Science Hill’s Lady Toppers made things interesting Friday night, but remained unbeaten after pulling out a 61-58 victory against CAK in the opening day of Round Ball in the Palace.
Sophomore post Gabby Lyon made a put-back that was believed to have given Science Hill a 60-58 lead with 4.3 seconds remaining. Actually, the Lady Toppers were leading 59-58 at the time, but it wasn’t realized until after Lyon’s basket.
Science Hill improved to 8-0 despite sophomore point guard Tianna Tarter fouling out with some seven minutes remaining.
CAK (4-3), which got a game-high 30 points from Brianna Bryant, built a 16-6 lead in the first quarter thanks to a zone defense that stymied Science Hill.
Tarter’s driving basket with 14 seconds left in the first half cut the deficit to 24-21 by halftime.
Enjelica Reid’s coast to coast lay-in gave the Hilltoppers a 59-58 lead with 14.8 seconds left.
Science Hill forced a flurry of turnovers to rally after Bryant’s 15-footer had given CAK a 50-43 lead with 4:39 remaining.
“Fortunately for us, we made some plays there in the last two or three minutes and were able to pull out a win,” Science Hill coach Darrell Barnwell said. “I thought our kids did a good job of getting their composure and stepping up, and it came down, I think, to rebounds. We rebounded a lot better in the second half. We didn’t give them those second and third opportunities like they were getting in the first half.
“Hats off to them; they played extremely well. No. 25 (Bryant) played unbelievable. She handled the ball well, didn’t seem rattled. We trapped at times and they did a great job of getting out of traps and getting the ball down the floor. It just came down to making plays in those last two or three minutes.”
Science Hill entered shooting 45 percent from behind the arc, but missed 18 of 22 3-pointers.
Lyon finished with 16 points. Reid had 10, and Morgan Knack and Tarter added nine and eight, respectively.
CAK also got 14 points from Kaycee Heitzman.
“That’s the first time we’ve been challenged as far as a game being close in the fourth quarter,” Barnwell said. “It’s the kind of game we needed. It shows us we need to come out ready to play all the time, and there’s still a lot of things we need to work on. And we’re going to work on them and get better.”
Wise-Central (Va.) . . . . . . . . . 66 Tennessee High . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Allison Mullins and Hayley Wyrick scored 14 points apiece as Wise-Central improved to 4-0. Central also got 10 points from Ashley Mullins.
Tennessee High (5-2) got 22 points from lead guard Ashlee Mitchell. She was 4 of 7 at the foul line, the lone Lady Viking to attempt a free throw.
Tennessee High plays CAK today at 4 p.m.