This past weekend marked the start of basketball playoffs, a little later than usual, and Carroll County has plenty of teams still in the mix for regional championships.
Century (19-3) received a first-round bye in the Class 2A West boys playoffs, and hosts South Carroll in a Section 1 semifinal Monday at 6:30 p.m.
The Cavaliers (9-14) beat the Falcons 54-34 last Thursday in the quarterfinals, the third meeting between the county foes this season, to advance to the next round, but they dropped a pair to Century during the year.
The Knights closed out the regular season on an 11-game win streak. They also earned a share of the Carroll County Athletic League title with Liberty, which defeated the Knights in a 79-78 overtime thriller Jan. 11 — Century’s most recent defeat.
Century hosted the Lions on Feb. 8 and won 66-64, handing the Lions their first loss of the season.
Much of Century’s success can be attributed to the team’s accuracy from behind the 3-point line. The 2016-17 team set a program record with 149 made 3-point shots for the season, and extended that mark to 176 including the postseason.
This year’s Knights have already surpassed that number in impressive fashion — Century has 219 made 3s this season.
Knights junior guard Justin Wunder shoots 50 percent (52-for-103) from the 3-point line, good for a county-best clip. He’s also shooting 50 percent from the field at 69-for-138.
Century has four players scoring in double figures in Carter Truby (13.9 points per game), Matt Huber (13.2), Jared Lamb (12.2), and Jake Diehl (10.4). Wunder is next at 9.6 points per game.
Liberty (20-2) also earned a first-round bye in 2A West Section 1, and travels to Oakdale on Monday for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The winner will face either Century or South Carroll in the sectional final on Wednesday.
The Lions are likely without senior forward Tristan Kent, who suffered a foot injury Feb. 22 against Franklin and missed the team’s regular-season finale against Manchester Valley. Kent, who is averaging 18.2 points and a county-high 11.8 rebounds, sported a boot on his right foot as he watched Liberty play the Mavericks from a spot on the bench.
Westminster (12-10) closed out the regular season with two straight losses, but still earned a first-round bye in the 3A West playoffs. The Owls host Rockville in a Section 1 semifinal Monday night at 6:30 after the Rams defeated Manchester Valley 62-44 last Thursday to advance.
Guard Drue Giles and swingman Joe Wright, both seniors, are Westminster’s top scorers at 14.7 and 13.6 points per game.
Francis Scott Key (6-17) advanced to the Class 1A West Section 2 semifinals after beating Catoctin 57-47 in a quarterfinal matchup on Friday and the Eagles travel to top-seeded Clear Spring on Monday.
Senior forward Noah Vipond, who last week reached 1,000 career points, led FSK past the Cougars with 26 points and 13 rebounds.
On the girls side, Liberty edged Century 49-43 in a 2A West Section 1 quarterfinal Saturday. It was the third meeting between the county foes this season and the Lions (10-13) travel to Oakdale for a sectional quarterfinal on Tuesday.
South Carroll and Winters Mill both received first-round byes in 2A West, and the Falcons (12-9) host the Cavaliers (9-12) in a sectional semifinal Tuesday. The winner will play either Liberty or Oakdale in the section final Thursday.
Manchester Valley (9-13) routed Magruder 69-14 in a 3A West Section 1 quarterfinal on Saturday and travel to Rockville Tuesday. The winner faces Westminster or Watkins Mill in the section final on March 7.
The Owls (16-6) earned a first-round bye in the 3A West playoffs and could face the Mavericks for a third time this season should they beat Watkins Mill Tuesday.
Westminster’s Zoe Costley, a senior forward, leads Carroll in scoring at 17.1 points per game. She recently became the fifth player in Owls history to reach 1,000 career points.