Lilly Keplin keeps a close eye on the lay of the land in the West Region.
The Century High standout poured in 21 points to help the Patriots power past Legacy 60-39 on Thursday, noting the differential when the final buzzer sounded.
“Legacy is a really good team. Mandan just beat them (70-54) and we were able to beat them by more than that,” the Century senior star said. “I’m not trying to be cocky or anything. Legacy and Mandan are really good, but we just want to come out and try to be dominant every game.”
The undefeated and No. 1 Patriots were, especially in the second half. Century held Legacy, the No. 5 team in the state, to nine second-half points.
“To hold a team like (Legacy) with as many good players as they have, to nine points, is pretty impressive,” Century coach Ron Metz said. “The girls were locked in defensively.”
After Ashley Hulm got the Sabers to within 39-36 with 9:20 left in the game, Century surged.
The Patriots (10-0) scored the next 16 points and 21 of the last 24 of the game to pull away.
“The big adjustment in the second half was to slow down and take better shots,” Metz said. “We were taking some quick shots in the first half that we could have gotten with two or three ball reversals. Once we settled down, got better ball movement, we got some easier looks and that seemed to loosen things up.”
Century also put the squeeze on the 7-2 Sabers.
“I thought we played really good team defense and obviously it helps to have Lauren back there,” Keplin said of Lauren Ware, who had six blocked shots.
Keplin’s long-range shooting also was key. She knocked down five of Century’s eight 3-pointers.
“It’s just about getting in the gym and putting the time in. Me and my dad and my little brother,” Keplin said. “We’re in the gym a lot. It’s fun.”
Keplin led all scorers with 21 points. Ware added 19. Chloe Markovic also hit a pair from deep. Megan Klein’s lone triple gave Century its first double-digit lead at 48-36.
“We were moving the ball, finding the open shooter, that’s when we’re at our best,” Keplin said. “We can still play better offensively and defensively, but this a really good win for us against a good team.”
Century travels to Jamestown to face the Blue Jays (6-3) on Saturday.
Legacy, which got eight points each from Taryn Allmaras, Alexis Dressler and Arianna Berryhill, is back home on Saturday to host Minot (3-4).