Science Hill opened a 17-point first-quarter lead and never let the Lady Hurricanes get back within striking distance, rolling to a 70-46 win in a Region 1-AAA quarterfinal basketball contest Friday night at The New Gym.
Improving to 28-3, the Lady Hilltoppers earned a spot in Monday’s semifinals. A sectional berth will be on the line, and a familiar foe awaiting. Daniel Boone earned its spot with a 33-30 win over Morristown West.
The Lady Hilltoppers and Lady Trailblazers (22-10) will meet at 7:30 p.m. — on Boone’s home court. Science Hill has beaten Boone three times this season, twice at Boone.
“The good thing is we’re playing,” said Science Hill head coach Scottie Whaley. “It’s not going to be easy. Everybody knows that. Boone will be ready and so will we.”
The first semifinal matches Sevier County and Dobyns-Bennett at 6.
Science Hill came out smoking, building a 20-3 lead. East quickly rallied and closed within nine points at 23-14. But this time Science Hill didn’t allow the rally to be sustained and led 39-19 at the break.
“The difference was last time it was tied at halftime, this time we were up 20 at the half,” said Whaley. “We knew they would make a run, they’re too well coached. But to our kids credit, we withstood the run.”
Whaley said he’s really pleased where his team is at this time of the season.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “The last two days of practice, the kids were focused, sharp and crisp. They have goals they want to achieve, and they’re putting in the time to achieve those goals. We’re playing well at the right time.”
Jeila Greenlee was at the forefront of a balanced effort. She totaled 16 points.
“We knew if we didn’t play good, then we’re done,” said Greenlee. “We never want that. We’re just trying to make it to state.
“We’re all playing together and we all have each other’s backs, no matter what happens.”
Also reaching double figures for the Lady Hilltoppers were Erin Egerbrecht (12 points), Alasia Smith (11), Symantha Fugate (11) and freshman Nae Marion (10).
Keiandra Harper led East with 13 points. Sable Burnside added nine.
Science Hill 70, Morr. East 46
1-AAA girls quarterfinals
MORRISTOWN EAST (11-20)
Ka. Harper 2 ,Burnside 9, King 8, Hill 6, Forester 6, Wright 2, Ke. Harper 13.
SCIENCE HILL (28-3)
Fugate 11, Greenlee 16, Shay 3, Hill 4, Smith 11, Myers 3, Marion 10, Egerbrecht 12.
Morristown East 6 13 14 13 — 46
Science Hill 22 17 13 18 — 70
3-point goals — East 4 (Hill 2, Ke. Harper, King), Science Hill 5 (Egerbrecht 2, Fugate, Greenlee, Shay).