Lady Titans take down Cougars on senior night

McDowell Lady Titans senior Katelyn Smith scores two points during McDowell's 56-36 win over Alexander Central Tuesday. It was the final regular-season home game of the year. Josh Davis/

Josh Davis/

Senior night was also take-care-of-business night for the McDowell Lady Titans.

McDowell (7-4 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference, 13-8 overall) captured a dominating, 56-36 win over the Alexander Central Cougars (1-9, 3-16) in the regular-season home finale Tuesday at Titan Gym.

The victory gave the Lady Titans a 2 ½-game lead on the South Caldwell Spartans (4-6) for the one State 4A Playoff berth available to the league. McDowell has three games left on the schedule, all of them on the road.

The Lady Titans got a combined 40 points from the backcourt trio of Dezi Williams, Candace Cooper and Hayley Creasman, and used a 15-1 run in the second period to turn a two-point lead into a 14-point halftime advantage.

“We took care of the ball tonight, worked the ball around and didn’t force any bad looks,” said Lady Titans head coach Jennifer Kinninger. “We tried to get the ball inside and do some things with that. I felt like we were more patient and didn’t try to rush things.”

That was especially true during the pivotal second-quarter run that set the tone. McDowell led 13-5 after one period but Alexander Central crept to within 13-11 early in the second.

Cooper, who came off the bench for the first time this season because the Lady Titans’ seniors got the start, nailed back-to-back 3-pointers 35 seconds apart to provide the spark.

By the time Williams swished a triple with 1:55 to go before halftime, McDowell led 28-12. The outcome was never in doubt after that. The Lady Titans led 28-14 at the break and 40-22 at the end of three.

Williams (3 assists, 3 steals) put up a game-high 16 points. Cooper (4 assists, 3-of-4 3-pt. FG) and Creasman (4 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) added 12 apiece. Cooper made her first three attempts from deep and scored 11 of her points in the first half.

Lily McKinney (4 points) pulled down 10 rebounds and Makayla Brewer (4 points) grabbed seven. McDowell out-rebounded Alexander Central 35-26 overall and 17-11 on the offensive glass.

Sydney Sharpe led the Cougars with 12 points and was the only Alexander Central player in double figures.

Seniors Katelyn Smith and Ariel Lineberger replaced Cooper and Brewer in the starting lineup in their last regular-season appearances at Titan Gym. Creasman and McKinney are also seniors.

“I was super proud of our seniors,” said Kinninger. “I just love them and their hearts and how much time they’ve put into our program and how they’ve represented us. It was great to see them go out and be honored as Lady Titans. We obviously have some games left, but we’re definitely going to miss them.”

The Lady Titans are at South Caldwell, the conference’s only other 4A school, Friday night (4 p.m. jayvee girls).


Alexander Central (36) Rylie Rhyne 1-6 1-2 3, Nikki Hagy 4-6 0-0 8, Jessica Robles 0-4 0-0 0, Keykey Miller 3-9 0-0 7, Sydney Sharpe 5-11 2-2 12, Gracie Chapman 0-1 0-2 0, Jordan Black 0-0 0-0 0, Teagan Pannell 1-5 0-0 3, Emily Bradbury 0-1 0-0 0, Kacey Payne 0-3 3-4 3. Totals: 14-46 6-10 36.

McDowell (56) Ariel Lineberger 0-5 2-4 2, Katelyn Smith 1-1 0-0 2, Lily McKinney 2-5 0-0 4, Hayley Creasman 4-15 2-4 12, Dezi Williams 7-15 0-1 16, Candace Cooper 4-6 1-2 12, Makayla Brewer 2-4 0-0 4, Zoe Miller 0-4 2-4 2, Silese Carson 1-1 0-0 2, Emma Banks 0-0 0-0 0, Kendell Brooks 0-0 0-0 0, Megan Zullo 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-56 7-15 56.


Alexander Central       05   09   08   14 – 36

McDowell                    13   15   12   16 – 56


Rebounds: AC (26) McDowell (35) Rebound leaders: AC (Rhyne 9) McDowell (McKinney 10, Brewer 7) 3-point goals: AC (2-14) McDowell (7-20) AC (Robles 0-2, Miller 1-2, Sharpe 0-4, Chapman 0-1, Pennell 1-5) McDowell (Williams 2-5, Cooper 3-4, Creasman 2-6, Miller 0-3, Lineberger 0-2) McDowell assist leaders: (Cooper 5) McDowell steals leaders: (Williams, Lineberger 3) McDowell blocked shot leaders: (McKinney, Lineberger 1) Turnovers: AC (21) McDowell (14)




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