BAKERSVILLE - The McDowell Lady Titans on three occasions this young season have found themselves playing from an early deficit.
     Unfortunately this third go-around didn’t turn out to be the charm. The Lady Titans suffered their first setback of the season on the road losing at Mitchell 73-59 Friday night.
    McDowell (3-1) had a size advantage down in the paint in this matchup and put it to good use. Forward Makenna Parkins had another great with scoring 22 points, 12 rebounds and two assists. The junior is quickly becoming one of the Lady Titans' more consistent offensive threats on the floor. However no other starter placed in double figures in the game. Makaylah Chandler did add 10 points off the bench.

    The Lady Titans backcourt up to this game had been a formidable group offensively  but on Friday had its struggles getting a rhythm going against the Lady Mountaineers half- and full-court defensive sets.

    Starting guards Zoe Miller (3 assists, 2 rebounds) and Candace Cooper (2 rebounds, 2 assists) finished with five points each and Dezi Williams (4 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist) was nearly shut out of the scoring column finishing with just one point on a made free throw in the first half.

    The Lady Titans were up 7-2 less than two minutes in after a 3-pointer by Miller and two baskets by Parkins in the paint. That turned out to be their only lead of the night. Mitchell chipped away at the deficit and eventually took its first lead at the 3:30 mark when Shea Laws (13 points) hit a three in the left corner to make it 9-8. From there the Lady Mountaineers extended the margin to 18-11 after one quarter and to a 38-25 margin going into halftime and was able to hold off the Lady Titans at that length the rest of the way.

    McDowell was briefly able to get the score back inside of double figures early in the fourth with the help of an 8-1 run to start the final frame. Naliyah Boyce (7 points, 13 rebounds) hit a layup off a Parkins assist with 5:28 left to make it 58-49 but the margin never got any closer as the Lady Mountaineers methodically took care of the ball and edged out the Lady Titans  scoring wise over the last five minutes of play.

    Alana Stephenson (2 assists) and Silese Carson had three points each and Daisy Rice scored two points off the bench.

    Mitchell had four players including Laws in double figures with Paige Johnson scoring a team-high 16 points. Marley Closer added 15 points and Hannah McMahan finished with 12 points.

    McDowell is scheduled to be on the road Tuesday at East Burke weather permitting (4 p.m. jayvee girls start).

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