Another rivalry matchup with conference and state playoffs seedings on the line. R-S Central came into the game with a 21-2 record overall (10-0 in conference). Hendersonville entered at 21-1 overall (10-1 in conference) with their only loss to R-S Central in mid-December.
Hendersonville came out hot to start the game led behind the guard play of senior Dwight Canady and junior Keenan Wilkins, scoring 17 of their team’s 21 first quarter points. Their defensive pressure in the full court helped them force turnovers and convert on the other end. Hendersonville led 21-14 at the end of the 1st.
In the second quarter, R-S Central fought their way back into the game. Senior Keion Littlejohn was key in this comeback with his physical play and ability to finish strong at the basket. R-S Central was able to tie the game up at 30-30 at the half.
From here on out, the game remained tight. Everyone knew this was going down to the wire. After all, the last matchup between these two teams ended in a one-point R-S Central victory. Every time Hendersonville seemed to take the lead, R-S Central responded with a basket of their own. Each team continued to make tough shot after tough shot. Once again, we were tied at 48-48 at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams continued to trade baskets. Hendersonville’s Eric Rasheed stole the ball and found Dwight Canady in transition for the dunk to take a 60-59 lead with 3:30 remaining in the fourth. But again, R-S Central regained the lead right away as Keion Littlejohn knocked down two free-throws.
Hendersonville’s Keenan Wilkins then buries a three-pointer and converts on the next possession with a free throw. Hendersonville now led 64-61 with 2:14 remaining. Hendersonville maintained a three-point lead at 66-63 with 0:50 remaining. Out of the timeout, Hendersonville shows a 2-3 zone, but R-S Central’s Tyrese Miller was able to find Keion Littlejohn on the drive for the drop-off finish with 0:20 remaining. R-S Central immediately sets up their full court press, and Tyrese Miller comes up big with a steal and layup to take the lead at 67-66 with 0:13 left.
R-S Central unfortunately then fouls Dwight Canady who knocks down two free throws for Hendersonville to give them a 68-67 lead with 0:11 remaining. R-S Central gets a look in the corner for three and was fouled. R-S Central went 1-3 from the foul line to tie the game up and send it to overtime.
In overtime, R-S Central’s senior leader Tyrese Miller came up clutch, scoring 8 of his 22 points in overtime. As Hendersonville’s Dwight Canady hit a floater to take the lead 75-74, R-S Central’s Tyrese Miller responds with a basket of his own to regain the lead 76-75 and then grabs the rebound on the defensive end and is fouled. R-S Central was able to come away with the 81-75 victory, converting on their free throws down the stretch.
This won’t be the last meeting between these two teams. They could very well see each other two more times this season, in the conference championship and in the 2A NCHSAA state playoffs.
R-S Central 81
Zymicah Wilkins – 26 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks, 1 steal
Tyrese Miller – 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals
Keion Littlejohn – 20 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist
Braxton Crocker – 10 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist
Junior Montgomery – 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Tyquan Whitesides – 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Jaiden Coston – 0 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists
Dwight Canady – 29 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal
Keenan Wilkins – 26 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals
Malachi Simpson – 8 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal
CJ Landrum – 4 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal
Jimmy Britt – 4 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal
Eric Rasheed – 2 points, 3 assists, 1 steal
Braden Strickland – 2 points, 1 rebound
Player of the Game: 6’8 2025 Zymicah Wilkins (R-S Central)
Zymicah Wilkins, currently ranked #2 in our NC 2025 rankings, continues to showcase why he is one of the top prospects in his class. His combination of size and skill make him difficult to contain. He dominated both ends of the court, finishing with a double-double of 26 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks and 1 steal. He scores the ball in a variety of ways and showcases incredible touch around the basket whether it’s with floaters, hook shots, or close-off finishes through contact. In the post, he uses his body extremely well. He knows how to get deep catches and use his body to create scoring angles. He keeps the ball high and goes up strong. In addition, he has tremendous footwork. And for his size, he can really handle the ball. In the first half when his team was struggling against the press, he was the one to help bring the ball up. Wilkins will be a premier player in the 2025 class for years to come.
6’0 2022 Dwight Canady (Hendersonville)
Senior guard, Dwight Canady, led the way for Hendersonville, finishing with a game-high 29 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. Canady scored the ball efficiently from all levels of the court. He showcased his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter with three made three-pointers. In addition, he was excellent creating off the bounce and getting into the paint. To start the third quarter, he had a crafty spin move and finished with the and-one layup. then he followed that up the next play, splitting the ball screen and getting to the cup. In addition, he led his team with 5 assists, showing that he is able to both facilitate and score the ball when necessary. Canady continues to have a special senior year and has Hendersonville in the mix for another 2A NCHSAA state championship run. Canady is another senior guard deserving of more college interest with his ability to run the show and score the basketball.
6’3 2022 Tyrese Miller (R-S Central)
R-S Central’s leading scorer and senior leader, Tyrese Miller came up huge in the second half. He scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half to go along with his 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. He was all over the court. His energy level was contagious. He was a constant threat crashing the offensive glass. On the defensive end, he set the tone with his pressure and activity both on the ball and in passing lanes. Late in the game, when R-S Central needed a basket or a defensive stop, Miller came through. He scored 8 of his points in overtime. He used his athleticism and ability to get downhill off the bounce to constantly put pressure on the defense. As soon as Hendersonville took the lead at 75-74 with less than a minute remaining in overtime, Miller answered with a basket of his own on the other end. And then helped R-S Central get the stop on the following play and secured the rebound. Plays like this are why he is such an important piece to this team and is vital to their success as they make a state championship run.
6’0 2023 Keenan Wilkins (Hendersonville)
Keenan Wilkins continues to showcase his ability to score the ball and make shots from all over the court. He finished with 26 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. He has the ability to knock down shots in a variety of ways. He can create his own shot off the bounce and has range on his perimeter jumper. He is quick and shifty with the ball. He constantly finds ways to slither around defenders, especially in tight spaces, and get to the basket where he then finds ways to score over or around taller defenders. Wilkins continues to have a stellar junior year averaging a team-high with 27 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals.