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Boys Basketball: Century captures third county crown in four years

Century senior Chris Norman talks about his team winning the county championship. (Tom Worgo / BSMG)

The Century boys basketball bandwagon gained more momentum Friday night, as the Knights beat visiting Westminster, 60-53, for their 14th straight victory.

More importantly, Century won its third Carroll County championship in fours years under coach George Wunder.

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A wild celebration ensued after the buzzer sounded.

"To win a county championship on our home court makes it extra special," Wunder said. "We have had a lot of guys working all offseason to have an opportunity to get to this moment. It's really an exciting thing for these guys and I am proud of them."

The Knights didn't play their usual textbook basketball, but secured the victory when senior point guard Zach Tucker sank five of six free throws in the final 1:08. Tucker, the county's leading scorer, finished with a team-high 18 points.

"When we have a lead down the stretch, we feel good about our chances when we put the ball in Zach's hands," Wunder said. "He has such an ability to knock down foul shots in key situations."

Century (16-2 overall, 10-0 county) also received a solid performance from senior forward Chris Norman, who totaled 17 points and nine rebounds.

Westminster senior guard Tyler Snyder led all scorers with 20 points.

Owls coach Brett Kanther wishes he got more scoring down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

Westminster, which lost to Century by two points on Jan. 6, hit one of three shots and had a turnover in the final 2:19.

"They played good defense," Kanther said. "You have to give them credit."

The Owls probably felt a victory was within their grasp when Joey Conklin converted a three-point play with 2:45 remaining.

After Azariah Knox pushed Century's lead to 55-49 on a 3-pointer 14 seconds later, Snyder hit a pair of free throws to cut the gap to four.

Not much went right for the Owls the rest of the way.

"We only had nine turnovers, but we lost by seven," Snyder said. "That was tough."

Century never trailed. The Knights jumped out to an 8-3 lead behind back-to-back 3-pointers from Norman in the first 3:34.

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Westminster closed to 10-8 about two minutes later, and the score was tied at 14 at the end of the first quarter.

The Knights extended their advantage to 22-16 with 5:50 remaining in the second quarter.

Century led by as many as eight points in the half and had a 33-26 lead at the break.

Norman had 13 points at the intermission, and that effort included three 3-pointers. Tucker added 11 points in the first half.

Century led by as many as nine points in the middle of the third quarter, but Westminster (11-6, 7-3) cut the deficit to 44-40 at the end of the period.

The Knights, however, just played well enough in the fourth quarter to pull another game out.

"We had a lot of guys step up and make big shots for us," Wunder said of the final quarter.

Westminster (53): Sam Annulis 2, Roman Hawkins 5, Jahmere Campbell 11, Tyler Snyder 20, Noah Westbrook 5, Joey Conklin 10.

Century (60): Adam Rolfes 6, Zach Tucker 18, Anthony Perrone 2, Zach Owings 6, Chris Norman 17, Ashley Roberts 2, Azarish Knox 5, Bryce Harrell 4.

Halftime: Century, 33-26.

tworgo@baltsun.com

410-857-7893

twitter.com/carrollvarsity

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