Makayla Epps scored 34 points — including two free throws with 11 seconds left — to lead the Marion County High School girls’ basketball team to a 61-58 victory over Science Hill on Saturday in a battle of nationally ranked teams at the Raatz Fence/O’Shea’s Classic at Mercy Academy.
It was the closest game this season for Marion County (24-0), which is No. 1 in the state in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings and No. 8 nationally in the ESPN rankings. The Lady Knights remained the only undefeated girls’ team in Kentucky.
Epps, a University of Kentucky signee, hit 12 of 19 shots and 10 of 17 free throws and added four steals. UK signee Kyvin Goodin-Rogers pitched in 10 points and six rebounds.
Marion County never trailed and led 51-38 before the Hilltoppers (21-3) of Johnson City, Tenn., rallied. Morgan Knack’s 3-pointer pulled Science Hill within 59-58 with 13 seconds left before Epps hit her free throws for a three-point lead.
Science Hill had a chance to tie, but Shy Copney missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Gabby Lyons and Tiana Tarter both scored 14 points to lead Science Hill, which is ranked No. 18 nationally by ESPN.
* Hathaway Brown 58, Manual 53: The Blazers (14-4) of Shaker Heights, Ohio, outscored the Lady Crimsons 24-14 in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.
Princeton signee Vanessa Smith had 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead Hathaway Brown. Destony Curry scored 16 points to lead Manual (12-8), which is No. 4 in the Litratings. Morgan Allen added 13 points, and Kayla Styles pitched in 11 points, 14 rebounds, six assists and three steals.
* Incarnate Word 71, Mercy 37: Sophomore Napheesa Collier had 29 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Red Knights (18-0) of St. Louis over the No. 5 Jaguars (11-9).
Nia Roth added 12 points for Incarnate Word, which is ranked No. 9 in the nation by ESPN. Kayla Richardson paced Mercy with nine points.
* Sacred Heart 55, Withrow 43: Kristin Matula scored 20 points and DaiJia Ruffin added 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and five steals as the Valkyries (17-5) — No. 17 in the Litratings — beat the Tigers (15-4) of Cincinnati.
Up 21-15 at halftime, Sacred Heart shot 65 percent (13 of 20) in the second half to pull away.
* Bullitt East 61, Ryle 36: Courtney Pfister scored 17 points and Lindsey Duvall added 11 as the Lady Chargers (17-5) whipped the Lady Raiders (8-12).