This time, there were no last-minute dramatics needed.
Top-ranked Century, which needed a late steal and 3-pointer to escape with a semifinal victory over Minot a night before, rolled to a second consecutive West Region title on Saturday night.
The Patriots ran their winning streak to 18 games with a 71-29 victory over Jamestown at the Bismarck Event Center.
Century jumped out to an early lead and clamped down on defense, making things tough on the Blue Jays all night long.
“We felt coming in we wanted to make it difficult on every possession,” Century coach Darin Mattern said. “That’s kind of been our mission and our mindset all season.
“We really take a lot of pride defensively in our program. There’s going to be nights you don’t shoot the ball very well and we think if we defend and defensive rebound, you’re always going to have an opportunity to be in the game and I thought we were pretty solid defensively tonight.”
Century raced out to an early 22-9 lead, and really took command late in the first half and early in the second half.
The Patriots (20-2) closed the first half on an 8-0 run to build a 36-22 lead at the break.
Coming out of the locker room, there was no letting up on the gas pedal.
“The score isn’t a factor coming out of the half,” said senior forward Josh Sipes, who finished with a game-high 24 points to lead Century. “Anything can happen. If you’ve seen all the upsets in our tournament this week, you have to come out ready to play every single half of basketball.”
Century scored the first six points of the second half, held Jamestown to one field goal in a stretch of more than 12 minutes after the intermission and pulled away. A 26-3 run stretched Century’s advantage to 62-25 with seven minutes to play and the Patriots never looked back.
“We couldn’t box anybody out,” Jamestown coach Jacoby Lloyd said. “They had to have had double-digit offensive rebounds and that’s all attitude and effort. We’ll clean that up this week. The nice thing is we do get another week. There’s a lot of teams in the WDA that don’t and they would like to be getting another week.”
The Patriots posted 18 offensive rebounds in outrebounding the Blue Jays 46-28. Century limited Jamestown to 23.8 percent shooting from the field – 10 for 42 – and 0-for-5 from 3-point range.
“They put up a lot of points in their last game,” Sipes said. “I think Skunberg had 35. We just tried to limit his touches. We know he’s an awesome player.
“Our main goal on defense was to make the ball reversals a bit tough and not take any possession for granted, limit the turnovers, just play Century basketball defense.”
Mason Walters led Jamestown (12-12) with 12 points but Boden Skunberg managed just two points on the night.
“They face guarded Boden. We didn’t make a very good adjustment out of that,” Lloyd said. “It seemed like they wanted it more than we did tonight but we are going to grow and get better.”
The more tournament-tested Patriots were too much for the Blue Jays, who were making their first appearance in a West Region tournament title game.
“I think our experience probably paid off,” Mattern said. “Obviously they have some younger kids, a first-time experience for them. We’ve got some kids who have been in this game a few times.
“Overall I just thought we were very sound on both ends.”
Kade Amundson added 15 points and nine rebounds for Century, which will be the top seed from the West for next week’s state Class A tournament in Fargo. Treyton Mattern added 11 points for the Patriots.