R-S Central took command of Tuesday’s game with Polk County just before halftime, then held off a late Wolverine rally to claim a 65-53 victory in boys basketball action in Rutherfordton.
The Hilltoppers improved to 8-6, 2-1 in Mountain Foothills 7 Conference play. Polk County dropped to 3-7, 0-3.
How it happened: The game remained close until the 3:50 mark of the second quarter, when R-S Central began a 12-0 run to close the half that turned a 20-18 advantage into a 32-18 gap at the break.
The Hilltoppers pushed the lead to 35-18 before Aaron Jackson’s short jumper with 6:33 left in the third period broke the Polk scoring drought.
The Wolverines began to rally, getting the deficit into single digits early in the fourth quarter and closing to within 54-49 with 3:14 remaining. But R-S Central’s Isaiah Hipp hit one of his four 3-pointers with 2:57 remaining to push the lead to eight and stymie the Wolverine comeback.
Scoring: Kris Littlejohn led Polk County with 16 points, with Jackson scoring 12 and Vincent Twitty adding 11.
Antonio Simpson added six points and six rebounds, with Wayne Carson and Landen Bradley each scoring three. Karlen McEntyre added two points for Polk.
R-S Central sophomore standout Zymicah Wilkins finished with a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds, with Hipp and Eno Baker each adding 15.
Next up: Polk County returns home Wednesday to host Madison in a non-conference matchup.