The Sacred Heart Gremlins kept their hopes alive in the hunt for the Kaysinger Conference girls basketball regular-season title Saturday night with a 57-41 win over Smithton at Sacred Heart School.
The Gremlins (12-8) moved to 5-1 in the conference and are one of four teams with only one loss entering the final week of the regular season. Smithton fell to 6-14 and 4-3.
A trapping, pressure defense helped Sacred Heart begin to pull away in the second quarter, holding the Tigers to only six points.
Gabbi Ebers, who scored a game-high 27 points, hit a 3-pointer and a free throw, and Lauron Tanguay sank a 3-pointer and a fast-break layup, as the Gremlins took a 30-18 lead into intermission.
The third quarter was even tougher for the Tigers, who amassed only four points and missed four free throws. Ebers scored 12 of Sacred Heart’s 16 points in the third and Isabelle Wilhelm scored two straight baskets, and it led 46-22 after three quarters.
The Gremlins played mainly reserves in the fourth quarter.
Smithton seemed to handle the pressure in the first quarter and held its own with rebounding.
The Tigers held a 4-0 lead and a pair of baskets by Mariah Cairer and a 6-5 lead when Kaley Snapp drove the baseline for basket.
Claudia Cox’s basket inside put the Gremlins ahead to stay. Erin O’Connor made a free throw and Ebers hit a 3-pointer to push their lead to 11-6.
Katelynn Arnold and Katelyn Smith each made late 3-pointers, but the Gremlins still led 15-12 entering the second quarter.
Cairer paced Smithton with 20 points.