Winters Mill loaded its early-season schedule with the likes of Mount St. Joseph, Cardinal Gibbons and Poly - a concerted effort to bring the best out of a team brimming with potential.
Facing Carroll County front-runner Century last night, that extra experience paid off.
Trailing at halftime, the visiting Falcons shifted gears and pulled away, hitting 13 of 17 shots from the field and scoring 22 out of 28 points in the third quarter to take command in a 64-46 win, ending the Knights' nine-game winning streak.
"We knew we had to step up big," forward Cammeron Woodyard said. "Our coach told us to come out a little stronger and hit the board a little more."
Woodyard, who finished with a game-high 23 points, did just that, opening the second half with a three-pointer that gave his team the lead for good, then watching as teammates Kendall Dorsey (15 points), Devon Lesniak (12 points, 10 assists) and Rashad Blackwell (10 points, 12 rebounds) systematically dismantled the Knights.
Winters Mill (6-4 overall, 3-1 county), which had trailed by as many as seven in the first half, showed better patience on offense, making extra passes and creating easy looks at the basket.
"Our kids did a very, very good job of spreading the floor," Falcons coach Dave Herman said.
They also excelled on defense, holding Century center Matt Duerr, who entered the game averaging 17 points per game, without a basket for the first 19:26. He finished with seven points, and Clay Collins led the Knights (9-2, 4-1) with 13.
No. 1 Mount St. Joseph 52, Archbishop Spalding 27 -- Henry Sims had a game-high 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks as the visiting Gaels (13-1) beat the Cavaliers (5-11). Mount St. Joseph led 28-10 at the half and never trailed.
No. 7 Loyola 61, St. Maria Goretti 59 -- James Davenport (22 points) hit a three-pointer with 50 seconds left in overtime and went 2-for-3 from the free-throw line in the extra period as the host Dons (10-2) edged the Gaels (7-8).
No. 9 Mount Carmel 86, St. Paul's 74 -- Troy Franklin scored a game-high 21 points and Stanford McNair and Rummell King each had 18 as the Cougars (16-1) beat the visiting Crusaders (8-7).