ROSE RIDGE — In a foul heavy game, the winning team is the team that hits the shots from the line. Tuesday night, Central had 19 points from free throws giving them the edge over Ridgeview 53-44.
Senior Olivia Mullins had the biggest game of her career as she posted a game-high 27 points. She was five-of-eight from the field including three three-pointers. She sealed the Lady Wolfpack’s fate shooting 14-of-19 from the free throw line. Mullins also added eight rebounds and four assists.
“It was the best game she’s ever had. Not just scoring, but controlling the game,” Central head coach Robin Dotson said of Mullins.
The Lady Warriors defense dominated the largest part of the game, as they were able to hold all Ridgeview players to single digits. Nikole Counts led the Lady Wolfpack with nine.
Counts got the scoring started for both teams as she hit a free throw. On the next possession, Mullins hit her first shot of the game to give the Lady Warriors the lead they never lost.
In the fourth, the Lady Wolfpack attempted their comeback by pressing the ball and forcing several turnovers they were able to convert into transition baskets. Cassidy Thomas scored a bucket to get Ridgeview within six, 49-43, but that was all they could muster in the limited time.
“Free throws, they made them, we missed them. They took us out of any offensive rhythm. We haven’t shot the ball well in three, four or five games. We’re not attacking. I don’t even think we got to the (foul) bonus in the second half,” said Ridgeview head coach Donnie Frazier.
“They beat us at the foul line basically. Our goal was to take out (Brook) Porter and Dee (Cvetnich) out of their offensive set. And they had somebody else step up. Hannah Carter shot a few and Olivia (Mullins) lived at the free throw line. If we could shoot a little better, we maybe could contend,” Frazier continued.
“We got into foul trouble a little early, but we hung on at the end. And that’s what you expect a veteran team to do,” Dotson said.
“When they started trying to comeback on us, I told them to keep their composure. We had enough cushion and we held on. I’m proud of them,” Dotson said.