BRISTOL — Securing the perimeter against Science Hill is like herding squirrels.
Senior C.J. Good made his 300th career 3-pointer — and four more afterward — and Calvin Songster went 4 of 5 from 3-point range to help the Hilltoppers defeat fired-up Tennessee High 71-52 in the Arby’s Classic consolation bracket Saturday morning at Viking Hall.
Science Hill (19-2) will play Father Henry Carr (Toronto) in the sixth-place game on Monday at 1 p.m.
The Hilltoppers got 19 points apiece from Good and Songster and finished 12 of 24 behind the arc. Good didn’t know he had 299 treys entering the game.
“I had no idea,” a surprised Good said. “I just think it’s a lot of threes. It’s crazy.”
Good works relentlessly without the ball to get open, and his release is quicker than previous seasons.
“He’s improved his release,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said. “And he shoots such an amazing percentage because he doesn’t take bad shots.”
Despite Science Hill’s shooting, the Vikings (11-6) hung around for three quarters. Adam Mitchell, a 6-foot-3 junior, made a short floater to cut Science Hill’s lead to 46-42 with 1:53 left in the third quarter. But Songster answered with a transition follow and a 3-pointer from the left corner on one of Will Adams’ six assists to end the period, and the lead was 56-42 with 6:58 left in the game after Good made a trey via one of Reed Hayes’ five assists.
“I’m extremely pleased with how they’ve bounced back from our performance early on (in a loss to Melrose on Wednesday),” Cutlip said. “It’s 9 o’clock in the morning and I thought our kids were focused. I mean, we did a really good job of executing, and that’s one thing you have to do against Tennessee High in order to get good looks.”
The athletic Adams had seven steals and Hayes tallied three. Science Hill finished with 15 steals while forcing 20 turnovers.
“The difference in the game is turnovers,” Tennessee High coach Roby Witcher said. “I mean, we have 20 turnovers and they have seven. We out-rebounded them 27-20, which I thought was a good accomplishment. And gosh dang, we had it to the one-and-one (free throws) with 2:48 to go in the first quarter, and only shot one pair of one-and-ones the whole second quarter.”
Science Hill made 13 of 15 free throws. Hayes was 7-for-7 at the line. Tennessee High made 8 of 13 foul shots.
Songster, a 6-foot junior wing, was 7 of 10 from the field, including a drive and finish with the left hand that made the score 64-49 with 31â„2 minutes remaining.
“The biggest thing is we’re starting to see more consistency out of Calvin,” Cutlip said. “He’s been doing a great job on the defensive end.”
Mitchell had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Vikings. Point guard Caleb Easterling had 10 points and six assists.
“I thought our kids played hard,” Witcher said. “We just ran out of gas at the end. We played them man (defense) the majority of the game, chasing guys and trying to make sure they don’t get open looks. …
“It’s hard to give up 71 and win. We’re trying to give up 55. But they shoot it good. They’re a good team.”
Father Henry Carr 67
Sullivan East 62
The Patriots nearly overcame 7-foot-3 Tanveer Bhullar (16 points, 8-for-8 shooting) and an eight-point deficit in the final two minutes.
Christian Watson’s open 3-point attempt in transition with two seconds left would’ve tied the score at 65, but it was short.
Christian Hewitt made two free throws with 1.1 seconds left to seal it.
“We had a shot,” said emotionally drained Sullivan East coach John Dyer. “I mean, the last shot was a great shot.”
Watson was instrumental in East having a shot. He’d made 3 of 6 treys before the final attempt, and he leaped in among the taller Crusaders for an offensive rebound that led to a Jordan James 3-pointer that got East within 53-51 with 41â„2 minutes remaining.
Watson also answered with a trey 10 seconds after 6-foot-5 wing Dillon Brooks’ two free throws gave Carr a 61-53 lead with 1:51 to go.
The passionate Patriots (14-6) got 20 points and 10 rebounds from 6-foot-9 Jonathan King. He made both of his 3-pointers in the final 47 seconds. The second one made the score 64-62 with 14 seconds left.
Brooks (20 points, nine rebounds) made 1 of 2 free throws to push the lead to three points with 11 seconds to go.
“I thought we competed, and oh my gosh, they are so athletic,” Dyer said. “The four guys around the big guy are just pure athletes. We knew if we had to get out of our zone and chase them that it’d be difficult. But I do think that we got down in our stance and we really did play hard … those last four minutes when we had to go man.”
David Casaday made three 3-pointers and scored 17 points for the Patriots, whose 1-2 Arby’s showing included an 11-point loss to defending champion Christ School and a win against Cherokee.
“Man, you can’t buy experience like what we just got to experience in playing three games here against those three teams — and really compete,” Dyer said. “We made great efforts and we absolutely never quit. I’m just proud of my team. I’m proud of who we are.”
Berkmar, Ga. 54
The Indians’ A.J. Anderson made two free throws when what appeared to be a phantom foul call was made with no time on the clock after Anderson missed a game-winning attempt from the top of the key.
It completed a 19-point game for Anderson and left seemingly everyone in the arena confused, Anderson among them.
“I did think it was over,” Anderson said through the smile of a cat that’s swallowed the canary. “As soon as, well, obviously after I shot the ball and it hit the front of the rim I threw my arm down because I thought I’d missed it. And I turned around and I saw the ref with the whistle in his mouth and that’s when I realized that there’d been a foul called.”
Anderson understood the anger of the Berkmar coaches, players and fans.
“Yeah, I would be (mad),” Anderson said.
Berkmar coach Greg Phillips said he didn’t see a foul on the decisive call.
“I saw the shot go up, I heard the buzzer,” Phillips said. “I thought it was over. We turned around, you know, we were lining up to shake hands and turned around and heard everybody yelling, ‘Foul? Foul?’ …
“According to High School Federation rules if you call a foul in the last second, then there has to be time on the clock. … That’s national federation rules, Tennessee, Georgia, it doesn’t matter. … They said, ‘No, that’s not the rule,’ which, that is the rule.”
Anderson made 4 of 5 3-point attempts. John Fulkerson and Makale Foreman added 12 and 11 points, respectively, for D-B (9-3). Foreman missed the beginning of the game due to forgetting his uniform, and Anderson’s sister, Alex, delivered it from Kingsport.
Berkmar’s 6-foot-11 Tim Rowe had 14 points. Malcolm Hannah added 10.
Oak Ridge 71
Princeton Day, Md. 54
Shooting guard Cory Fagan scored 21 points and 6-foot combo Jaylin Henderson punctuated a 19-point performance with a two late dunks for the Wildcats (10-3).
Left-handed 6-foot-6 post Isaac Merian had 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocks.
Brandon Better scored 19 points despite 5-of-21 shooting to lead the Storm, which was again without touted 5-foot-7 point guard Aquille Carr.