Century is on target against North Carroll

Knights use 43% shooting to craft a 60-40 victory

Girls basketball

January 29, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

North Carroll girls basketball coach John Brown keeps on hearing the murmurs about county rival Century being a poor-shooting team.

To Brown, however, the notion is nothing more than an urban legend.

The host Knights shot 43 percent from the field last night - well above their season average - in upending the Panthers for the third time this season, 60-40.

"[Century coach] Joel Beard keeps telling me that their team is shooting 20 percent. Every night that we've faced them, three times this season, I'll bet they've shot about 80 percent," Brown said. "He has to doctor those shooting charts if he shows me when that says they're not shooting really well."

They might not have shot 80 percent, but the Knights (9-4 overall, 5-1 county) put on one of their top offensive performances of the season. The team that shot just 15 percent in a loss to Thomas Johnson earlier this month and averages around 30 percent was shooting 49 percent (17-for-35) by midway through the third quarter.

"Normally, we don't shoot that well. Tonight, we kind of needed to a little bit to try and get some confidence," said Beard, whose daughter, Courtney, is a starting guard for North Carroll.

Junior Mandy Psenicska led Century with 16 points, including a pair of three-pointers in the second half, while top scorer Kelly Kasper added 10.

It was the return of another backcourt player, however, that might have made the biggest impact. After missing three games with a strained back, sophomore guard Chelsea Loskarn scored 12 points, all in the first half, to help give her team a 31-15 lead at the break.

"She's a really good addition for us, because she gives us something that maybe we don't have," Beard said of the perimeter threat.

As well as Century shot, however, it was its defense that ultimately sealed the Panthers' fate.

Using relentless man-to-man defense, the Knights held North Carroll (4-12, 2-5) without a field goal for the first five minutes and final seven minutes of the first half, limiting the Hempstead team to 5-for-29 shooting in the first three quarters.

"We missed a few layups early. Our confidence goes with our ability to finish plays, and we didn't finish early," Brown said. "They're in your face the whole time. They didn't give us a chance to breathe."

Jessica Smith scored 11 and Sarah Blackowicz nine to lead the Panthers, who also committed 18 turnovers.

"We played so well on defense that it just [drove] us to play harder and score more points," Psenicska said. "It was an all-around good game today."

The Knights will face one of their toughest tests of the season tomorrow night at Westminster in a game that could have county-title implications.

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