Lady Hilltoppers closeout Mountaineers
Kings Mountain kept it tight in the first half against the R-S Central Lady Hilltoppers but a surge in the final two quarters by Central propelled them to a comfortable 55-42 win at home.
“When the game started I could tell the we were ready to play,” head coach Darius Fuller said after the win. “The second half was when I was most impressed. We were able to get in passing lanes, get steals and turn them into points.”
Central opened the game on a 7-4 run in part to a series of Kings Mountain turnovers, but Kings Mountain settled down in the second half of the quarter and forced the same mistakes on the Hilltoppers.
After the first quarter Kings Mountain owned a slim 12-11 lead.
Tia Bristol and Christian Godlock teamed up for five quick Hilltopper points but Kings Mountain answered right back with five of their own to retake the one-point lead, 17-16 with 4:30 left in the half.
The final four minutes of the half moved pretty slowly but Te’ja Twitty capped the scoring in the second quarter with a fast break layup in the closing seconds to send Central into the locker room up one, 20-19.
Central came out of the break determined on defensive.
Four Hilltoppers steals helped fuel and 10-2 run that put Central up comfortably, 30-21 with four minutes left in the third.
Another breakaway layup for Twitty forced Kings Mountain to take their second timeout in under a minute trailing 32-21.
Central lost composure in the late stages of the third quarter committing several unforced turnovers.
Kings Mountain took full advantage and closed the gap to just four points, 36-32, at the end of the third quarter.
The Hilltoppers were foul-prone in the closing quarter but Kings Mountain couldn’t capitalize from the foul line.
Taylor Miller put the game out of reach with a deep three-pointer under three minutes left in the game that put Central up 48-36.
“Taylor’s shot is really coming around,” Fuller said. “Taylor is proving that she can knock down that three point shot and that’s going to open things up for us.”
The Hilltoppers cruised the rest of the way to the 55-42 win.
Miller led all scorers with 18 points and five steals.
Twitty paced the Hilltoppers on the glass with 14 boards, eight of which were on the the offensive end, to accompany 12 points to record another double-double.
“We really dominated the boards tonight,” Fuller said. “It was important for us not to let them get second chance shots and we did that tonight.”
Watkins finished the night with nine points and six assists while Bristol and Aaliyah Davis had six and eight points, respectively.
The Lady Hilltoppers return to action Friday, Dec. 14 when they welcome Asheville High to Rutherfordton. Game time is set for 6 p.m.