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Central Catholic nips Jaguars in overtime


Century loses a wild game against the fourth-ranked Rams

The Century boys basketball team finished the regular season in second place in the Pacific Conference with a league record of 11-3 and an overall record of 18-8.

After automatically qualifying for the Class 6A state playoffs, the Jaguars rolled to an 80-64 first round playoff victory over South Eugene.

The season came to an end for Century in the second round of the playoffs in a wild overtime game against Central Catholic.

Here is how Century head coach Scott Kellar describes the game:

“We were down most of the game and we just kept fighting back,” he said. “That kind of sums up our season. We got knocked down a lot, but we just kept coming right back at it. We fought back and ended up taking the lead with about 20 seconds left.

“It was crazy at the end. We were up one, we forced a turnover with about nine seconds left. We had a kid get fouled and make one of two free throws. Then they ended up calling a foul on us with a second left which was a tough call. The Central Catholic player wound up making both free throws to send it to overtime.

“We went from feeling like we had a great chance to winning it, to most of the kids having a tough time recovering in overtime. For everything that was at stake and the huge crowd, it was about the most heartbreaking loss you could possibly imagine, especially with nine seniors.”

Despite the disappointment, Kellar still is proud of what Century accomplished this season.

“We thought we had a good season,” Kellar said. “Our major goal was to get to the Rose Garden and we fell about one possession short. But, we thought we competed well. We played a tough schedule. We got banged up a little bit this season. We had a few different things that happened.

“But, to win 18 games with the schedule we had and to take Central Catholic right down to the wire to get to the Rose Garden, we’re pleased with how the season went and like most teams we just wish we could’ve taken it a few more games.”

Throughout the season, Century was led by senior Sam Riddle.

“(Riddle) was a first team all-league player,” Kellar said. “He was probably one of our most well-rounded players at both ends.”

Riddle was not alone, though. Century ended up having five other players earn all-league honors: Madison McCaffrey, Jamel Liggins and Austin Flues were Second Team All-Pacific Conference. Austin Sminia and Colson Gower were honorable mention All-Conference picks.

“Probably our strength was the depth that we had,” Kellar said. “We had six or seven guys who on any given night could score 15 to 20 points. And they all brought different things to the table. We were a difficult matchup because we could score and come at you so many different ways.”

Century will lose nine seniors next season. Kellar still believes that the Jaguars will be a quality team in 2013-14.

“We’ve had a good run here for the last seven or eight years,” Kellar said. “There were a couple of years where we weren’t expected to do much and the kids maybe performed better than expected.

“We are hoping that our younger kids have seen the success that’s taken place here and that they’re hungry to work hard in the offseason and keep it going. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. But, I think the kids will be up to it.”