Feeding off an electric home atmosphere Friday night, South Carroll ended Century’s nine-game winning streak with a dominant 57-44 victory.
South Carroll (4-5) had only won three of its first eight games this season.
“It’s the biggest win of my four years here,” said South Carroll senior Tucker Eckert, who led the Cavaliers with 16 points.
South Carroll coach Jim Carnes, whose team was coming off a 61-46 victory over Liberty on Tuesday, doesn’t remember the last time it beat both powerhouses in the same year, let alone the same week.
“It’s the first time we’ve beaten them both in the same year in many years,” he said.
Against Century (9-2), South Carroll took control of the game late in the first quarter and into the second with a 10-0 run.
Point guard Chase Fowble made a running floater with a second left in the first quarter, giving South Carroll a 13-12 lead. The Cavaliers never trailed again.
Back-to-back layups by Karson Pavlik opened up the lead, and layups by Eckert and Nate Boore completed the run, giving the Cavaliers a 21-12 lead with 5:03 left in the second quarter.
South Carroll started in a man-to-man defense and Century junior Andrew Marcinko, Carroll County’s leading scorer (21.6 ppg), scored five early points giving the Knights a 7-2 advantage.
But Century switched to a box-and-one and Marcinko barely touched the ball, not shooting the rest of the game. He exited with 3:15 remaining in the third quarter and never returned.
“Andrew is the leading scorer in the county and he is really hard to defend. We had to try to take him out of the game and even when we do that it opens up opportunities for other players,” Carnes said. “They are so good offensively, it causes a lot of problems for any defense.”
Senior Hunter Curtin came off the bench, shadowing Marcinko all over the court.
Pavlik scored eight points in the second quarter and a 3-pointer by Colin Marynard in the final minute gave the Cavaliers a 30-16 lead at intermission.
South Carroll outscored Century 17-4 in the second quarter.
The lead expanded to 48-33 after three quarters. Eckert made two 3-pointers and scored 10 points in the third.
“Everything went right and we had been preparing for it all week and it just felt really good,” Eckert said. “The atmosphere was great, so everything went right.”
South Carroll made only three treys all night, but they weren’t needed due to several easy baskets on layups and backdoors.
“This is the first game we haven’t excelled from the three-point line,” Carnes said. “We didn’t sink many 3-point shots. Usually, we put more 3-point shots up.”
They did everything else.
“All the credit goes to them,” Century coach George Wunder said. “Coach Carnes is a great coach and I respect him and I look up to him. His team was ready to play tonight. They executed what they were trying to do and honestly, they beat us in every facet of the game, defensively, offensively, on the boards, hustle plays.”
The lead swelled to 17 in the fourth quarter, thanks to seven points from Scott Owen. Century cut the deficit to 12 late in the game with Brett Wehland (16 points) contributing five points and John Pavlik (17 points) adding four, but it was too late.
Wunder knows his Knights have to put their second loss of the season behind them and build from it.
“We’ll learn, we’ll watch the tape and we will get better from this,” Wunder said. “We don’t have any time to feel sorry for ourselves. We’ve got a practice and maybe two if we get lucky with the snow and we got Liberty High School who is just as talented.”
Despite the victory, Carnes knows his team will have a tough challenge later in the season when they play at Century.
“They’ve been the best team for years and they are still really good, maybe we caught them on an off night,” Carnes said.
South Carroll 57
Tucker Eckert 16, Scott Owen 13, Karson Pavlik 12, Nate Boore 6, Chase Fowble 5, Colin Maynard 3, Hunter Curtin 2.
John Pavlik 17, Brent Wehland 16, Andrew Marcinko 5, Ben Chenoweth 4, Josh Alulamide 2.
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Halftime: 30-16 Century