By Brad Fauber
WOODSTOCK -- Tamra Scott had been waiting all season for a game like the one she had on Wednesday night.
The Central High School freshman, who has been a workhorse in the post all season long for the Falcons, finally got the breakout offensive game she'd been hoping for against visiting Skyline in a late-season Conference 28 girls basketball matchup.
Scott surged for a career-high 15 points -- all of which came inside the paint or at the free-throw line -- and snatched up five rebounds to help key an impressive 62-32 win for the Falcons.
"This is personally my best all-around offensive game," said Scott, who has cracked the 10-point barrier multiple times this season. "Fifteen is the most I've scored yet, so I'm excited that I played this well, and hopefully I play this well tomorrow because we play Clarke [County], which is a big game. I'm happy with the way I played."
Scott seemed to develop and maintain good chemistry with Central guard Katelyn Poston from the start of Wednesday's game, and the duo wreaked havoc on a wounded Skyline squad.
Poston finished with a game-high 20 points and four assists, and the senior found Scott with passes into the post on numerous occasions following drives to the basket.
"It was great to see [Poston] getting some chemistry in there with [Scott], and [Scott] knocking down some shots," Falcons head coach Mallory Skarupa-Minster said. "She works so hard, so it was nice to see those little bunnies and those little putbacks fall for her. She did a great job tonight."
Central (12-6) quickly put the game essentially out of reach in the first quarter.
The Falcons connected on their first four shots -- including 3-pointers by Poston and senior Mary Wakeman -- to jump out to an early 10-2 lead just two and a half minutes into the game.
Central pushed its lead to 14-2 following two free-throws by Poston -- who had nine points in the first period -- and a putback by Scott before Skyline senior Quinn Breeden (team-high 15 points) banked in deep jumper with 4:30 left in the first quarter. Breeden's jumper gave the Hawks their first points since Breeden converted a layup in the game's opening seconds.
The Hawks, who were missing freshman point guard Kima Robinson (sprained ankle) and got limited production from senior forward Jenny Norman (back), found themselves trailing 20-7 after one period.
"You get outscored 20-7 in the first quarter, it's kind of hard to recover from that, especially with a team like us," Hawks coach Jim Kenney said. "We're not a high-powered team. We're not a high-scoring team. We've got to play defense, and we just didn't. I've got to figure out how to get them to play better defense."
Scott tallied a pair of buckets as part of a 7-0 Central run to open the second period, and the Falcons' defense held Skyline (3-13) to just five points in the frame en route to a 31-12 halftime lead.
Central shot 46.3 percent (25 for 54) from the field in the win, although the Falcons were shooting over 50 percent through the first three quarters. The Falcons also forced Skyline into 23 turnovers and registered 14 steals while limiting the Hawks to a 23.4-percent (11 for 47) shooting mark.
"I think honestly everything just clicked for us," Poston said. "We had a really good overall team effort. We were able to knock down some key shots, our defense stepped up today, so I think overall it was one of our best games so far this season."
Scott scored five of Central's first seven points to open the second half to help the Falcons build a 41-19 lead late in the third period, and Wakeman nailed a wide-open 3-pointer from the wing to give Central a 47-23 lead going into the fourth quarter.
"We were pretty much clicking on all cylinders. I was happy," Skarupa-Minster said. "I said before the game that we haven't played a full 32 minutes yet and I think we were pretty close. We got a little goofy there in the fourth quarter -- that's to be expected. But we wanted them to keep sharp because we have a huge game against Clarke tomorrow night."
Contact sports writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 184, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @BradFauberNVD