Ellie Thornbrue wins a state swimming title and volleyball gets to the state tourney

They made it.

After coming oh-so-close in 2011, Century’s volleyball team put the exclamation point on a superlative season by qualifying for the Class 6A state tournament.

“I have really hard-working girls,” Century coach Jamie Lentz said. “I have a couple of phenomenal athletes and the girls who are in this program were willing to put in whatever it took to get to the goals that they had set.”

The proof was in the results for Century, which went 25-6 overall, cruised through a 14-0 Pacific Conference slate, and then won its first two playoff matches to advance to the state tournament in Hillsboro.

In 2011, Century also won the league title before enduring a gutting five-set loss to Sprague at home in the second round of the playoffs.

This year, the Jaguars were clearly the class of the conference, winning 12 of their league contests in three sets. And they exacted some revenge on Sprague, ending the Olympians’ season with a three-set sweep in the second round of the playoffs. The following week in the state quarterfinals, the Jaguars were derailed in a three-set loss to eventual champion Jesuit before losing to Sheldon in four sets in consolation play.

“I’m definitely proud of them,” Lentz said. “The seniors on this team have been working for this specific goal of making it to the Elite 8 since their freshman year. I’m very proud of the two undefeated league seasons and finally pushing through the playoffs to make it to the Elite 8.”

All-arounder Jordan Deming capped the season by winning first team all-state honors. The 5-foot-10 senior also was named the Pacific Conference Player of the Year. Sophomore setter Kyla Militante-Amper and senior outside hitter Raquel Mellick joined Deming on the first team, while Lentz was named Coach of the Year.

Century’s Thornbrue repeats as state swimming champ

Once is nice, but twice is even better.

At the Class 6A swimming state championships, staged in February in Gresham, Century’s Ellie Thornbrue successfully defended her title in the 200-yard freestyle.

On Feb. 16, Thornbrue turned back Pacific Conference foe Prudence Roooker of Forest Grove and Sunset’s Emily Cheng to win in 1 minute, 50.11 seconds. Rooker was timed in 1:50.81, while Cheng finished third in 1:51.11. Thornbrue’s time was more than two seconds faster than the mark she swam to claim her 2012 title.

Thornbrue added a runner-up finish to Jesuit’s Blaise Wittenauer-Lee in the 500 free, and Century teammate Logan Neal was third in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 free.

The two sophomores also contributed legs on Century’s seventh-place 200 medley and sixth-place 400 free relay teams and keyed the Jaguars to a sixth-place result in the overall standings. Century scored 84 points to tie with Lakeridge and finish behind Jesuit (152), Sunset (145), West Linn (143), Newberg (100) and Westview (95.5).

Boys basketball comes up one game short of state tourney

So close, and yet so far.

That is the position in which the Century boys basketball team found itself at the conclusion of the 2012-13 season — on the outside looking in.

The Jaguars finished second to Tigard in Pacific Conference play to earn a state playoff berth. Then they just missed out on a state tournament appearance, falling 78-70 in overtime to eventual state runner-up Central Catholic in a second-round heartbreaker.

“We were down most of the game and we just kept fighting back,” Century coach Scott Kellar said. “That kind of sums up our season. We got knocked down a lot, but we just kept coming right back at it.”

The team beat Lincoln, the sixth-place team in the 2012 state tournament, 61-49 to open the season and upset South Eugene 80-64 in the first round of the playoffs.

Football star Sam Riddle showed that he could perform well on the hardwood, too, earning first team all-league honors. Madison McCaffrey, Jamel Liggins and Austin Flues were second team all-league picks, and Austin Sminia and Colson Gower were honorable mention selections.

“Probably our strength was the depth that we had,” Kellar said about his squad, which went 18-8 overall and 11-3 in league play a year after winning the conference title.

Century football claims third

in conference standings

The Jaguars turned in the best performance of any Hillsboro football team with a third-place Pacific Conference finish on the gridiron this past fall.

Led by quarterback Sam Riddle — the conference Player of the Year on offense and a second team all-state selection — and Pacific Conference Coach of the Year Bill Smith, Century finished 8-3 overall and 5-2 in conference play behind Tigard and Tualatin. An early-season highlight came on Sept. 7, when the team knocked off reigning Class 5A champion Mountain View 50-45 on the road.

After opening the Class 6A postseason with a 33-27 win at home against Crater, the Jaguars fell 41-8 to Southridge in the second round to conclude the season. The playoff win against the Comets was the first since Century moved up to the 6A classification in 2010.

Sam Devedjian (line), Savon Sengsavahn (linebacker), Josh Wise and Marcos Hernandez (defensive backs) all earned first team all-conference honors — and Devedjian was named the league’s Lineman of the Year. On offense, in addition to Riddle, Austin Thimjon and Alex Sirois (line), Xavier Mitchell and Vance Hamilton (receivers) all earned first team all-conference nods. Hamilton also was an all-state honorable mention selection at wide receiver.

Century tennis players claim both conference singles titles

Century may not have finished atop the Pacific Conference team standings in tennis this spring, but the school’s singles players certainly made an impression.

Young stars Tommy Edwards and Eka Essien won the league’s two singles championships, with the precocious freshman Edwards defeating rival Anthony Croteau of Newberg in straight sets and Essien securing her second consecutive title at the league tournament in McMinnville in May.

After splitting two regular season matches against Croteau, Edwards was even better in the rubber match, knocking off the top seed 6-4, 7-5.

As for Essien, a sophomore, she lived up to her billing as the favorite and No. 1 seed. In the final, she faced a familiar opponent, little sister Neyen, whom she downed 6-1, 6-1.

At the following week’s Class 6A state tournament, Edwards made the biggest splash of the three by advancing to the quarterfinals. He turned back South Eugene junior Isaac Leve 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the second round after a first round bye, and then lost to the No. 3 seed, South Salem junior Collin Erion, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, capping a sterling season and offering a glimpse of a promising future.

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