In a back-and-forth game that saw many lead changes and multiple free-throw attempts, the Sacred Heart Junior High Girls edged out a tough Smithton team 29-27 Monday night in Otterville to advance to the next round in the Kaysinger Conference tournament.

Emily Hesse had her best night of the season, posting 26 points for the Gremlins. In a game that ultimately was determined by free throws, the Gremlins were 13-20 at the line.

"It was a very intense game," said Coach Chad Damlo. "It's the kind of game you expect in tournament play. Both teams played their hearts out and left it all on the court. Emily played an unbelievable game, and I think our 8th-grade girls as a whole played their best game of the year."

Damlo said it was great to have the full team back following some illnesses. The No-2 seed Gremlins advance to take on No. 6 Cole Camp in Otterville on Thursday, Feb. 13. Tip-off is at 5 p.m.

In the photo: Emily Hesse drives for the basket against Smithton. Hesse scored 26 points for the Gremlins, her new personal best.