Just when it looks like Science Hill might have to grind out a victory, the Hilltoppers find another gear.
Tireless guard C.J. Good piled up 23 points, six steals and five assists and fellow senior Reed Hayes tallied 15 points and 10 rebounds in an 80-55 defeat of Greeneville on Tuesday at Science Hill.
The Greene Devils (8-2), who won the Hardees’ Classic title, hung around for a quarter, but Hayes’ tip-in began a 10-0 run at the beginning of the second quarter and yet another Hilltoppers’ contest had an extensive stretch of “garbage time.”
Will Adams had 14 points, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists and Calvin Songster finished with 10 points and six rebounds for Science Hill (14-1). Eleven ‘Toppers scored.
“I thought we played very well at times,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said. “Reed Hayes did a good job rebounding the basketball. … We played hard (on defense), and I think we were fortunate, at times, that Greeneville missed some shots, too.”
Good, who is closing in on 300 career 3-pointers, made three treys.
His 18 points in the first half matched the Hilltoppers’ halftime lead (46-28), and he scored two field goals during the decisive 10-0 spurt at the beginning of the second quarter. One was a transition basket after a steal and long pass from Adams, and the other was one of several left-handed finishes, this one after Hunter Hensley found Good cutting through traffic. It was one of three assists for Hensley.
“I think we are continuing to do a good job sharing the basketball,” Cutlip said. “The best thing we do when C.J. is open is find him.”s
The biggest wow from the crowd came when Adams finished an explosive drive with a double-clutch reverse lay-in while leaping past the outstretched arms of a defender. Adams' shot required a lot of spin on the ball, but he made it look almost easy.
Guard Trevor Wright scored 16 points to lead Greeneville. Forward Landon Duncan added 15 for the Greene Devils, who had 29 turnovers.
Marc Aples had two blocked shots for Science Hill, which visits Charlie Morgan’s Dobyns-Bennett Indians on Friday.
“Coach Morgan’s playing a lot of kids and I think they have more speed this year to go along with some of their height,” Cutlip said. “It should be just a great ballgame over there in Kingsport on Friday night.”
Science Hill has won 44 straight Big Eight Conference games during the regular season.
Science Hill (girls) 87
Junior post Gabby Lyon scored 25 points and led the Lady Hilltoppers’ block party with four blocked shots.
Science Hill (9-0), ranked No. 3 in the CBS MaxPreps national poll, tallied 14 rejections. Shae Smith and Baylee Head each blocked three shots.
The defensive onslaught included forcing turnovers on six of Greeneville’s first eight possessions while opening the game on a 17-2 run.
Science Hill senior shooting guard Morgan Knack outscored the Lady Greene Devils 10-8 in the first quarter and finished with 16 points while making four 3-pointers.
Science Hill led 52-17 at halftime. The Lady ‘Toppers fans appreciated the unselfish play in the first half, particularly a sequence when Shy Copney made a steal and passed into the frontcourt to Tianna Tarter, who turned down the transition gimme while returning to sender for a Copney layup.
Copney, a senior wing who’s signed with Middle Tennessee State, scored 17 points in approximately that many minutes. She made three 3-pointers, and the excellent rotation on her jump-shot showed she spent a lot of time working on her shot while rehabbing a knee injury she suffered in the state semifinals last season.
“Even while she was hurt that was one thing she was still able to work on,” Science Hill coach Darrell Barnwell said. “So I think she’s really improved her perimeter shooting, which is obviously gonna be a plus. And if you get somebody out there to guard her she can go inside and post up.”
Tarter finished with nine points and six assists. Enjelica Reid and Emanda Reid scored eight points apiece.
“We’re hopefully starting to get in more of a groove with all of our kids, as far our shooting the ball,” Barnwell said. “And defensively, I thought we played with a lot of intensity. We seemed to be in the passing lanes a lot getting steals and making good outlet passes and kids running the floor. We made some great passes in transition to finish around the basket.”
Post Madison Shipley led Greeneville (3-6) with nine points.
Science Hill visits Dobyns-Bennett on Friday.