Daniel Boone pestered Science Hill’s perimeter attack Tuesday night, but all the attention helped the Hilltoppers’ Reed Hayes operate inside.
Hayes, a 6-foot-1 senior, piled up 22 points and 11 rebounds on a night when the ‘Toppers made only two 3-pointers, helping them outlast the stubborn Trailblazers for a 71-61 victory at Snyder Gym.
It was the Hilltoppers’ 52nd straight regular-season victory in the Big Eight Conference. The Lady ‘Toppers won their 36th straight regular-season league game, pulling away for an 84-55 win.
Boone’s boys were tied 32-32 at the half thanks to Jordan Stout making three of his four 3-pointers while helping the ‘Blazers (7-5, 17-8) close the second quarter on a 17-9 run.
Science Hill (11-0, 27-2) opened the second half on a 6-0 spurt and never trailed.
Hayes had six points in the quarter, including a three-point play that made the score 49-40 with 1:21 left and two free throws at the end of the period that extended the lead to 53-41.
Boone was within nine three times in the fourth period, including when Stout’s final trey made it 57-48 with 5:38 left and Dillon Reppart (13 points) converted a three-point play to make it 63-54 with 3:25 to play.
Hayes answered Reppart’s conventional trey with a 15-foot jumper via a crossover dribble, but most of his baskets came near the goal. He was also 6-8 at the foul line.
“Reed stepped up and had a really good ballgame for us,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said. “He did a really good job attacking the basket. Part of our game plan was to try and get Reed the ball early and get some touches.”
Will Adams scored 17 points for the ‘Toppers. C.J. Good added 11.
Senior 6-foot-2 forward Jacob Littleton led Boone with 22 points and nine rebounds. He was 10-14 at the foul line.
“Littleton’s always a house afire,” Boone coach Ryan Arnold said. “I’d go to war with him.”
But the more Littleton and company battled, the more it became clear Science Hill once again had too many weapons. Freshman point guard Patrick Good capped an 8-2 run with consecutive driving baskets that made the score 46-38 with 2:04 left in the third, and improved to 19-for-19 at the foul line on the season by making a pair to give Science Hill a 61-50 lead with 4:28 remaining.
“They’re just a very good basketball team, you know,” Arnold said. “At all times they’ve got five kids on the floor that are dangerous. Most teams, you say, ‘Hey, we can really help off this kid.’
“I thought we played as hard as we could. I thought we left it on the floor. If we make a few shots here and there and not turn it over – I thought we had too many turnovers in the first half, and it was all-our-fault stuff.”
Stout had 12 points for Boone and senior wing Ryan Gaitor added 10.
“This type of game is probably good for our club,” Cutlip said, “as you get toward late in the season, being able to be in a hostile environment, not playing your best and still being able to come out on top. … We just didn’t shoot the ball as well from the perimeter as we normally do, but I thought we made some good decisions, especially in the second half when we had to. And we were able to get some stops.
“There’s a reason why they (Boone) had won 12 out of 14 coming into tonight. They’re a solid ballclub.”
Boone might have suffered a serious blow. Aaron Shelton left the game midway through the third quarter with what appeared to be a serious knee injury.
Boone plays Sullivan Central on Friday. Science Hill hosts David Crockett.
Junior point guard Tianna Tarter scored 22 points, helping the Lady Hilltoppers bounce back from Saturday’s 61-58 loss to No. 6 Marion County (Ky.) in Louisville. Tarter scored nine in the third quarter, helping stretch a seven-point halftime advantage to 65-45.
Science Hill forward Enjelica Reid scored 13 of her 21 points in the first half and fellow senior Shy Copney finished with 15 points. Junior 6-foot post Gabby Lyon and sophomore combo guard Keisha Gregory scored nine points apiece.
“Enjelica had a good game, Tianna played well and I think Shy is starting to show the form of last year,” said Lady ‘Toppers coach Darrell Barnwell, whose nationally ranked team (No. 11 in CBS MaxPreps) improved to 11-0 in the league and 22-3 overall.
Jaclyn Jenkins, a 5-foot-10 freshman, made five 3-pointers en route to 17 points for Boone. Four of her treys came in the first half, the last of which cut Science Hill’s lead to 34-30 with 2:51 left in the second quarter.
“She’s a good kid, she plays hard and she’s a good athlete,” said Daniel Boone first-year coach Travis Mains, whose team fell to 5-7 in the league and 13-11 overall. “She’s a three-sport athlete that’ll put some trophies up in these cases, I’m sure. When she shoots it, it looks like it’s gonna go in every time.”
Autumn Bradshaw (11 points) and Allison Littleton (10 points) each also made a 3-pointer for the Lady Blazers.
“They did a great job, especially in that second quarter,” Barnwell said. “Every time they got an open shot they knocked it down. Our defensive intensity was a lot better in the second half.”
Science Hill opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run that included five points from Tarter – a step-back 3-pointer off a crossover dribble and a transition basket via a steal and long pass from Lyon.
Tarter got another transition basket thanks to a Lyon steal and long outlet pass, and her final field goal, which gave Science Hill a 75-47 lead with 4:28 left, came in transition thanks to one of her numerous steals.
Mains smiled while shaking his head at the mere mention of Tarter.
“She pushed ‘play’ and it was over with,” he said. “We played hard and we competed, and then we got hopeful and Science Hill is legit. They’re the real deal.”
The Lady ‘Toppers host Crockett on Friday. Boone visits Sullivan Central.