The Century boys’ basketball team has won two titles so far this year, but lets be clear the Patriots want a state championship.
Picture Century basketball’s season for a second. What do you see?
Century’s had so many buzzer beaters that the guys who haven’t hit one almost feel left out.
“Me and Lynch are the only ones who don’t have one,” senior guard Josh Sipes said. “So I’m not sure how many more heart attacks we want on our team, but if we happen to get some, us two guys are the guys to look for there.”
But the team isn’t defined just by a few dramatic finishes. The Patriots are a team that turned early season struggles into a winning streak that’s 18 games and counting.
“It’s been a heck of a season from starting from the bottom,” Sipes said, “from people counting us out, to being the number one seed going into the state tournament.”
And the whole season showed that Century can be a versatile team. One game might be full of offensive firepower, and the next might be a defensive battle. And Century feels comfortable playing in either scenario.
“I think we can play in a full-court manner,” head coach Darin Mattern said, “and we can play slow-down basketball.”
“I think our defense kind of sticks out to me,” Kade Amundson said, “We’ve kind of had that from the start, and it’s gradually growing. We’re getting better and better each game, and I think right now we’re at our peak.”
The Patriots will face four seed Red River in Thursday’s first round, but the Patriots aren’t really looking at seeds.
“If you look at our tournament this past weekend,” Sipes said, “rankings don’t really matter. The seven can beat the two seed, and the six can beat the three seed. You’ve got to go in and play every game like it’s your last.”
So entering the state tournament, the Patriots are preparing like the slate has been wiped clean.
“It’s just another game,” Amundson said. “We’re going to get ready for it, get focused and locked in, and we’ll be ready.”
On Mar. 8, the Patriots play Red River at 2 p.m.