The Hilltoppers turned up the volume in two decisive stretches and eventually earned a tough 52-41 win over the Cyclones on Thursday night at Treadway Gym.
“I thought it was crucial how we came out in the third quarter,” said Hilltoppers’ head coach Ken Cutlip, whose team trailed 22-19 at halftime. “We couldn’t afford to come out in the third quarter and get down like we did in the first half. Elizabethton is very disciplined and Coach (Lucas) Honeycutt does an amazing job with those guys.
“And then in the fourth quarter when things got a little wild, I thought our kids did a great job of handling the ball, making free throws, and making good plays.”
Science Hill improved to 13-6 on the season while Elizabethton fell to 4-15.
Science Hill battled out to a 41-29 lead at the end of three quarters. But the Cyclones scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter — over a fairly long stretch — cutting the lead to four points. They had a possession and got a good look from 3-point land with about three minutes left that could have shaved the deficit to one point.
“This is definitely a learning experience,” said Cutlip. “This is going to help us down the road.”
Science Hill got double-figure scoring from Junior Danso, who had 11 points. Will Stevens added eight points and nobody else had more than six.
As for Elizabethton, three players — Eric Wilson, Adam Cornett and Parker Hughes — each finished with nine points.
“We’re giving ourselves a chance to win,” said Cyclones head coach Lucas Honeycutt. “We’ve just got to keep executing for four quarters, which is really tough to do. But I think they’re coming, and I think they’re learning. We’re getting better every game.”
Lady Hilltoppers 73, Lady Cyclones 52
Coming out of the gates on a serious roll, Science Hill pretty much ended the suspense in the first quarter. The Lady ‘Toppers built a 28-6 lead and were never seriously threatened after that.
Erin Egerbrecht started hot, hitting a trio of quick threes. She finished with six treys and 20 total points to lead Science Hill. Her standout game was a product of effort, said Science Hill head coach Scottie Whaley.
“The kid works hard at everything she does,” said Whaley.
CYCLONES’ BRIGHT SPOT
Elizabethton did put some things together in the second quarter, and cut the deficit to 11 points. The Lady Cyclones scored the last five points of the first quarter, and outscored Science Hill 27-22 in the second and third quarters combined.
Science Hill had a nice balance of scoring. Alasia Smith totaled 14, Symantha Fugate added 13, and Jeila Greenlee chipped in with 11 points.
Abbey Townsend turned in a 12-point effort to lead the Lady Cyclones.