At times on Friday night, it was hard to tell which team was which.
Playing with effort and skill that belied its record, Elizabethton pushed Science Hill for nearly four quarters before the Lady Hilltoppers finally pulled away in the final four minutes for a 62-47 win at Treadway Gymnasium.
“For three quarters, Elizabethton controlled the game and did what it wanted to do,” said Science Hill head coach Scottie Whaley. “I thought (coach) Lucas (Andrews) had them ready to play. To our kids’ credit, we came out and really played well in the fourth quarter. We were a little bit sluggish, but we finished strong.”
Science Hill improved to 18-2 on the season while the Lady Cyclones fell to 2-11.
With her final bucket on a 21-point evening, Science Hill junior Alasia Smith passed the 1,000-point mark for her career.
“It’s great to have it as a junior,” said Smith. “I’m glad my teammates helped me achieve it.”
After controlling the first quarter, Science Hill couldn’t keep Elizabethton at bay. The Lady Cyclones hung around and trailed by only six, 28-22, at the break. With a strong start in the third quarter, the Lady Cyclones opened a 33-30 lead.
Science Hill’s Jeila Greenlee hit a trey to tie the game, but Elizabethton worked its way to a 36-35 lead entering the fourth quarter.
It was still nip and tuck midway through the final period, but Science Hill broke loose and quickly opened a 10-point lead.
“We’ve not given that kind of effort this year,” said Andrews. “I knew we had it, and now that’s the expectation.”
Greenlee finished with 13 points while Erin Egerbrecht added 10 for the Lady Hilltoppers.
For Elizabethton, Kaylen Shell produced 15 points with off-the-charts effort. Morgan Headrick battled hard in the paint and totaled 14 points while Torie Roberts displayed toughness on the perimeter and earned nine points.