MORGANTON – The scouting report is pretty straightforward in regards to the R-S Central Lady Hilltoppers: They usually go about as far as their star guard Jada Logan can possibly take them.
Unfortunately Logan took the Hilltoppers a long way on Thursday morning as she put together a big individual performance to propel her teammates to a 70-58 win over the McDowell Lady Titans in day two of the Freedom Christmas Invitational.
For Logan, her 26-point outing nearly doubled the scoring production she had in two prior games against McDowell here during the first month of the season. It was her eight rebounds and six assists that may have been equally as big in giving R-S Central their first win of the week.
Both teams were dead-even in rebounds at 34 each and Logan’s ability to create for others yielded open looks for some of her teammates on the court and the results showed.
Sophomore guard Jada Wilkins added 18 points in the victory and junior guard Kaitlin Brock chipped in 10 points off the bench to give Central three players in double figures.
In a contest that featured nine first-half lead changes, the Lady Hilltoppers (5-6) took their final lead of the game after the senior guard made a 3-pointer at the 2:29 mark. Then, 30 seconds later, Wilkins made a pair of free throws off a transition drive to the basket. And then Wilkins, after another stop on the defensive end, scored on a layup off a Logan assist to give the Lady Hilltoppers their largest lead of the first half (35-28) with 1:27 left before the halftime break.
That late second-quarter flurry put McDowell (4-4) behind the eight-ball for the second consecutive day trying to overcome a deficit.
After going into the halftime break down four, the Lady Titans slowly trimmed the deficit back to within a possession.
Makenna Parkins (19 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists) made it a 42-41 game with 2:39 left in the third but a pair of scores by Wilkins and a drive and basket by Logan at the end of the third squelched any rally by McDowell.
Up five going into the fourth, R-S Central opened the last frame with six points in a row over a span of two minutes, ballooning the lead into double figures for the first time and effectively putting the game away.
Joining Parkins in double figures was Naliyah Boyce with 10 points, 12 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Starting guard Zoe Miller added nine points and Dezi Williams (8 rebounds, 8 assists) scored five points.
McDowell’s largest lead of the game was early as they jumped in front 13-8 after roughly five minutes of play. The Lady Titans carried a slim 20-18 advantage after one quarter and remained tied at 28 through the 3:00 mark in the second before the Lady Hilltoppers took the lead for good.
Candace Cooper, Makaylah Chandler, Daisy Rice and Alana Stephenson had three points apiece to account for the rest of the scoring in the game.