COLLEGE PARK - Last night was a night of firsts for two sets of Knights at the University of Maryland's Comcast Center. For City's Knights, it was a night to cherish. For Century's Knights, it was a night to forget.
City - making its first trip to the state playoffs in this decade - used pressure defense and took advantage of some early nerves by No. 14 Century to build a big lead, then hung on for a 53-38 victory in the Class 2A state semifinals.
Maurice Johnson led City with 13 points. Mike Virbickis' 10 points led Century (22-4).
No. 8 City (20-6) advances to today's state final against Frederick Douglass of Prince George's County, at 6 p.m. at the Comcast Center. Douglass (15-10) beat Wicomico, 87-69, in the other semifinal.
"Defense wins championships, and it won this game for us tonight," said City's Nardi Bogues (11 points). "We came out as one and played tough defense, and that was out goal."
City built a 27-7 lead with 3:29 left in the second quarter before the settling for a 29-15 lead at the half.
Century, playing in its first state tournament game, cut City's lead to 41-32 with 4:40 left on Josh Bordner's three-point play. But City closed on a 12-6 run.