The celebration didn’t begin until after the final seconds had ticked off the clock, but the Calvert girls’ basketball team had sewn up its second consecutive state championship long before the final buzzer.

The ninth-ranked Cavaliers overwhelmed Century from the start with their pressure defense and transition game, and completed their title defense in style with a 57-22 win in the Maryland 2A final at UMBC’s RAC Arena.

Last year Calvert became the first team from Calvert County — boys’ or girls’ — to win a state championship, and now the Cavaliers are the first team from the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference to win back-to-back titles since Lackey’s boys won two in a row in 1958 and 1959.

“Back to back is pretty dadgum good,” Calvert Coach Frank Moore said. “A lot of people don’t get a chance to win one, but now we’re back to back and we’re going to take it. I’m awful proud of each and every kid that plays with me.”

Calvert (26-1) flustered the Lady Knights (24-3) early with its full-court press, and went on an extended 25-5 run in the first half that built the Cavaliers’ lead to as many as 23 points late in the second quarter.

The Sykesville school had trouble simply getting the ball past midcourt, while Calvert scored seemingly at will both in transition and out of its halfcourt sets.

Junior guard Alexis Smith scored nine of her game-high 16 points in the first half, and senior guard Rachel Loube added nine of her 15 before halftime.

Our last game started out slow and we didn’t want today to be a repeat,” Loube said. “Our press picked it up, we got steals and we tried to limit them the rest of the game.”

Calvert’s defense got even better in the second half, and Century went more than 10 minutes with scoring as Calvert went on a 21-0 run that started late in the third quarter and continued until the final seconds of the fourth.

“We didn’t see anybody like that all year,” Century Coach Joel Beard said, “and we’ve played some good teams.”

Calvert ended up forcing 26 turnovers while committing only nine, and was able to clear its bench for the final minutes before celebrating with a huddle at midcourt after the game.

“We’re very humbled and proud,” Moore said. “We did a pretty good job.”

Complete state tournament coverage at

Playoff brackets

Maryland 4A boys | Maryland 4A girls

Maryland 3A boys | Maryland 3A girls

Maryland 2A boys | Maryland 2A girls

Virginia A Division 2 boys | Virginia A Division 2 girls

Virginia AAA girls