Trying to defend Science Hill’s perimeter attack was six of one and a dozen others.
Six Hilltoppers combined to make 12 3-pointers as they shot down South-Doyle 68-35 in a Region 1-AAA quarterfinal Saturday night at Science Hill.
The second-ranked Hilltoppers (35-2) will play Jefferson County (23-9) in the semifinals Tuesday at approximately 7:30 p.m. at Daniel Boone. Jefferson County defeated Daniel Boone 52-50 in Dandridge on Saturday.
Four of Science Hill’s first five field goals were treys, and the fifth one, a buzzer-beater from the left wing by freshman point guard Patrick Good, gave the ’Toppers a 21-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The lead swelled to 31-6 with 4:49 left in the first half on a 14-foot pull-up by senior guard C.J. Good, who led Science Hill with three 3-pointers and 21 points.
“When you have six different guys knock down a three,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said, “that makes it an extremely difficult matchup for anybody.”
South-Doyle, which was making its first regional appearance since 1996, according to coach David Scott, did muster a rally in the second quarter. Jacob Elliott scored eight points during the second quarter, and Jocquez Bruce’s three-point play with 75 seconds left in the half capped a 13-2 run that made the score 33-19.
Elliott, a 6-foot-7 southpaw, finished with 14 points and 20 rebounds.
“He was a man among boys out there,” Cutlip said. “And we knew he was gonna be a load for us to handle.”
Patrick Good made a transition trey from the left wing with 31 seconds left via an assist from Reed Hayes to help Science Hill take a 36-21 halftime lead. It was the Hilltoppers’ eighth 3-pointer of the half.
C.J. Good scored the first four points of the second half, and senior post Marc Aples’ turnaround eight-foot jump-hook from the baseline stretched the lead to 42-21 with 4:37 left in the third quarter.
“I thought we came out and played great to start the game,” Cutlip said. “I think that is important in a win-or-go-home game like tonight. … And then when they did make their run, we had a cushion. Opening both halves in a positive way, I think, was big for us tonight.”
South-Doyle cut the lead to 49-33 with 30 seconds left in the third quarter, but Will Adams answered by beating the third quarter buzzer with a 3-pointer from the left corner on one of Patrick Good’s seven assists.
Good saved his flashiest assist for his brother C.J. — a behind-the-back bounce pass near the basket that C.J. parlayed into a left-handed fast-break lay-in with 2:32 remaining.
“He’s confident I’m gonna catch it,” C.J. said, “and I’m glad he’s confident in me to make that pass.”
Junior Calvin Songster (12 points) made two 3-pointers, and Hayes and Adams each made two treys en route to eight-point outings. Hayes also had a team-high seven rebounds and three assists. Patrick Good made two 3-pointers, and fellow freshman Ian Martin had the other 3-pointer.
“They came out and shot the basketball well right out of the gates,” South-Doyle’s Scott said. “You sit here and say, ‘If they didn’t shoot the ball well,’ but they shoot the ball well every night. I felt like our kids did a pretty good guarding them if we got it into a half-court set, but when they’re in transition they’re pretty good.”
Elliott, who is likely headed to Bryan College, was the lone senior in a lineup featuring four sophomores.
“I credit our kids for battling back the second quarter,” Scott said, “and trying to execute what we wanted to get accomplished.”
C.J. Good had five rebounds, five assists and four steals. Aples had two blocked shots. Science Hill forced 18 turnovers while committing seven.
Science Hill can clinch a substate berth with a win against Jefferson County.
“We’re one of 32 teams left in triple-A,” Cutlip said. “We’re excited and looking forward to coming out and trying to stay alive on Tuesday night.”
Dobyns-Bennett (21-8) and Sevier County (27-4) will play in the semifinal opener at 6 p.m.