Lady Hilltoppers trek to Cherokee
The host team, Cherokee High, may be the favorite to claim the Holidays on the Hardwood Tournament this week, but the R-S Central Lady Hilltoppers (7-4) like their chances to steal the crown.
I feel like we're playing well and the girl's confidence is where it needs to be," said head coach Darius Fuller. "I think we will be able to go and accomplish some of the things we set out to do."
The first obstacle in Central's way is Northwest Cabarrus (3-4).
"They're a good team that's playing good competition every night. Their record is misleading because of the level of competition they face," Fuller said.
Even against tough competition, Fuller knows he has a strong team in place.
"If we just execute the way I know we are capable of executing I think we'll be okay any night that we play," said Fuller. "I'm confident in saying that because of the make-up of our team and the way we play the game."
Central has a strong record despite their trouble at the free throw line. They nhave faced mainly zone defenses that have forced them to prove they're capable of hitting jumpshots.
"Defense hasn't been what has stopped us as much as us not making free throws," Fuller said. "If they play zone we need Taylor Miller to hit a couple 3's to keep them honest."
Aside from Miller, Fuller expects senior point guard Alyssia Watkins who is averaging over 10 points and four assists per game to prove her leadership on the court.
"Alyssia Watkins is the motor," said Fuller. "Alyssia is a senior leader that has to play well for us to play well and do the things we know we can do."
The whole starting five of Central is capable of filling the stat sheet, especially freshman Te'ja Twitty who averages 15 points a game and just under 10 boards per contest.
"Of course Te'ja is a big piece but with her being a freshman I don't want to put all that on her, that will come in due time. I just want her to continue to play consistent," said Fuller.
With Christmas tournaments comes a great sense of excitement, but Fuller has his eyes focused on the main goal, winning.
"We're all ready to go. My job is to make sure they aren't too excited to where we aren't concentrating," Fuller said. "We're up there for a purpose."
Central and NW Cabarrus tip-off at 10 a.m. this morning.