Tough week shaping up for ’Toppers

Douglas Fritz • Dec 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Science Hill's basketball team has played a tough schedule so far this season.

However, if records are any indication, the challenge will increase quite a bit over the next couple of weeks.

The Hilltoppers' next four opponents have a combined record of 24-1. Greeneville is 8-1, Dobyns-Bennett is 5-0, Cleveland is 5-0 and Oak Ridge is 7-0. After that? The Arby's Classic.

“We're going to find out areas we need to work on and improve,” said Cutlip. “We will definitely be tested.”

Certainly Science Hill has no control over these teams getting off to such good starts, but head coach Ken Cutlip has followed the Hilltoppers' tradition of playing tough opponents.

It started back in the days of Elvin Little, and really kicked into high gear under George Pitts. Little, who coached Science Hill to a state runner-up finish in 1968, was honored prior to Saturday's game against Knox Webb at the Hilltoppers' new gymnasium.

“It was a special night, recognizing Coach Little,” said Cutlip. “It was really important we won, for someone who meant so much to Science Hill's history.”

The Hilltoppers held off a strong challenge from Webb, trailing at the break before coming back to win 61-48.

“We schedule these types of games to put us in situations that make us uncomfortable,” said Cutlip. “We don't envision being down at halftime, but that happens when you play different teams with different styles. That will only make us better.”

— — —

Trousdale County brought up a plan the TSSAA needs to consider. The school proposed a removal of the multiplier, and for putting public and private schools in the same leagues during the regular season.

When the postseason arrives, there would be a complete split of public and private schools for state title chases.

The school did not submit the number of classes and other details with the proposal, which was discussed at the recent meeting of the TSSAA Legislative Council.

TSSAA assistant director Matthew Gillespie said a majority of schools, around 70 percent, were opposed to the proposal.

However, this is something that needs to be looked at closely. Most schools would not be opposed to competing against private schools during the regular season, but the playing field needs to be level for the postseason: private battling against private, and public versus public.

— — —

Boys basketball games of the week — (Today) Greeneville at Science Hill; (Friday) Science Hill at Dobyns-Bennett, Tennessee High at Sullivan East, Unicoi County at Elizabethton.

It's an interesting week for Science Hill, which takes on the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the area.

The first one is for show while the second one has plenty of Big Eight Conference meaning. …

Sullivan East, which usually has a mental block against Tennessee High, might have a better shot at home. …

With only 10 Three Rivers Conference games for the season and already carrying a home loss, avoiding an 0-2 start is important for Unicoi County.

— — —

Boys pick of the week — Science Hill 63, Dobyns-Bennett 61.

Quick is as quick does — and quick is Science Hill — but this one will likely be decided in the final two or three minutes.

Picks record: 1-0.

— — —

Boys player of the week — C.J. Good of Science Hill.

The Hilltoppers' senior standout cut loose for a total of 59 points in a trio of Science Hill wins.

Good netted 18 points in a 66-52 win over Tennessee High on Tuesday. He broke loose for 27 points in Friday's 78-51 pounding of CAK, and then added 14 in Saturday's hard-fought victory over Knox Webb.

— — —

Elizabethton jumps three spots to No. 6 in this week's Prep Top 10.

Team W-L Prv

1. Science Hill 13-1 1

2. Greeneville 8-1 2

3. Dobyns-Bennett 4-0 3

4. Sullivan East 9-3 4

5. Tennessee High 5-3 6

6. Elizabethton 4-2 9

7. Cloudland 5-3 7

8. Daniel Boone 5-5 5

9. University High 7-2 8

10. Hampton 6-3 10

— — —

Prep signings: Sullivan South's Keri Harrison landed a college deal last week.

The Lady Rebels' soccer standout made it official with Milligan College. ...

Sullivan East volleyball standout Autumn Roe has made her college decision. She will sign today with Emory & Henry at 2:30 p.m. at the high school's library.

— — —

Girls basketball games of the week — (Friday) Science Hill at Dobyns-Bennett, Unicoi County at Elizabethton.

The list is small in quantity, but makes up for it with quality.

The Lady Indians are an underdog, but it's still a battle for first place in the Big Eight Conference. …

Unicoi County already earned a key league win over Sullivan East, and will now see how it stacks up against the preseason favorite Lady Cyclones.

— — —

Girls pick of the week — Science Hill 68, Dobyns-Bennett 49.

The Lady Hilltoppers are just getting started, but they are already rising above the Northeast Tennessee crowd.

Picks record: 1-0.

— — —

Girls player of the week — Ashlee Mitchell of Tennessee High.

After scoring nearly half of her team's points in a blowout loss to Science Hill on Tuesday, Mitchell came back with 16 points and 24 points in a pair of impressive wins against Knox Webb (53-42) and CAK (48-44).

— — —

North Greene and Hampton each move up two spots in this week's girls rankings.

Team W-L Prv

1. Science Hill 8-0 1

2. Elizabethton 7-1 2

3. Tennessee High 4-2 3

4. Sullivan South 6-1 4

5. Dobyns-Bennett 5-1 5

6. North Greene 10-1 8

7. Hampton 7-3 9

8. South Greene 7-3 10

9. Unicoi County 4-3 nr

10. Sullivan East 7-2 7

(tie) Volunteer 6-4 10

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