Century guard Lilly Keplin has shown she can fill up the basket on occasion. A prime example is her 30-point game in last year's West Region basketball tournament.
Still, Tuesday night's performance was something extraordinary.
Keplin, a 5-foot-7 junior, swished nine 3-pointers and scored 34 points while leading unbeaten and top-ranked Century to an 85-52 victory over Legacy at the CHS Olson gym.
The Century boys downed Legacy 51-34 in the second game.
Keplin did all her damage while missing just eight shots. She sank 12 of 20 shots from the floor and connected on her only free throw. Six of her misses were from beyond the arc.
Keplin's 20 attempts were well above her average, but there was nothing average about what was going on against Legacy. She said the shots were falling, so she rode the wave.
"I started the game out feeling good. ... It really depends on how I'm feeling at the beginning of the game," she said.
Keplin's sharpshooting overshadowed a 21-point, 11-rebound night by sophomore post Lauren Ware. Also lost in the shuffle was a nifty man-to-man defensive effort that limited Legacy to 35 percent shooting and produced 18 takeaways.
As the game went along, Keplin said she could tell the fans began to take notice.
"It was really nice. The crowd got into it and the team got into it, too," she said.
Keplin became the main event early on when the game's outcome became evident. The host Patriots needed just over 4 minutes to open their first 10-point lead. Keplin scored off a turnover to put CHS up 15-5.
The spread reached 20 with 2 minutes remaining in the first half. Keplin's sixth 3-pointer of the night gave the Patriots a 41-20 advantage. The final score matched Century's largest margin of the contest.
Century shot 50 percent for the game, including a 12-for-28 effort on 3-pointers.
Legacy, now 3-5, shot 35 percent. Guard Taryn Allmaras and forward Whitney Thomas led the way for the Sabers with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Century 51, Century 34
The boys game turned into a really strange animal.
Century took command with a staunch defensive effort, opening a 34-8 halftime lead. Then the two teams traded places.
Legacy outscored the Patriots 26-17 after intermission but, saddled with their dismal first-half effort, could get no closer than 16 points in the second half.
The contest was a study in contrasts. Legacy shot 18 percent the first and 59 percent the second half en route to 36 percent for the game. Century connected at a 50 percent pace in the opening 18 minutes and 35 percent thereafter to finish at 43 percent overall.
Josh Sipes, Century's 6-3 senior forward, took game scoring honors with a modest 14 points. Senior guard Jason Hoekstra topped the charts for Legacy with 10 counters.
Neither coach was bubbling with enthusiasm in the game's wake.
"We played like we practice the first half. ... We have eight seniors. That should not happen," Legacy coach Jason Horner said. "I thought we played hard, but everything was too fast for us because we practice at half-speed."
CHS coach Darin Mattern was happy with the win, which boosted the Patriots to 3-2 in the West Region and 6-2 overall. But ...
"We were very happy with the first half. The second half -- we've got to be more consistent on offense. That's the next step we've got to take."
"We played hard. That's never been a concern of mine," Mattern added. "We just didn't make many shots the second half."
All four teams return to action on Friday. Century plays host to Williston and Legacy plays at home against Dickinson.