'Toppers put streak on line against D-B

Douglas Fritz • Dec 3, 2013 at 8:10 AM

Streaks are good conversation pieces, but the longer they go and the more they're talked about the harder it is to sustain them.Or does that make it harder to break them?That question will likely be answered tonight as Science Hill will arrive at the new 'Topper Palace with a pair of streaks sturdily in tow.First, the Hilltoppers have built an impenetrable 56-game Big Seven Conference basketball winning streak. Secondly, the Hilltoppers have brushed aside rival Dobyns-Bennett 14 straight times.Streaks are not uncommon to the Science Hill/D-B rivalry. The football Hilltoppers just ended a 19-game drought last month. A precursor close call in 2012 seemed to set the stage for this year's victory.If that's true, was February's Makale Foreman 45-foot buzzer-beating iron-denied regulation-ending rim-rattler a precursor for an Indians' win in the same gym some 10 months later? Or will the future reveal it was more like Derrick Steele's breakup of Issac Kinley's almost-game-winning pass to Armando Canepa in the back of the end zone in 2008 that was not an entrance sign to victory lane for the football Hilltoppers.Listening to preseason chatter, it would seem the Indians enter as the favorite — despite the streak. Indians' head coach Charlie Morgan thought highly enough of his bunch to drop the name of George Pitts, comparing his team to the glory days of Science Hill basketball.As good as the Indians are this year, one thing seems certain in this matchup. Under head coach Ken Cutlip, Science Hill will scrap, claw, battle and fight for 32 minutes — and longer, if needed.It should be quite a battle in front of a big crowd. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.— — —Follow Douglas Fritz on Twitter @FritzBlitzzz.— — —Points of interest: Knox Fulton continued into the stratosphere for points scored in a season. The Falcons have shattered the previous mark, and their 41 points in Friday's semifinal win over Knox Catholic pushes them to 808 for the season.Fulton probably has at least another 40 points in its pocket as it will line up against Giles County in Saturday's Class 4A title game in Cookeville.Fulton is averaging 57.7 points per game. Greeneville averaged 49.8 in its former record-setting 2010 season.— — —Playoff odds: Here's a look at who is favored for this week's TSSAA state football championship contests:Class 6A — Maryville by 8 over Hendersonville.The Rebels seek their third Class 6A title in the last four years. They are shooting for their 14th championship overall, and their 10th since 2000.Class 5A — Henry County by 3 over Knox West.Henry County is looking for its second title in three years while West looks for its first true team-sport title of any kind.Class 4A — Knox Fulton by 14 over Giles County.A fifth state title appears to be a strong possibility for the Falcons. Giles County's lone title came in 2009 against Greeneville.Class 3A — Alcoa by 14 over Christ Presbyterian Academy.Looking for a 13th state title, the Tornadoes will try to earn No. 9 since 2000. CPA has won two titles, but none in Class 3A.Class 2A — Trousdale County by 17 over Adamsville.Trousdale is shooting for title No. 9 while Adamsville looks for its first state championship in any sport, team or individual. Class 1A — South Pittsburg by 2 over Union City.Looking for state title No. 6, South Pittsburg will try to deny Union its second state championship.— — —Boys basketball games of the week: (Today) Dobyns-Bennett at Science Hill, Elizabethton at Sullivan North, Sullivan South at Sullivan East, North Greene at University High; (Friday) Science Hill at Tennessee High, David Crockett at Daniel Boone, Sullivan North at Unicoi County, South Greene at University High; (Saturday) Sullivan East at Tennessee High.The tables are turned with D-B favored going into the contest. However, playing at the new 'Topper Palace, it's still a prove-it game for the Tribe. …Sullivan North is viewed by some as being on the fringe of title contention. The Raiders will provide evidence to support or refute that opinion this week. …Friday's game could be one of the most meaningful Basket-Musket games in quite some time for the Pioneers and Trailblazers. …University High gets a double dose of Greene, two games that are very important for the Junior Bucs because both are at home and both opponents will be hard to beat on the road.— — —Boys pick of the week — Science Hill 62, Dobyns-Bennett 60.It's time for the bounces to go the Indians' way, but it may have to wait until they are in the Buck Dome.— — —A loss by Dobyns-Bennett left a crack in the door at the top, but the Indians are still holding off Unicoi County in this week's Prep Top 10.Team W-L Prv1. Dobyns-Bennett 2-1 12. Unicoi County 6-0 23. Elizabethton 4-2 34. Science Hill 6-2 45. David Crockett 7-2 56. Tennessee High 4-1 67. Sullivan South 3-3 78. Daniel Boone 5-3 89. Sullivan East 4-3 1010. Johnson County 1-3 9— — —Girls basketball games of the week: (Today) Dobyns-Bennett at Science Hill, Unicoi County at Happy Valley, Sullivan South at Sullivan East, (Thursday) Sullivan East at Johnson County, (Friday) Science Hill at Tennessee High, Happy Valley at Elizabethton, (Saturday) Sullivan East at Tennessee High, Happy Valley at Hampton.Science Hill has a chance to immediately distance itself from a pair of threats in the Big Seven Conference. ...It's a giant challenge for the Lady Warriors with two of their battles being on the road. …Also being tested is Sullivan East, and like Happy Valley the Lady Patriots face two road tests.— — —Girls pick of the week — Science Hill 55, Dobyns-Bennett 39.The Lady Hilltoppers have been defending all season, allowing only one team to exceed 40 points.— — —Cloudland's win over Volunteer shook up this week's girls rankings. The Lady Highlanders jump five spots while Sullivan East experiences a two-spot leap with a win over South Greene.Team W-L Prv1. Science Hill 7-0 12. Elizabethton 5-1 23. Sullivan South 4-1 44. Cloudland 5-1 95. Volunteer 8-1 56. Hampton 4-2 67. Tennessee High 0-3 38. Sullivan East 7-1 109. Daniel Boone 4-2 710. Happy Valley 5-2 8(tie) South Greene 6-3 nr

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