Century girls basketball won its second consecutive state title Saturday by beating Devils Lake 69-61 in the championship game at the Bismarck Event Center.
Lauren Ware and Lilly Keplin combined for 46 points for the Patriots, who capped off a perfect 27-0 season.
The Patriots led by three at halftime, but a Firebirds surge midway through the second half saw the East’s top seed take a slim lead. Century remained composed down the stretch, with Keplin, Ware, Chloe Markovic and several others making key plays to seal the win.
“We handled that run they made at us, and I’m so proud of the girls for the way they got themselves composed, and got some good things done those last six minutes,” head coach Ron Metz said.
“I think we came out a little timid,” Lauren Ware said, “but at halftime our coaches came in and said to play confident and just play our game, and that’s what we did the second half. It turned out really well for us.”
Keplin and Ware were almost inseparable following the win. Keplin said that their bond over the last several years made this last win together a little bittersweet.
“Before the game Lauren was like, ‘This is our last game together,'” Keplin said. “I said, ‘Don’t even say that right now. We don’t need to worry about that.’ She’s my best friend, I love her to death, and I’m definitely going to miss playing with her.”
Keplin, Ware and Markovic were all named to the All-Tournament Team.
Mandan’s Megan Zander was named this year’s Miss Basketball.