The Century girls basketball team prides itself on its defense. If that’s the case, then Friday night, the Knights made themselves and their fans proud.
Century stood up to every offensive challenge that high-powered Fallston could muster while causing 18 turnovers to upset the visiting and ninth-ranked Cougars, 46-37, in a nonconference game.
The Knights (8-5) were led by Mia Graff’s 16 points. Ayla Galloway led Fallston (9-4) with 12 points.
Century did a great job on Galloway, often double-teaming her and limiting her opportunities. Galloway also did herself no favors at the foul line when she was fouled, going 0-for-7 on the night from the charity stripe.
“What stood out to us is the level scoring and playing as a team. We only had one returning starter, so we’ve been working on our chemistry,” Century coach Danielle Fieni said. “The defense has been a big emphasis for us, especially this week. We’ve lacked in our rebounding, and that was a big thing for us in this game.”
Graff said they knew that keeping Galloway in check had to be a big focus of the defense.
“The biggest thing for us in this game was rebounding,” Graff said. “We knew we needed to out-rebound [Galloway] and avoid giving her second chance points. I think we did a good job of that.”
Both teams came out tentatively on offense and the Knights trailed 4-1 midway through the first quarter. After that, though, it was all Century. Graff tied the game on a three-point play and the Knights outscored the Cougars, 5-0, the rest of the quarter to take a 9-4 lead.
Fallston made a run to begin the second, using baskets by Galloway, Brooke Bolesta and Maddy Burns to cut the margin to 11-10 with 5:18 left in the first half.
Century’s defense clamped down after that point. The Knights went on an 11-1 run of their own behind five points from Graff to run the lead to 22-11, their largest of the game. The teams traded baskets from there, with Century entering halftime with a 26-17 lead.
Fallston made its best run in the first four minutes of the second half. The Cougars seemed reenergized coming out of the locker room, using two layups by Galloway as well as a Lindsey Detloff jumper and the games only 3-pointer by Jadin Woods to cut the lead to 28-26 with 6:22 left in the quarter.
As was the pattern throughout the night, the Knights responded again. After Bolesta picked up her fifth foul with 1:08 left in the period, Century went on a 7-2 run to end the quarter with a 35-28 lead.
Fallston never got closer than six after that point.
“Let’s give credit where credit is due,” Fallston coach Johnny Woods said. “Century is a good defensive team and they showed it tonight. They forced us into making mistakes, and we had 18 turnovers. You’re not going to win a game against a team like that with 18 turnovers.”