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Jags off to undefeated start


Century routs city rival Liberty to cap a perfect 5-0 start to the season

First-year Century girls basketball coach Dave Gainey couldn’t have scripted a better start to his tenure — five games into the season, the Jaguars have a perfect 5-0 record and are fresh off a 45-26 rout of crosstown rival Liberty on Tuesday.by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Century sophomore Chantal Castaneda coasts in for a layup during last Friday's nonleague game against Parkrose.

“So far, so good,” Gainey said with a chuckle. “The whole group has bought into the fact that defense is the key to being successful. I never thought they would have bought in so quickly.”

Defense has indeed been the key to Century’s hot start. After a nail-biting 68-64 win against Aloha in a season-opening tournament, the Jaguars have held their last three opponents to diminishing returns on the offensive end — 48 points against that same Aloha team three nights later, then 33 points against Parkrose last Friday and 26 against Liberty on Tuesday. Not surprisingly, all three games were victories.

“The thing that’s been nice is that we’ve been able to make adjustments on the fly,” Gainey said. “I’ve been real pleased with that. At this point, they’ve exceeded my expectations.”

Century’s stifling defense helped the Jaguars jump out to a 14-3 lead in the first quarter against Liberty, and the margin grew in the second quarter against the Falcons’ pressure defense.

“We executed against their press and got some easy baskets early,” Gainey said. “And I thought we got off to a real good defensive start. We were being aggressive and trying to deny all their cutters.”

Liberty switched to a zone defense late in the first half that seemed to give Century some trouble, but Gainey made a few changes at halftime and was pleased with how his team responded.

“We made a few adjustments at halftime and executed pretty well in the third quarter,” he said. “I thought for the whole game, that was the best we’ve played defensively. We executed fairly well offensively. We just want to be consistent.”

Senior Chandler Montgomery led Century with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow senior Courtney Sirois had 12 points and eight rebounds, while Braana Weber added eight points and Jade Bevandich handed out seven assists.

The Jaguars will be off until after Christmas, when Century and Hillsboro co-host a holiday tournament. Century will face Sherwood at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26, Lakeridge at 8:15 on Dec. 27, and Marist at 3 on Dec. 28. All three games will be at Century High School.

“Sherwood beat Glencoe last night, Marist is always tough, and Lakeridge has a good program,” Gainey said. “It should be a good challenge for us.”