Hard work does pay off and R-S Central’s girls basketball team is finally seeing that success they have been after in recent seasons.
Following the escape of Patton earlier in the week, the Lady Hilltoppers walloped Shelby to gain their first conference title in 24 years. Alyssia Watkins fires a up an old-fashion three-point play to spark R-S Central (20-1, 11-0) down the stretch against Patton for the win and then an unselfish group came to play Shelby on Friday. After the first quarter, they were never really challenge by the South Mountain Athletic’s second-place team again as they led by as many as 23 before completing a 20-point victory.
Senior, Shannon Hines (25 points) was equally impressive as well by scoring a short baseline jumper against Patton to become R-S Central’s and Rutherford County’s new all-time high school hoops scoring leader. Former scoring leader and class act, Frances Hernandez graciously presented Hines with a plaque to commemorate the achievement.
Three nights later, Hines (22 points) hit a long jumper near the top of the key against Shelby to cross the 2,000-point career barrier. She becomes the 11th player in Western North Carolina to do so and the 42nd overall in the state.
On the boys side, East Rutherford lost at Freedom by 12 after leading the whole first half. The Cavs, who are playing pretty well at the moment are tied with Shelby for the number one playoff seed in the 2A portion of the conference. The Cavs (18-3, 8-2) have had some ups and downs, but will likely not win the regular season title unless they win out and Freedom falls twice this week. The 2A playoffs is a completely different thing. I wouldn’t count East out of the running in some more postseason success.
R-S Central boys (9-12, 4-7) showed a ton of heart this past Friday, but they fell to Shelby in overtime. Shelby, who has a much bigger lineup, got all they could handle from Central. If Central continues to play this way for the remainder of the season, every game will be a fight for whatever opponent comes their way.
Back to the girls for a moment, Kaitlyn Smart broke through to score her 1,000 career point at Chase last Tuesday. She had a 11 points and 12 rebounds against Shelby in the effort and accumulated 12 double-double games in the 18 she has played in so far this season.
And it was one year ago that I started writing this column for the Rutherford Weekly. I am very proud of how things have went after one year and I hope you enjoy reading what I have to say. The first column came after Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh in a great Super Bowl match up.
This year, it was Eli Manning’s turn to shine again during the Super Bowl. And how many times has Tom Coughlin been written off at midseason? Again, the Giants struggled to a 6-6 record with many thinking Coach Coughlin would be out the door this time. They lost to Washington twice and sat on a four game losing streak at one point during those twelve games. Nobody could have predicted that the Giants would win out after a December 12th loss to the Redskins. Side note: why hasn’t Norv Turner been fired in San Diego? Oh well, just curious if there was a reasonable answer.
As for Manning, he led the Giants to the game-winning drive to win the Super Bowl 21-17 and the MVP Award, but the Giants defense did a great job all postseason. They allowed an average 14 points per game during the playoffs and held New England in-check. In 13 of 19 games this season, the Pats put up 30 or more points, but it wasn‘t happening on Sunday. These Giants were legit this season and that‘s why they take the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to New York.