Lady Hilltoppers cruise
The R-S Central Lady Hilltoppers dominated in every way Tuesday night when they hosted the Lady Mountaineers from Mitchell.
After four quarters of balance basketball the Lady Hilltoppers improved their record to 2-3 with a 59-35 win.
"I'm very pleased," head coach Darius Fuller said simply. "We're figuring things out. As we continue to play we'll just get better."
Mitchell jumped ahead to an early 4-2 lead, but that was the last lead they would enjoy the remainder of the game.
Central responded with a 13-2 run to claim a commanding 15-6 advantage halfway through the first quarter.
The Lady Hilltoppers leaned on their half-court sets that led to several easy layups for Tia Bristol and Te’Ja Twitty.
Central’s suffocating defense kept the Lady Mountaineers honest. Their handful of points came on midrange jumpers if they could even manage to cross midcourt cleanly.
Senior point guard Alyssia Watkins pressured the ball every time up the floor on defense while Taylor Miller and Aaliyah Davis also had solid defensive efforts throughout the contest.
"Alyssia can stop just about anybody," Fuller said. "If not stop you she can surely aggravate you."
Bristol and Davis each finished the first quarter with six points.
The second quarter saw the Hilltoppers move to a transition offense.
Bristol continued to get easy baskets on fast breaks and Davis continued her strong shooting night highlighted by a spinning jumper from the free throw line.
Davis wasn’t alone on the highlight reel as Watkins made two spectacular passes to teammates under the basket, each resulting in easy scores.
“Alyssia’s vision is a huge asset for us,” Fuller said. “She knows how to put the ball where the girls like it under the basket. Her main job is to get everyone the ball at the right time."
Central poured in 18 points during the second quarter while Mitchell scored just four bringing the score to 41-16 at the half.
Bristol ended the half with 12 points. Davis added six more in the second to bring her first half total to 12.
The Lady Mountaineers came out of the half determined to slow down Central.
The Lady Hilltoppers offense faltered during the third quarter and put just 11 more points on the board.
Despite opening the third quarter on a 6-2 run in the opening two minutes, Mitchell scored only two more the rest of the quarter as it ended 52-24 in favor of Central.
Fuller inserted his reserves for much of the final quarter and after eight more minutes of play the Lady Hilltoppers claimed a 59-35 victory.
Bristol and Davis led Central with 15 points apiece. Twitty was the other Lady Hilltopper in double figures with 10.
Davis also had five steals and eight rebounds to complete her impressive stat line.
"To see [Aaliyah] have the type of night that she did is really encouraging," Fuller said.
Watkins led the team with six steals.
"I've gotten spoiled with how unselfish these girls are," said Fuller. "Us sharing the ball helps get more people in the scoring column and that, traditionally, is harder to stop."
Central returns to the court Friday, Dec. 7 when they welcome McDowell for a 6 p.m. tip.