TAYLORSVILLE - It has been a very productive week for the McDowell Lady Titans on the hardwood.
After winning a pair of contests at home earlier this week, McDowell finished out a run of three games In four days with a 50-40 road win Friday night at Alexander Central.
With the victory, McDowell (9-5 overall, 3-1 NW 3A/4A Conference) has now won four straight contests in a one-week period, and now enjoys its longest winning streak of the season. Friday’s contest also signaled the return of head coach Jennifer Kinninger to the sidelines after missing the previous game on Wednesday due to a death in the family.
For the second consecutive game the Lady Titans made an effort to get as much production from the frontcourt as possible. The effort definitely yielded good results. Makenna Parkins had a spectacular outing against the Lady Cougars, scoring 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting. The junior forward also was a force on the glass, collecting 14 rebounds along with a pair of steals.
Parkins and teammate Naliyah Boyce (7 points, 8 rebounds, 1 block) accounted for exactly half of McDowell’s scoring and rebounding production on the night, and the Lady Titans held a 44-36 advantage on the boards.
Joining Parkins in double figures was Dezi Williams with 13 points. Makaylah Chandler (4 rebounds) netted six points and senior guard Zoe Miller along with Candace Cooper had two points in the game. The Lady Titans scored 36 of their 50 points in the paint and used their rebounding advantage to compile 17 second-chance points during the course of the game.
McDowell jumped out to a 14-8 lead after one quarter and was in front as much as 22-14 midway through the second quarter. Alexander Central (1-13, 0-4) finished the half scoring the last 10 points over a three-minute span to enjoy a brief, two-point lead (24-22) at the half.
That turned out to be short lived though, as the Lady Titans used a 14-4, third-quarter surge to jump back ahead for good. McDowell came out of the break with eight consecutive points starting with a pair of free throws by Williams with 6:28 left. Parkins then regained the lead at 26-24 with a score in the paint off a Boyce pass at the 5:59 mark.
Another made basket inside by Parkins and a Williams half-court steal and layup with 4:08 left in the third pushed the McDowell lead back to six. Central never got any closer than six points the rest of the night. The largest advantage held by the Lady Titans occurred on a Williams transition score with 6:28 left in regulation, making it 40-28.
Nikki Hagy finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Lady Cougars in a losing effort, and was the only player that recorded in double figures. Guard Sydney Sharpe added eight points. Alexander Central has now lost six games in a row and is still looking to get into the winners column in league play. Its only win of the season occurred against Saint Stephens but it was in a holiday tournament on a neutral court.
McDowell returns to a more routine schedule this upcoming week starting with a road trip to South Caldwell on Tuesday (4:30 p.m. jayvee boys start, no jayvee girls).