The Lady Hilltoppers captured the Region 1-AAA girls basketball championship Wednesday night at The New Gym with a thunderous 70-38 mercy-rule win over the Lady Trailblazers.
“It was just fantastic by our kids,” said Science Hill head coach Scottie Whaley. “We played tonight the way we’re capable of playing. Our kids just came out ready to go.”
It was the second straight region crown for the Lady Hilltoppers, who won their 16th consecutive game to improve to 27-7. They will play host to Knox Bearden in a Class AAA sectional contest at 7 p.m. on Saturday. A state tournament berth will be on the line, unlike on Nov. 29 when Science Hill played Bearden (29-3) in the Heritage Thanksgiving Classic at Maryville. The Lady Bulldogs won that game 59-43 behind a strong fourth-quarter finish.
Bearden lost to Maryville 61-45 in Wednesday’s Region 2-AAA final. Maryville (29-4) will play host to Daniel Boone (20-12) on Saturday at 7 p.m.
SCIENCE HILL’S PRESSURE
Daniel Boone seemed like it could barely breathe when it had the basketball. Coming off a thrilling triple-overtime win over Jefferson County on Monday, the Lady Trailblazers may have been a little leg weary.
“We knew Boone would be a little bit tired from the game the other night, and our plan was to get into their legs and push the tempo,” said Whaley.
Science Hill took full advantage with Alasia Smith leading the way. The senior standout put together a dominating stat line with 15 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and six steals.
“She just a phenomenal player,” said Whaley.
THE BREAKING POINT
Science Hill led 19-14 after the first quarter as Boone was hanging around. But the Lady Hilltoppers scored the first 11 points of the second quarter, and it was the beginning of the end for Boone. At halftime Science Hill held a 39-18 lead, and the Lady Hilltoppers outscored Boone 23-8 in the third quarter. That forced a running clock for the entire fourth quarter.
Jeila Greenlee paced the Lady Hilltoppers with 19 points. She knocked down four 3-pointers and also added three assists and a pair of steals.
Nah Marion had 18 points and five rebounds while Erin Egerbrecht totaled her nine points on three treys.
For Daniel Boone, Jaycie Jenkins was coming off a 44-point, 43-minute effort against Jefferson County. She finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals against Science Hill.
Teammate Madi Runnels hit a trio of treys and finished with 11 points and five rebounds.