county foe Liberty on Jan. 11. They’ve reeled off nine straight wins since then, including a convincing 67-40 victory Tuesday over host Winter Mill.
Seniors Matt Huber and Jared Lamb paced the Knights with 17 and 14 points apiece. Huber put together a balanced performance with seven rebounds and three steals.
Carter Truby and Justin Wunder each had five boards apiece for the Knights (17-3, 10-1 in the Carroll County Athletic League).
“We’re happy with where we are right now but we still have to keep improving and go game by game,” Huber said. “We’ve grown closer as a team and built up our chemistry, our ball movement has been a lot better looking back from the first scrimmage to now, we’ve just been clicking more.”
Century started off strong and the Knights never faltered. They used a 12-0 scoring run to close out the first quarter with 17-5 lead. Huber, Jake Diehl, and Matt Daniel each contributed 3-pointers in the frame.
Lamb said the Knights live and die by “sticking the 3” and it has become a prominent fixture for the team on game days. The Knights hit seven 3s as a team, and Huber was responsible for three of those.
“The 3s have been awesome,” Huber said. “Defensively, we’re able to work so well because of the “Mad Men” off the bench by the guys who are simulating the other team’s offense and they help us get better each day so we can prepare for the next game.”
Winters Mill’s Josh Popielski hit a 3 in the second quarter to trim the deficit to 20-12 with 4 minutes, 12 seconds remaining, but Wunder’s 3 sparked a 9-0 scoring run and the Knights led 31-16 at the break.
Falcons junior guard Chandler Gentzel scored 14 of the team’s 18 points in the third quarter — he led Winters Mill (3-17, 1-10) with 23 points, a game high.
Century scored eight straight in the final frame to build a 62-36 lead about halfway through. WM’s Johnny Bobnar notched a steal and carried it down for a layup to give the Falcons their final two points.
“I think we played very well on defense and shut down [Gentzel] to try and limit his opportunities,” Lamb said.
The Knights have regular-season games left against South Carroll and Glenelg to close out the regular season. They can earn a share of the CCAL title with a win over the Cavaliers (if Liberty beats Manchester Valley next Monday).
“They’re bringing really good energy to each practice,” Knights coach George Wunder said. “Goals are set and they're trying to achieve those goals with one of them being to hopefully to have an opportunity to play for the county championship.
“The next test is going to be South Carroll, a really good basketball team and we’ll see what happens.”