BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Lady Tornado featured three double-digit scorers and stayed close with one of the top teams in Conference Carolinas but one late run by North Greenville inside the last seven minutes helped the Crusaders deliver a 69-58 loss to King on Thursday night.
King (3-16, 3-8) trailed by five with just under 11 minutes to go when Kelly Jackson (Lynchburg, Va.) scored the team's next four points on a pair of mid-range jumpers to close the gap to one, 50-49. North Greenville went a 9-2 run to separate itself from King, starting with a steal by Krisceda Cotton that that turned into a fast break layup. Cotton scored four of the nine points on the run to help NGU take a 59-51 lead with 5:06 remaining.
Brooke Johnson (Roan Mountain, Tenn.) broke up the run on the next trip down the court with a jumper from the right elbow, but Aliyah Stokes responded with a three pointer to thwart the moment and take a nine-point lead. Cotton extended the lead to 13 with another layup and a pair of free throws after being fouled.
Johnson battled back with the next five King points with her fourth three ball of the night but the Lady Tornado pulled no closer. Karly Stache hit a three with under a minute left guiding toward a 69-58 final score in favor of North Greenville.
The Lady Tornado had three double-digit scorers, led by Alley Sprouse (Newport, Tenn.) who recorded her first career double-double. Sprouse made a day from the field, hitting 8-of-15 field goals, to give her 17 points to add to her 13 rebounds. Her 17 points and 13 rebounds made for new career highs in each category. She has now scored 10 or more points in each of her last four games, steadily increasing with each contest.
Brooke Johnson and Kelly Jackson combined for 26 points and nine rebounds between them. Johnson scored 16 points, hitting 4-of-6 threes on the night, and tallied six assists on the night. Johnson scored ten and added six boards.
King will host St. Andrew's Presbyterian College as part of a doubleheader, kicking off the action at 2:00 p.m. at the Student Center (Bristol, Tenn.). Saturday is Washington County Youth Basketball Day, where fans from Washington County (Va.) that wear their basketball team's game jersey will earn free admission for them and their family for the day.