- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
BALTIMORE The high-powered offense had carried Calvert for much of the season.
Saturday, it was the defense’s turn as the Calvert girls basketball team wrapped up its second-straight Class 2A state championship with a 57-22 win over Century of Carroll County at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s RAC Arena.
"I'm not going to lie," Calvert head coach Frank Moore said. "We're all real proud, we can say we're back-to-back [state champions]. I used the word humble [to describe how I felt last year] and I still am."
The Cavaliers (26-1 overall), who emerged from the South region, jumped out to a commanding 34-14 halftime lead and the defense took it from there to stifle the Knights (24-3), who were representing the West, the rest of the way.
Calvert held Century to just 10 field goals the entire game and only four over the second half, including none over a span of 10 minutes 27 seconds until Alyssa Dixon banked in a shot with five seconds left in the game. The Knights scored just two points in the fourth quarter.
The Cavaliers also forced 26 turnovers, which resulted in 24 points, and committed just nine.
When informed during the postgame press conference it had turned the ball over 26 times, several Knights players gasped.
“That’s a sign of why they’re state champs two years in a row,” Century head coach Joel Beard said moments later.
Tiara Lester, Rachel Loube and Alexis Smith each had two steals, while teammate Daijah Thomas added a team-high three blocks. Lester had two blocks.
“We played the devil out of defense,” Moore said.
Calvert led 9-6 with 96 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but it scored the next 13 unanswered points over the rest of the quarter and well into the second to all but put the game away. It included a short-range jumper by Lester (10 points, 7 rebounds) with 3.1 seconds left in the first period.
The Cavaliers scored the last six points of the third quarter and added 15 more over the final eight minutes to wrap up their second-straight state championship.
Smith scored a team-high 16 points and Loube scored 15. Thomas had 10 of Calvert’s 36 rebounds.
The Knights, who defeated Owings Mills of Baltimore County in the semifinals on Friday and who were making Carroll County’s first state final basketball appearance in 15 years, were led by Alice Mercer, who scored 11 points. It was Century’s first state appearance.
“They were so good,” Century’s Angela Flister said.
Calvert had a tougher time 24 hours earlier as it needed a late second-half charge to put away Patterson Mill of Harford County 42-31 in the state semifinals.
The Huskies (20-6) trailed only 25-22 late in the third, but Loube's jumper at the buzzer from the top of the key seemed to ignite the Cavaliers, who went on a game-clinching 10-0 run early in the final quarter.
2A state championship
Calvert 57, Century 22
Calvert 15 19 8 15
Century 6 8 6 2 Calvert: Smith 16, Loube 15, Lester 10, Weems 8, Thomas 4, Butler 4
Century: A. Mercer 11, Clark 4, Snyder 2, Dixon 2, Flister 2, Jones 1
Free throws: Calvert 10-13 (Loube 5-6); Century 1-8 (Jones 1-2)
3-point goals: Calvert 1 (Smith); Century 1 (A. Mercer)
2A state semifinal
Calvert 42, Patterson Mill 31
Calvert 12 8 8 14 Patterson Mill 5 9 8 9
Calvert: Smith 13, Loube 10, Weems 7, Lester 5, Thomas 5, Collins 2
Patterson Mill: Golec 14, Ismail 9, West 5, Lund 3
Free throws: Calvert 7-12 (Smith 3-4); Patterson Mill 10-18 (Lund 3-4)
3-point goals: Calvert 1(Loube); Patterson Mill 1 (West)