BRISTOL – Just when it looked like Science Hill transfer Trevonn Fields and his new Virginia Episcopal teammates were bound for victory, hot shooting switched sides.
C.J. Good made 7 of 9 3-pointers en route to a game-high 23 points and Science Hill rallied from a 12-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Fighting Bishops, 67-64, in the Arby’s Classic consolation bracket Friday morning at Viking Hall.
Good made four treys in the second half and his steal and transition layup gave the Hilltoppers a 63-62 lead with 1:30 remaining.
Caleb White, a 6-foot-7 senior, drove to put Episcopal (Lynchburg, Va.) ahead 64-63 with 1:16 left, but Good’s brother Patrick, a freshman point guard, answered with two free throws to give Science Hill the lead for good at the 1:05 mark.
Reed Hayes’ two free throws with 14 seconds remaining concluded the scoring in a victory that didn’t look likely when 6-foot-7 wing Anthony Swan (17 points) made five 3-pointers while helping Episcopal build an 11-point lead in the first 10 1/2 minutes.
“I felt like if we could just hang in there when they’re shooting the ball that well, I thought we would have a chance,” said Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip, whose Hilltoppers (18-2) play host Tennessee High today at 9 a.m. “We really stepped up in the second half and made some adjustments. We really tried to limit (Swan’s) touches, and I thought Calvin Songster did a great job of making it hard on him to get the ball.”
Episcopal (3-3), which lost 57-54 to Oak Ridge on Wednesday, made 6 of its first 7 3-point attempts and was 8 of 13 from behind the arc while building a 43-34 halftime lead. And the Hilltoppers trailed 46-34 when 6-foot-7 Caleb White opened the third quarter with a three-point play.
But Oak Ridge began spewing turnovers and Science Hill answered with an 11-3 run that included two treys from Good. Songster’s driving left-handed basket with two seconds left in the third quarter cut the Bishops’ advantage to 51-47 heading into the fourth period.
Songster opened the fourth with a 3-pointer via one of Patrick Good’s game-high six assists. Patrick Good also assisted both of C.J. Good’s treys in the fourth quarter. The first one gave Science Hill a 56-55 lead, its first lead since Swan tied the score at 8 early in the first quarter.
C.J. Good, Songster and teammate Will Adams downplayed the emotion of playing against Fields, a 6-foot-5 junior who started on Science Hill’s state semifinal team last season. But it was obviously a primary factor in the energetic atmosphere of a consolation-bracket game at 10:30 a.m.
“This was a pretty good crowd for a 10:30 game, to be honest with you,” Cutlip said.
Fields (eight points, three assists), who seemed to be calling out Science Hill sets, was 3 of 5 from the field and made two of his three 3-point attempts. His second trey gave Episcopal a 49-40 lead with 5:40 left in the third quarter.
“I knocked it down and I thought we had it,” Fields said, “but we didn’t do what we were supposed to do in the end. Turnovers cost us the game. We finished the game with 18 and they finished with three – we should get beat.”
Virginia Episcopal coach Curtis Staples, a former All-Arby’s player and exceptional shooting guard at Virginia, wasn’t thrilled with his team’s play in the second half, and was far less impressed with the officiating.
“We had 18 turnovers,” Staples said. “Normally if a team has 18 turnovers they’ve lost by 20 points, easy. A lot of those were not turnovers; a lot of them were bad calls. I don’t remember ever complaining since being a coach for three years about officiating, and I never played in a game that was officiated as bad as this one.
“You know, I’m not trying to take anything away from Science Hill, because you’ve got guys shooting the ball the way they shot it, you’re gonna have a lot of success. But every time the game got to a point where we could’ve pulled away more, there were a lot of really terrible calls made. … They (officials) need to go back and look at film just like we do and evaluate themselves just like we do.”
Songster had 16 points, including two 3-pointers. Hayes scored 10 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds for the smaller ‘Toppers.
“You obviously don’t see a lot doing the eyeball test,” Science Hill assistant coach John Good said, “but you can never measure their heart by looking at them. … Our kids always believed.”
White and point guard Aaron Young scored 15 points apiece for the Bishops.
Sullivan East 50
Jonathan King’s lay-up gave East a 50-44 lead with 1:31 remaining and the Patriots held on, albeit shakily.
Tanner Trent (25 points) made a 3-pointer and a transition basket to cut East’s lead to a point with 49 seconds left, and the Chiefs got the ball back with 32 seconds remaining. After a timeout with 12 seconds and a near turnover the possession ended with Cherokee inbounding the ball under its basket from the baseline with three seconds left . The pass into the lane was knocked away and the Patriots’ Christian Watson gathered it to seal victory.
King, a 6-foot-9 senior, led East (14-5) with 14 points and six rebounds. Guard David Casaday scored 13 points, including a half-court buzzer-beater that touched nothing but net to give the Patriots a 26-17 halftime lead. The shot didn’t look like a complete fluke, and Casaday said numerous Patriots players “actually do” launch numerous half-court shots during “fun days” in gym class.
It was East’s first Arby’s victory since beating Tabernacle Baptist (Bahamas) in 2007.
“We have played some unbelievable teams here the last five or six years,” East coach John Dyer said. “It’s not like we’ve played anybody that shouldn’t beat us. … We’ve got eight seniors. We don’t want our Arby’s to end. They want to keep playing. They love this and we love being here.”
Ty Ryans had 11 points and four assists for Cherokee (10-8). Ryans and Trent each hit three 3-pointers.
Tennessee High 66
Abingdon, Va. 49
Caleb Easterling, Zak Kitzmiller and Hunter Jones scored 13 points apiece for the Vikings, who built a 15-point lead in the first quarter.
The Vikings (8-5) made 7 of 13 shots from 3-point range. Jones was 3 of 5 and Kitzmiller was 2 of 4 behind the arc.
Easterling was 8 of 14 at the foul line, but made six straight during one stretch late in the game to help keep the Falcons at bay. Easterling also had nine assists.
Josh Hess made four 3-pointers en route to a game-high 19 points for Abingdon (8-2). Mack Owens and Caleb Janson added 12 points apiece.
Father Henry Carr 80
Martin Luther King 58
Christian Hewitt made 9 of 16 field goals, including 3 of 6 from 3-point range, and Dillon Brooks and Tanveer Bhullar scored 19 points apiece to help Toronto’s Crusaders bounce back from Thursday’s 15-point loss to Urspring (Germany).
The 7-foot-3, 300-pound Bhullar also tallied 18 rebounds and three blocked shots. Hewitt, a 6-foot4 senior small forward got five of his seven boards at the offensive end for Carr, which out-rebounded Martin Luther King 44-25.
Josh Bell scored 14 points for the Crusaders and point guard Kenrick Lewis had a game-high seven assists.
Kevon Harris scored 18 points for The Kingdom. Jeremy Tyler and Laranz Griggs added 17 and 12, respectively.