Century is still sizzling from long distance. The Knights made six first-half 3-pointers to take a commanding lead and roll to 58-40 road victory at Westminster Friday night.
Century’s Noah Riley led the charge with 20 points and four 3-pointers. The Owls started strong and led 16-10 as the clock wound under four minutes to go in the first quarter. Then Riley took over.
The senior guard hit a pair of treys and scored over three Westminster defenders on a drive, as the Knights embarked on 15-2 run for a 25-18 lead.
“It’s just from our motion offense,” Riley said. “We move the ball a lot. When we do that, we break down the defense and they get tired and then I’m able to get my open shots, especially off the great feeds from my teammates.”
Westminster sophomore guard Patrick Haynes responded with a three of his own to close the gap to 25-21 but the Knights clamped down from there.
“I think we fed off our defense tonight,” Century coach George Wunder said. “Our defense was real good tonight. I was real happy and pleased with our energy on the defensive end of the floor, which led to production on the offensive end.”
Riley and fellow senior Colby Owings helped the Knights close out the half strong with eight straight points for a 33-21 lead at the break.
After half, it was more of the same as Century locked down the Owls, only allowing one field goal in the first 5 minutes of the third quarter. The Knights stretched the lead to 22 early in the fourth quarter behind two triples from Owings and a strong all-around performance from John Pavlick.
Owings finished with 12 points, while Pavlick had 10 points and eight rebounds. The Knights are now 7-1 and sit atop the county standings as the season hits its final stretch. The team has its sights set on the county crown.
“It’s a great feeling being first in the county,” Riley said. “We are still not satisfied. We are going to keep taking one game at a time.”
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Westminster (6-5) was led by Haynes with eight points. The Owls were able to stay in the contest early with strong interior play from senior forward Alan Jean Joseph, who scored all six of his points in the opening minutes.
“We came out OK. After that we started making some mistakes and they were making us pay for it,” Westminster head coach Stephen Byrnes said. “They shot lights out. Timing wasn’t great and when we made a mistake, they would bury a three. They had a good night and they are a good team.”
It’s a quick turnaround for both teams as they tip off against each other again Saturday. There is not a lot of time for adjustments for Westminster, but Byrnes said it starts on the defensive end.
“We have to do a better job of taking them out of their rhythm,” he said.
Century (58): Noah Riley 20, Colby Owings 12, John Pavlick 10, Cole Avery 6, George Berbakos 6, Josh Ahulamibe 4.
Westminster (40): Patrick Haynes 8, Erick Stranko 6, Billy Hyatt-Otovic 6, Alan Jean Joseph 6, Jake Jensen 5, Liam Long 3, Colby Cotoia 3, Everett Costley 3.
Halftime: 33-21, Century.