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Boys basketball: Century secures eighth straight win with 72-54 victory over Manchester Valley

Century's Zach Tucker talks about his team's win over Manchester Valley. (Tom Worgo/Carroll County Times)

The Century boys basketball team scored the last four points of the third quarter and the first five of the final quarter to break open a close game and defeat host Manchester Valley, 72-54, Friday night.

The Mavericks moved its winning streak to eight straight. Their last lost came by seven points to Gerstell Academy on Dec. 13.

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"We feel we are getting better each game," Century coach George Wunder said.

Century (10-2) couldn't have been any better from the free throw line against Manchester Valley, going 16-for-16.

"It's really hard to do," Wunder said. "We have some good shooters and we really work on it. It's a point of emphasis for us."

Century senior point guard Zach Tucker had another big-time game.

He totaled 29 points, five assists and three steals and went 9-for-9 from the free throw line.

Century senior forward Chris Norman also shined, finishing with double-double (20 points, 13 rebounds)

"He's been money from the foul line all year long," Wunder said of Tucker, the county's leading scorer. "He did a good job of creating tonight and finding the seams with in the defense. He also did a great job of converting."

Century came into the final quarter with an 8-point lead.

The Knights pushed it to 57-45 with 5:19 remaining on Tucker's medium-range jumper, but the Mavericks reduced the margin to 57-51 on Tyler Jones' layup.

Century, however, put the game out of reach over the 3:24 with a 9-2 run.

"Once you get down like 10 points to a team like Century, it's hard to get back over the hump," Manchester Valley coach Bernie Koontz said.

Senior guard Ryan Gerber led the Mavericks with 19 points, including five 3-pointers.

Manchester Valley junior guard Bo Schene averages 21 points, but the Knights limited him to 12.

The Mavericks got off to a poor start, committing three turnovers two minutes.

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That contributed to Century starting on a 6-2 run..

The Mavericks answered by getting back-to-back 3-pointers from Schene and Gerber.

Consecutive three pointers from Adam Rolfes and Tucker gave Century a 15-11 lead with 2:50 remaining.

The Knights held a 20-19 advantage at the end of the first quarter.

Century had its biggest lead of the second quarter at 26-21 when Rolfes hit his second 3-pointer of the half.

But Manchester Valley used a 7-0 run — Justin Shipley finished off with a layup — over the next 1:32 to take its first lead of the game, 28-26.

By the end of the half, the Knights had regained it.

Tucker drove through the lane for a layup to make it 32-30 — the halftime score.

Gerber led the Mavericks with 14 points at the break.

Century opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run in the first 1:50 as Zach Owings scored five points during that stretch.

With 2:17 remaining in the quarter, the Knights had its biggest lead, 43-35, on a Tucker layup.

About a minute later, Manchester Valley sliced the margin to 43-41 on consecutive 3-pointers from Dayne Koontz and Gerber.

Soon after that, Century started to take control.

"It was a huge win for us," Wunder said. "Just as big as any win we had all year. This team had been playing well all year."

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