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Century boys basketball routs South Carroll to claim another county championship

It’s not easy to repeat as champs, just ask the Kansas City Chiefs.

It takes contributions from every member of the roster. Century displayed the balance of a champion to claim a third straight Carroll County Athletic League boys basketball crown.

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The Knights roared out to a 20-point lead midway through the second quarter and rolled to a 58-29 win against South Carroll on Wednesday.

“I’m so proud of our team this year,” coach George Wunder said. “We overcame a lot of adversity this year. To come out and finish 11-1 in the county and win our third straight county title, it speaks volumes about the team and their leadership. I couldn’t be more proud.”

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In a first half where Century led by as many as 23 points, the Knights were led by senior guard George Berbakos and junior guard Brent Wehland. Berbakos hit three 3-pointers on his way to 13 points in the half, while Wehland knocked down three triples of his own.

“Just having the opportunity to play, it just felt lucky to get out there,” Berbakos said of ending his senior season with a county crown. “To be able to cap it off with a win after everything we’ve been through this year it was just amazing.”

Senior guard Noah Riley only had one shot from long distance in the half but assisted on several chances. As time wound down in the first quarter, Riley zipped a pass to Wehland who knocked down a trey from the corner for a 19-7 lead. The Knights didn’t look back from there.

South Carroll (6-5) just couldn’t keep up with the high-scoring Knights. Junior Tucker Eckert led all Cavs with 8 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the second half as SC tried to stem the tide. It was a disappointing result for the Cavs after only losing to Century by two earlier this season.

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“We didn’t play very well,” head coach Jim Carnes said bluntly. “We didn’t shoot the ball very well and when we don’t shoot, we are not very good. When they are on like that, they are hard to play with.”

Riley picked up his scoring in the second half with three field goals in the first 5 minutes as the Knights pushed their lead to 30 points. Despite a slow start, Riley finished with a team-high 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds.

Riley and fellow senior Colby Owings earned an early rest with the game out of reach midway through the fourth quarter. They enjoyed a few embraces with his teammates while relishing another county title.

“Last one is hard,” Owings said while fighting back some tears. “I have been playing with Noah [Riley] and Cole [Avery] since I was 5 years old. It’s hard being the last one.”

The rare accomplishment of a third straight county title was not lost on Riley.

“It really means a lot,” he said. “Not a lot of teams have gone back-to-back-to-back with county titles. Not to toot my own horn but me and Colby did a great job of leading this team. I loved playing with everyone on this court. It means a whole lot.”

South Carroll (29): Tucker Eckert 8, Aiden Greaney 7, Alex Warehime 5, Karson Pavlik 4, Nate Boorer 3, Owen Scott 2.

Century (58): Noah Riley 14, George Berbakos 13, Colby Owings 9, Brent Wehland 9, John Pavlick 6, Austin Diehl 5, Jimmy Rogers 2.

Halftime: Century, 35-14.

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