Century rallies, tops Fallston again, 53-47

Kasper scores 17 points

new Knights can take title share tomorrow

Girls basketball

High Schools

February 06, 2003|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Several members of Century's girls basketball team entered last night's game against Fallston feeling the effects of a lingering virus. That, however, couldn't stop the Knights from curing another ill.

In danger of losing their third straight game, the host Knights used a 22-6 second-half run to rally from an eight-point deficit in a 53-47 win - its second this season over the Harford County power.

"At halftime, we just talked about the fact that we're better than we had played," Knights coach Joel Beard said. "We needed a little bit of extra intensity to step up."

Coming off consecutive losses to Southern-Garrett, a state finalist two winters ago, and Central Maryland Conference opponent Thomas Johnson, Century (11-6), indeed, stepped up. Led by guard Kelly Kasper, who scored a game-high 17 points, and forward Adreanna Esquivel (14 points), the Knights looked like a different team in the second half.

After shooting 33 percent over the first two quarters, they shot 58 percent the rest of the way, building their lead to 42-33 after Kasper's 15-footer early in the fourth quarter.

"We didn't take care of the ball," said Fallston co-coach Alice Puckett, whose team committed 24 turnovers, several with defenders tapping the ball loose from behind during transition play. "They just kept the pressure on."

Still, Fallston (13-3), which has suffered two of its three losses this season to Century, kept the game close.

Trailing 49-47, Fallston had the opportunity to hold the ball for the final shot. Instead, however, Cougars sophomore Caitlin Stien put up a hurried 12-footer that missed with 25 seconds left, and Century came up with the ball.

The Knights' Lauren Schwarzmann then sealed the win by hitting four straight free throws in the final 20 seconds.

"Our shot selection was very poor," Puckett said. "We had time to kill. We could've taken the last shot for the tie or the win. It didn't matter, as long as they didn't get one. But that's just sophomore inexperience."

Stien and Kelly Heier each scored 11 to lead the Cougars.

With its brief losing streak halted, Century now turns its attention toward a larger goal.

The Knights, in their first season of varsity competition, can clinch at least a share of the Carroll County title with a win over rival Liberty tomorrow night. Defending champion Westminster, which also has one county loss, would need to win both of its remaining county games to earn a tie.

On a team where most players consider basketball their second or third sport, Beard said that a county title would be nice. The Knights' goal, however, is to continue making the most of their talent.

"With our kids, they have to understand that if they just keep working and keep digging, good things will happen," Beard said.

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