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Boys Basketball: Home sweet home for Century, which tops FSK in county opener

Century coach George Wunder directs players during the second half of their game against Liberty in Eldersburg Monday, Feb 26, 2018.
Century coach George Wunder directs players during the second half of their game against Liberty in Eldersburg Monday, Feb 26, 2018. (Times File Photo)

ELDERSBURG — Playing at home has its perks, especially during the basketball season.

In a condensed gymnasium, sounds echo off walls, cheers and boos are louder, and no noise seemingly goes unheard. George Wunder and the Century boys basketball team believe they have that luxury.

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A strong supporting crowd packed the stands for Century’s Carroll County Athletic League opener against Francis Scott Key on Friday night, and the home spectators had plenty to cheer about.

The Knights used a 27-point second quarter and 12 3-pointers to handle the Eagles 72-43 as the support from the fans helped fuel a big offensive night.

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“That’s definitely an advantage to have that first county game at home,” Wunder said. “We’ve been on the road the first two games and coming home to our place with our crowd … We fed off that energy early on.”

Jared Lamb’s one-handed tip in at the buzzer gave Century (3-0, 1-0 CCAL) a 15-9 lead following the first quarter and the Knights found an offensive rhythm coming out of the break.

Six of their dozen 3-pointers came in the second quarter while shots — open and contested — fell from long distance. Wunder said his players have the green light to shoot from the beyond the arc, and the coach was pleased at the shot selection.

A 7-0 run to start the second quarter forced FSK coach Ryan Kimble to take a timeout, and Century never looked back. The Knights took a commanding 42-18 halftime lead, using a balanced scoring attack.

Jake Diehl led all scorers with 16 points — one of four Knights that finished in double figures. Matt Huber and Jared Lamb added 14 points each, while Carter Truby tallied 13 on the night.

Diehl and the Knights’ lineup played among a crowded student section, which maintained a constant level from introductions throughout the four quarters. The supporters provided responses after every score, turnover and let every opposing mistake be known.

“We moved the ball pretty well as a team and we were just excited to get our first home game,” Diehl said. “We always have a great student section and we just love playing for them.”

Up 68-41 with 1:52 left in the fourth quarter, an ovation ensued as Wunder took out the starters and subbed in the reserves, giving younger players a chance to earn valuable playing time.

Senior forward Noah Vipond led Francis Scott Key (1-3, 0-1) with 21 points and for a young team under Kimble, learning experiences have come from “trial by fire” early on this season.

With it comes plenty of growing pains.

“[Century] taught us lessons,” Kimble said. “This experience for our kids is very valuable because we’re going to take this and we’re going to learn from it. That’s a great team, they move the ball well, and George does an amazing job.”

Still, Kimble said he was pleased with his team’s performance for three quarters.

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An undefeated start is the goal for every team early on the season and Century has achieved that mark in three games. While happy, both Wunder and Diehl aren’t fully satisfied with the results just yet.

There’s plenty of basketball left to be played. .

“These guys are on a one game mentality,” Wunder said. “We’re just trying to get better everyday in practice and try to maximize everything we’re doing … I just really like our efforts so far.”

Added Diehl: “We still have 19 more, plus one.”

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