EVANS – The Lady Hornets led early and often, but could not put the Lady Eagles away for most of the game.

Singer, led by 22 points from Kayleigh Hardwick, held on to defeat Evans 54-47 Tuesday night at Evans High School.

"I thought it was a pretty big win coming off the holiday break," Singer head coach Ashley Marcantel said. "It's a big win as we get ready for district games next week."

The win puts Singer at 11-7 on the year but the Lady Hornets are back to full strength.

"(Hardwick) just got back from an injury and has been out about six weeks," Marcantel said. "This was her second game back. She stepped up big time.

"We just moved up to Class B, so it's going to be a challenge for us. I think we're ready."

Evans falls to 9-12 on the year but were able to show some positives in the loss.

"I think the best thing we did tonight was rebounding," Evans head coach Haley King said. "We had 31 rebounds, which is around our average. Some girls came off the bench and really helped tonight, Madi Gollihugh being one of them."

Singer led 29-24 at the end of the first half and built its lead to 35-27 after a layup by Hailey Clark. However, Evans ended the third quarter on a 5-0 run to pull within 3.

A 3 by Lady Eagle guard Riley Haus in the first minute of the fourth made it a 37-35, but the Lady Hornets extended their lead to 45-35 after a layup by Hardwick with 5:16 to play.

"Full-court, man-to-man defense is what we do," King said. "There were times I was actually disappointed in it when we got beat to the goal, but overall, they are a tough team and it's tough to adjust to a team that is fast paced. The last three games we played, we played slower paced teams. It's easy to get comfortable."

Evans, once again, came back to cut it to 5 after another 3 by Haus, but Singer would not surrender the lead in the final minutes to take home the win.

"I thought we kept our composure pretty well," Marcantel said. "We are young and inexperienced, so I felt like they kept their composure and hit free throws when it really mattered there in the fourth."

Maddie Jones joined Hardwick in double figures with 12 points.

"They are our two that have had a lot of experience on the floor," Marcantel said. "Hardwick is a sophomore, and Jones is a senior. They stepped up big and hit key shots for us."

Jade Bonner led Evans with 18 points, and Haus added 12 points.