Tigerville, S.C. - The Tornados and Crusaders battled on Saturday afternoon on a game in who could stay hot the longest. Brevard tied the game up at halftime, then used a layup by Amanda Whitaker with 13 seconds left on the clock to clinch the Tornados fifth win of the season, 81-76.
Brevard (0-7 in the South Atlantic Conference) improves to 5-12 on the season, while the independent Crusaders fall to 9-9.
The teams came out with opposite styles at the start of the game as three of the Tornados first four shots were from behind the three-point line, while the Crusaders attacked inside the paint with Amanda Milner. Amber Roberts and Samantha Winn were able to connect outside for Brevard, while Milner pounded her way inside for the Crusaders for six quick points in the first 2:30 of the game.
The Tornados started to attack the paint as Amanda Whitaker drove in for a layup and then was fouled on another drive and put in the resulting free throws as the Tornados brought the game back to 14-12 with 13:06 left in the first half.
A three-pointer by Karly Stache in the left corner started a 7-0 run by the Crusaders before a layup by Millie Wharton ended the run with the score at 21-14 North Greenville, with 10:50 in the opening period.
Stache hit another three in the left corner, but Holli Flippo caught on fire for the Tornados, hitting one from behind the arc and making a steal and layup on the other end to bring the game back to within five at the 8:57 mark.
Anna Schlobohm, coming into the game hitting on 39.5 percent (17-43) of her three-point attempts, connected on two in a row, before Winn connected from behind the arc again to give the Tornados their first lead of the ball game at 32-31 with 4:34 left in the first period.
The remainder of the first half would be a battle from behind the arc before Schlobohm closed out the period with a pair of free throws, and Kelly Hudler blocked a last second layup attempt by Christina Carlis as the teams went into the locker room with the score tied 43-43.
Both teams put on a shooting display in the first half, combining to go 15-27 (55.6 percent) from downtown.
Samantha Winn led the Tornados with 11 points, going 3-4 from behind the arc while Whitaker hustled inside scoring six points while pulling down six rebounds. Stache led the Crusaders hitting 6-8 from three-point distance for a game high 18 points at the half.
Both teams continued to stay hot at the beginning of the second half as Whitney Smith knocked down a three on the Crusaders first trip down the court, while Lindsay Brendle and Schlobohm each connected outside in the opening minutes for Brevard.
A jumper by Winn in the paint off a pass from Whitaker and a quick turnover at the other end by the Crusaders forced a North Greenville timeout with 12:10 left in the game with the score at 58-56.
A pull-up three in transition by Holli Flippo gave the Tornados a 59-58 lead with 11:47 left in the game, a lead Brevard tenuously held on to for the next four minutes before Winn’s fourth three-pointer of the game gave the Tornados a 70-63 left at the 7:35 mark.
Back-to-back jumpers by Schlobohm and Roberts gave the Tornados their largest lead of the game with 6:27 left at 74-64, before a layup by Milner and another three from the top of the key by Stache brought the game back within single digits.
Staked to a two point lead with 4:59 left on the clock, the Tornados patiently attacked the Crusaders defense, passing the ball amongst themselves before finding openings for Whitaker and Winn to expand the lead to five with 2:17 on the clock at 79-74.
With the Crusaders within three, Whitaker called for the ball on the left block and after receiving the pass from Wharton, went up and under the defense to put in a layup to give the Tornados their fifth win of the season.
The Tornados shot 46.0 percent (29-63) from the field and 13-26 (50.0 percent) from three point range, while holding the Crusaders to 40.3 percent (27-67).
Winn led the Tornados with 21 points, going 8-14 (57.1 percent) from the field while pulling down six rebounds. Whitaker scored 16 for the game while pulling down eight boards, while Schlobohm (15) and Flippo (12) each hit double figures.
The Crusaders were led by Stache with 24 points as she went 8-14 from behind the arc. Milner (15), Bridgett Smith (15), and Mindy Greenstone (13) all were in double digits for the Crusaders.
The Tornados head home on Wednesday, January 28, for a South Atlantic Conference matchup against Newberry College. Tip-off for the game between the Tornados and Newberry is set for 6 p.m. The Crusaders, also in action on Wednesday, take to the road to face Lincoln Memorial with game time at 6 p.m.