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Prep Lookahead: County races starting to take shape for winter season

Prep Lookahead: County races starting to take shape for winter season
Francis Scott Key's Bailey Mathias, left, dribbles against Westminster's Maddie Olexy, second from left, and Zoe Costley in the first half of a high school girls basketball game. (Steve Ruark / Carroll County Times)

January means the bulk of the Carroll County Athletic League schedule gets underway for the county’s basketball and wrestling teams, and with that championship races begin to take shape.

It’s a busy upcoming week for several teams around Carroll, so let’s take a look at some intriguing matchups on tap over the next few days.

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Girls Basketball

Francis Scott Key (8-1) is unbeaten in CCAL action at 4-0, and the Eagles have three games this week. Gerstell comes to Uniontown on Monday before a road game Tuesday at Liberty. FSK hosts Winters Mill (4-4, 3-1) on Friday.

The Falcons, fresh off a 43-42 victory last Friday against city rival Westminster, host Century on Tuesday before Friday’s big game.

The Owls (5-4, 2-2) host South Carroll (5-4, 2-2) on Monday but close out the week with non-county games against Fallston (Wednesday) and Linganore (Friday).

The Cavaliers get Manchester Valley on Wednesday after their game with Westminster.

Boys Basketball

The big matchup is looming Friday in Eldersburg, when Liberty (8-0, 3-0 CCAL) hosts Century (7-2, 4-0) in the first of their annual two-game regular-season series. The Knights get Winters Mill on Monday before their rivalry game.

The Lions travel to Francis Scott Key on Tuesday and Brunswick at home Thursday before facing Century.

Westminster (5-3, 3-1) visits South Carroll on Monday before home games with Fallston on Wednesday and Linganore on Friday.

Wrestling

A pivotal tri-meet takes place Wednesday at Liberty High when the Lions host southern rivals Century and South Carroll. The Lions and Cavaliers are coming off weekend action at the Iron Horse Duals at C. Milton Wright.

Liberty went 4-4 at the two-day tournament, and Noah Wienclawski finished 8-0. Ryan Ohler, Anthony Marsico, and Sammy Nehme all went 7-1, and McClain Butler was 6-2.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers also posted a 4-4 record. Ryan Athey and Cam Werner each crafted 8-0 records.

Winters Mill (7-4, 1-0) visits Manchester Valley on Tuesday in a CCAL dual-meet clash. WM hosted the annual Falcon Invitational last weekend, which featured 16 teams and used a hybrid format — pool wrestling Friday and a 16-man bracket Saturday.

The Falcons finished third, Francis Scott Key was ninth, and Gerstell took 12th.

The host Falcons had one champion in junior Colby Unkart (132) and a runner-up in senior Josh Burndley (160), while Garrett Dell (106), Zach Kirby (126), Jake Stiff (152), and Cayden Beard (170) all took third.

FSK was led by third-place winners Nathan Perry (138) and Wyatte Johns (220). Gerstell featured bronze medalist Rami Tadros (145).

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Indoor Track

Man Valley, Westminster, and Winters Mill are in the field for Friday’s Sub Zero Invite at CCBC-Essex, while Century, FSK, Liberty, and SC are set for Saturday’s Warrior Invite at Hagerstown Community College.

Century’s boys won the 10-team Smithsburg Invite on Saturday with 113 points (Linganore was second with 103). Jalen Stanton won the 300 dash and was part of the Knights’ winning 4x200 relay.

Century’s girls finished third and got a gold from its 4x400 relay.

South Carroll’s girls won the Western Maryland Classic team title Friday in Hagerstown.

South Carroll's Brooke Flanigan clears the final hurdle in the girls 55 meter hurdle event during the Western Maryland Winter Classic indoor track meet at Hagerstown Community College on Friday, Jan. 4.
South Carroll's Brooke Flanigan clears the final hurdle in the girls 55 meter hurdle event during the Western Maryland Winter Classic indoor track meet at Hagerstown Community College on Friday, Jan. 4. (Brian Krista / Carroll County Times)
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