, the top seed in Class 2A West regional, stopped rival for the third time this year, 53-45 for the right to advance to the state semifinals at the Comcast Center at the University of Maryland Friday night at 9 p.m.
"It’s tough," South Carroll coach Doug Goff said about playing a team for the third time. "I expected this type of drawn out game the first two times we played them. We just got fortunate and got a little lead earlier in the game and stretched it out."
The South Carroll gym was packed, with some fans forced to sit on the stage. Students for both schools stood and cheered on the schools during the contest.
The game was close in the first half as South Carroll held a 22-17 lead at halftime. At one point the Cavaliers had a seven point lead, but the Knights hung in there.
At the start of the third quarter, South Carroll got some space as they hit three shots from beyond the three-point arc. The shots came around two foul shots by Century’s Brad MacFee to give the home team a 31-19 lead with 5:25 left in the quarter.
In the final eight minutes of play South Carroll worked to a 15 point lead 49-34 with 1:19 to play. Century hit for 11 points in the time left, while South Carroll’s Ryan Tate and Dan Mullen both sunk two free throws to keep the Knights from getting closer.
"We kind of came in with a different game plan today. We wanted to spread them out and see if we could dribble a little more," said Century coach George Wunder.
"We stayed with them in the first half and a couple of their kids hit some big three’s early in the third quarter to stretch that lead a little bit. It forced us to play a different style. They are a great team. They are well coached. They play great defense. They are very unselfish offensively They deserved to win."
Century ended the season at 20-5 while South Carroll improved to 21-4. The Cavaliers made it to the state semifinals last year, where they lost. South carroll and their fans are looking for a different outcome this year.
"They are a good team. Obviously they were 20-4 coming into the game. They were the last team I wanted to see, but I am glad it was in the finals and didn’t catch them earlier on. A lot of credit to them and a good representative of Carroll County basketball. It’s pretty good," Goff said.
Tate led the Cavaliers with 21 points, while Mullen and Gavin McTavish each had 15 points and John Quinn added two.
Michael Austin threw in 14 points for Century while Mitch Sleight had 12, Chris Tan nine and Evan Fritsche tossed in eight.