The Lady Hilltoppers broke open a close contest in the second half to beat visiting Boone 57-44. It broke a 34-game winning streak in Big Seven Conference games for the Trailblazers.
“Our kids just played their butts off tonight,” said Science Hill coach Scottie Whaley, whose team had lost seven in a row to Boone. “I told them they won tonight with toughness and effort. I told them all those sprints they run, all those weights they lift, it all paid off for them. I’m very happy for the girls.”
The Science Hill boys made it a sweep later in the evening, surviving a furious Boone rally for a 71-64 victory.
The Lady Hilltoppers also won because of Alasia Smith. Boone didn’t have an answer for the 5-foot-11 junior, who was active on both ends of the court and scored 25 points.
“She’s solid as a rock,” Whaley said. “She’s one of the best players in our region. She just plays hard.”
The Hilltoppers improved to 10-2 overall, 2-1 in the Big Seven. Boone fell to 8-3, 2-1.
Smith had 11 points at halftime as the Hilltoppers took a 27-19 lead, and nine of them came in the second quarter as Science Hill began to exert itself.
The Science Hill lead grew to 14 points in the third quarter when Jeila Greenlee made a free throw to put her team up 41-27. The ’Toppers led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter.
Smith was called for a technical foul late in the third quarter when an official ruled she hit a Boone girl in the head during a scrum on the ground for a loose ball.
Greenlee finished with 13 points for the Hilltoppers.
Boone, which last lost a conference game Jan. 12, 2016 to Dobyns-Bennett, was led by Jaycie Jenkins, who scored 13 points. Bayleigh Carmichel added 10.
Chad Heglar scored 28 points for Boone, but Science Hill — mostly Will Stevens — made him work for it.
“I thought Will Stevens played solid basketball,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said. “He did a tremendous job just making Chad work. What a talent he is. The shots he makes? Those are big time shots. Those are contested shots. Those are NBA range.”
Kendle Cutlip’s 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer put Science Hill up 38-30 and the Hilltoppers rode that momentum into the second half. A 12-2 start to the third quarter put the ’Toppers on top 50-32.
That’s when the Trailblazers turned it on, using aggressive moves to the hoop to begin to trim the deficit.
When Heglar drained a 3-pointer after a behind-the-back bounce pass from Judah Hilton, Boone was down just 61-57. After a Science Hill free throw, Jared Adkins’ layup cut it to 62-59.
Boone had two shots to tie it, but 3-pointers from each corner were off the mark and Science Hill never relinquished the lead.
“I thought what got us back in the game as attacking and we started settling for jump shots there,” Boone coach Chris Brown said. “I think our next eight shots were jump shots. You live and die by that. Our kids fought, though. That’s got to be the competitive fight every night.”
The big moment for Science Hill (8-6 overall, 2-1 Big Seven) was a 3-point play by Drew Morrison, who took a pass from Stevens and scored while being fouled. The ensuing free throw left the ’Toppers up 67-59 with 2:00 left.
Cutlip led a balanced Science Hill attack with 12 points. Stevens added 11, while Morrison and Jake Matherne each had 10.
For Boone, which fell to 5-5, 1-2, Jared Adkins had 15 points and Marshall Golden added 12.