Baltimore Sun

Century uses big third quarter to top Southern-AA

- By Glenn Graham Craig Clary Baltimore Sun Media staff contribute­d to this article.

Only up two points at halftime on its home floor, Century still felt confident it had what it took against scrappy Southern-AA in Tuesday night’s Class 2A West Region I semifinal.

At the break, with their defense already locked in, the Knights talked about better ball movement offensivel­y to create better shots. They also knew star senior guard Andrew Marcinko, slowed by fouls and early-game nerves, would get back on track.

He did with a sensationa­l, do-everything third quarter that helped make the difference.

With Marcinko scoring seven of his 14 points and contributi­ng three rebounds, two steals, two assists and two blocked shots in the game’s most pivotal frame, the Knights took charge and never looked back in claiming a 61-47 win over the Bulldogs.

Century also got strong inside play from forward Ben Chenoweth (14 points) and Ryan Matthews (13), while guard Peyton Conrad (12) played soundly throughout and hit a couple of key 3-pointers.

Winners of 10 of its past 11 games, Century (17-6) will travel to Carroll County rival Liberty — a 58-35 winner over Winters Mill — at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“This was our first playoff game playing together and we had a ton of nerves in the first half,” Marcinko said. “In the third quarter, we were able to shake it off and get the shots we wanted by being patient. For me, when the shots don’t fall, you got to find a way to keep yourself in the game and that’s what I did tonight. I didn’t have a great shooting night, but I was able to find some guys open and we were able to knock them down.”

Wilde Lake 83, River Hill 63: Wilde Lake had its best practice week of the year leading up to Tuesday night’s Class 3A East Region II semifinal against River Hill.

That carried over to the game as the No. 2 seed Wildecats matched their season-high for points in an 83-63 win over No. 3 River Hill (14-7). Nathan Hiteshew scored 22 of his season-high 35 points in the second half. No. 14 Wilde Lake (20-3), which connected on nine 3-pointers, advances to Thursday’s regional final at top-seeded Long Reach.

“All week they’ve been playing as a unit, they’ve been locked in,” Wilde Lake coach Jay McMillan said. “We got some extra shots up, put in some extra work individual­ly all week and the hard work showed, getting shots up in the morning before practice and shots up after practice. It’s good to play in our home gym on the rims that we shoot on.”

— Jacob Steinberg

Meade 64, Arundel 39: Meade coach Mike

Glick noticed KeSean Graham months ago.

The 5-foot-9 guard was a ghost last winter behind seniors Andre Campbell and Bryson Spruell.ButwhenGra­hamarrived­forsummer workouts and played with more energy than anyone,Glicktoldh­isassistan­tcoaches,“Watch this one. He’s going to do something this year.”

Graham lived up to his coach’s words Tuesday night, in the top-seeded Mustangs’ rout of No. 5 Arundel, 64-39. The senior helped permanentl­y swing the momentum in moments Meade needed a little flair, amassing 15 points on five 3-pointers.

Meade’s seniors know better than anyone that one playoff win doesn’t give you a trophy, and the No. 11 Mustangs remember falling one game shy of the state final last year. Meade hosts Reservoir in Thursday’s Class 4A East Region I championsh­ip game.

“Our team is all seniors. This could be our last game. So we have to play off,” Graham said. “Stay motivated.”

— Katherine Fominykh

Manchester Valley 55, Westminste­r 38:

With a long season heading into its final stretch, some would say the most valuable thing a team could have is fresh legs. As the No. 1 seed in Class 3A East Region I, Manchester Valley sat and watched last week’s first round as it earned extra time to prepare and more importantl­y, rest up.

The Mavericks used the fresh legs and renewed energy Tuesday night, defeating Westminste­r for a third time this season, 55-38. Three Manchester Valley players scored in double figures in a game that had energy from the opening tip.

“Our intensity that we came out and we played with was crucial,” coach Chris Wunder said. “We really brought it from the start.”

Xavier Bowman and Brendan Luddy provided the early spark for the Mavericks. With the lively student section behind them, the pair made hustle plays on both ends of the floor that made the difference in a high-scoring first quarter.

Bowman chased down a loose ball and found Luddy in the corner for an open 3-pointer, then followed that with a steal, driving and converting a 3-point play.

Not to be outdone, Luddy made an impressive defensive play of his own, blocking a Westminste­r shot into the second row to close the quarter. He finished with a game-high 12 points, 10 of which came in the first half.

After Markel Brown hit a dagger 3-pointer, finishing with 11 points, the Mavericks cruised and punched their tickets to the regional final Thursday. With the extra days of rest over, the Mavericks have a tight schedule before they host No. 2 seed Centennial.

“Centennial is a very good team,” Wunder*

said. “So we’re gonna go and watch game film and see what we have to do to shut them down, we only have a day to prepare.”

— Timothy Dashiell

Dulaney 64, Dundalk 48:

All Paul Gross saw

was the rim.

The Dulaney junior guard opened the second half by draining a 3-point shot and, just over a minute later, he knocked down another one.

Gross sparked a third-quarter run that led to a 64-48 victory over Dundalk in Tuesday’s Class 4A North Region I semifinal. The double-digit victory puts No. 2-seeded Dulaney (16-5) in Thursday night’s regional final against top-seeded Parkville.

“The rim, all I saw is the rim,” Gross said. “The biggest difference is in that first half we didn’t play as well as we normally do, and in the second half we played like we wanted to win and we overcame fatigue, that was really the difference for us.”

Gross finished with a game-high 18 points, seven rebounds and a steal. He went 3 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.

— Ben Heck, for Baltimore Sun Media

LochRaven5­6,WesternTec­h39: Loch Raven and Western Tech traded baskets to start the Class 1A North Region semifinal, but the visitingRa­iderswento­na13-0runandnev­ertrailed the rest of the way in a 56-39 victory Tuesday.

Jayden Baker (13 points), Earl Jordan (12),

Aundre Perkins (11) and Samuel Howard (nine) led Loch Raven (15-8) in scoring. Kole Beaman (19) led Western Tech (14-9).

Jordan’s biggest contributi­on came defending Beaman, the Wolverines’ explosive leading scorer.

“This is our second year playing them and Kole is an All-County first-team kid and we watched a lot of film and tried to pick up some tendencies that he had and so we gave Earl that assignment and Earl just did a phenomenal job today,” Loch Raven coach Brandon Thomas said.

Beaman had 16 points while Jordan, a sophomore, was in the game and he was often double- or triple-teamed.

“I knew what the matchup was and I looked at him on film and knew what my assignment was and I just stepped up and denied the whole game and played real good defense and I played aggressive with him, real physical,” Jordan said.

South River 71, Severna Park 55 Broadneck 55, North Point 39 Centennial 51, Howard 39

Long Reach 69, Atholton 52

Aberdeen 76, Kenwood 65 Northeast-AA 79, James M. Bennett 71 Fallston 64, North East 47

Liberty 58, Winters Mill 35

 ?? KENNETH K. LAM/BALTIMORE SUN ?? Century’s Ben Chenoweth, left, shoots over Southern-AA’s Rex Wooster in the second quarter of a Class 2A West Region I semifinal game on Tuesday. Chenoweth had 14 points in the 61-47 win.
KENNETH K. LAM/BALTIMORE SUN Century’s Ben Chenoweth, left, shoots over Southern-AA’s Rex Wooster in the second quarter of a Class 2A West Region I semifinal game on Tuesday. Chenoweth had 14 points in the 61-47 win.

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