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Prep Lookahead: County title races starting to take shape

The end of January is growing near, and for winter sports in Carroll County that means county championship races are beginning to take form.

We’re one month away from the final regular-season play date in boys and girls basketball. Two weeks until wrestling teams finalize a potential spot in the regional duals. Six days away from a postseason indoor track meet.

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So, let’s take a look at what’s in store this week for Carroll’s winter sports teams.

Boys Basketball

Liberty (11-3, 5-0) remains atop the standings after a county win Friday against Winters Mill. The Lions fell to Glenelg earlier in the week but bounced back behind a big night from Tristan Kent. The junior forward had 26 points and 12 rebounds against the Falcons (1-10, 0-7).

Liberty hosts Westminster (8-5, 4-2) on Monday. The Owls, who defeated Manchester Valley on Friday, have won two in a row after dropping a pair before that.

The Lions host South Carroll (6-7, 4-2) on Friday.

Century (10-4, 4-3) lost at the buzzer to Francis Scott Key (6-7, 4-3) on Friday, and the Knights try to get back to their winning ways starting Tuesday with a home game against Manchester Valley (4-10, 1-5).

FSK visits Westminster on Tuesday and hosts Man Valley on Thursday.

The Cavaliers have Winters Mill at home Tuesday and the Liberty game in Eldersburg three days later.

Girls Basketball

Westminster is in good position to win its first county title since 2014. The Owls (11-0, 5-0) have a regular-seaosn sweep over Manchester Valley (9-3, 4-2), the reigning champion, and the rest of Carroll’s teams have two or more county losses. Westminster topped Man Valley 63-58 on Friday behind 18 points from Sydney Popielski.

There’s plenty of basketball to be played, however, and the Owls get the week started Monday at home against Liberty (1-12, 0-4). Then it’s Francis Scott Key (4-7, 2-4) on Tuesday in Uniontown before Century (5-9, 2-4) visits them Friday.

The Mavericks host the Knights on Tuesday and the Eagles on Friday.

Winters Mill (7-4, 3-2) hosts South Carroll (6-7, 3-3) on Tuesday and welcomes Liberty to town Wednesday.

The Falcons face off with Gerstell on Friday in a boys-girls doubleheader dubbed the “Battle of the Birds.” The girls tip off first at 5:30 p.m.

Wrestling

Winters Mill is 14-0 and 4-0 against Carroll foes, meaning the Falcons are in good shape to win a regular-season county title and be in line to host the Class 2A West Region dual-meet tournament as the top seed.

WM has a few non-county opponents in store this week, but the Falcons face Francis Scott Key on Jan. 29 and South Carroll (3-2 county) on Jan. 31 in Winfield.

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Cavaliers junior Cam Werner recently earned his 100th career win.

Westminster is 3-1 in the county, and the Owls finish their county slate next week against FSK and Century after some non-county matchups this week.

Senior Brad Walsh made program history Saturday when he reached career win No. 146, tying him with Ryker Eckenbarger for the most by an Owls wrestler.

Indoor Track

The annual county meet is set for Saturday afternoon at Hagerstown Community College. Century’s boys and South Carroll’s girls are the reigning team champs, and both squads have enjoyed success this winter.

The Knights won the Dwight Scott Invite title Dec. 22, and the Cavaliers took the Smithsburg Invite crown Jan. 5. South Carroll won the Western Maryland Winter Classic meet Jan 12, and Century took first at the Warrior Invite the following day.

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