Johnson City Press Thursday, December 18, 2014

Sports High schools

’Toppers get back on track

January 21st, 2014 10:33 pm by Trey Williams

’Toppers get back on track

Calvin Songster is Science Hill’s ace, but the Hilltoppers best win games by committee this season.

Songster paced four double-digit scorers with 17 points and Science Hill snapped its two-game losing streak by defeating Daniel Boone 69-58 on Tuesday at Snyder Gym.

The Hilltoppers (17-8) improved to 7-2 in the Big Seven Conference. Tennessee High and Dobyns-Bennett, who both beat Science Hill last week, are each 5-2 in the league.

The Trailblazers (13-11), who were led by Dylan Reppart’s 14 points, fell to 3-5 in the conference.

Songster scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter. He opened the final period with a 17-footer and a 3-pointer from the left wing that made the score 55-42 with 7:19 left.

“When you’ve been struggling the way we have the last two games just to generate anything on the offensive end,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said, “just a couple of back-to-back baskets are a huge deal. And it gave us some separation and it allowed us to control the tempo there in the fourth quarter.”

Six straight points from Jacob Keefauver – a 3-pointer on a kick-out from Holden Hensley and a put-back Keefauver parlayed into a three-point play – got Boone within 60-54 with 5:06 left.

“Any time that you have to face them,” Cutlip said, “you know you’re going to be in for a tough ballgame.”

But Songster responded with a driving left-handed scoop, and then answered Zach Rafalowski’s two free throws with a three-point play on an assist from Peyton Wingate to make it 65-56 with 2:46 remaining. Songster was especially happy to help seal victory on a night when he was whistled for at least three traveling calls.

“It was nice after I turned the ball over so many times trying to drive to the basket, it was relieving, I guess, to finally get one to go down for me,” Songster said. “And I think that just eventually … opened up other shots for us.”

The odds of Science Hill losing a third straight conference game seemed about even for 2 1/2 quarters. Hunter Hensley’s steal and lay-in with two seconds left in the first half gave the ‘Toppers a 32-28 halftime advantage.

Boone was still within 43-38 after Ty Jones’ 6-foot runner in the lane with 4:10 left in the third quarter, but sophomore wing Noah Charles answered with a 3-pointer – part of his nine-point quarter – that helped Science Hill take a 50-40 lead into the fourth period.

Charles, who finished with 13 points and made three 3-pointers, added punch on a night Science Hill was without guard Malik McGue (tonsillitis).

“With Malik out we looked for somebody to provide a little energy, a little spark to us,” Cutlip said. “And I thought (Charles) did. He really looked good squaring up on his jump shot tonight, and those were important, because Boone came out and really was playing well, shooting the ball well. I thought that was a critical stretch right there with those baskets Noah provided for us from the perimeter (in the third quarter).”

Wingate also made three 3-pointers en route to 13 points and blocked three shots. Post Kaden Wampler scored 10 points. Hensley had nine assists and Blake Begley and Daniel Sweeney each grabbed nine rebounds.

“If we’ve ever had a team win, that was tonight,” Cutlip said. “We end up with four kids in double figures. … In every aspect there were people stepping up and providing the things we needed.”

Andrew Smith, a 6-foot-8 senior, made his season debut coming off an offseason leg injury.

“It was a big lift, I think, for his teammates to see him get on the floor,” Cutlip said. “He did some positive things.”

Daniel Boone was without guard Alex Percell (ankle), whose been averaging double-figure scoring of late. Keefauver (12 points) and hard-nosed undersized post Aaron Shelton (10) joined Reppart in double figures for the Trailblazers.

Boone coach Ryan Arnold was left lamenting a few lapses in the third quarter.

“The third quarter’s the difference, I think,” Arnold said. “They got a few easy baskets in transition and they made a couple of easy open threes there, too, and that was just the difference in the game. … They just put so much pressure on you. I kind of feel like they’re a little but like us – the kids they have on the floor can all score. Yeah, Songster’s probably their better player. But you rotate, you rotate, you leave one open and you pick your poison.”

Rafalowski scored eight points and Holden Hensley, an undersized freshman point guard who is Hunter Hensley’s brother, had six points and five assists. His quick drive for a lay-in after a hesitation move, which gave the ‘Blazers a 25-18 lead with 3:14 left in the half, might’ve gotten the most crowd reaction of the night.

Jones had six points, three steals and two blocks.

Science Hill hosts Sullivan Central on Friday and visits David Crockett on Tuesday.

“We have a chance to still win the conference, and we’ve gotta do one game at a time,” Cutlip said. “We don’t have the luxury to take anybody for granted the rest of the schedule.”

Daniel Boone host Central on Tuesday.


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Earlier report:

Calvin Songster is Science Hill’s ace, but the Hilltoppers generally win games by committee this season.
Songster paced four double-digit scorers with 17 points and Science Hill snapped its two-game losing streak by defeating Daniel Boone 69-58 on Tuesday at Snyder Gym.
The Hilltoppers (7-2, 17-8) held on to a share of the Big Seven Conference lead. The Trailblazers (13-11), who were led by Dylan Reppart’s 14 points, fell to 3-5 in the league.
The odds of Science Hill losing a third straight league game seemed about even for 2 1/2 quarters. Hunter Hensley’s steal and lay-in with two seconds left in the first half gave the ‘Toppers a 32-28 lead.
Boone was still within 43-38 after Ty Jones’ 6-foot runner in the lane with 4:10 left in the third quarter, but sophomore wing Noah Charles answered with a 3-pointer – part of his nine-point quarter that helped Science Hill take a 50-40 lead into the fourth period.
Songster opened the fourth quarter with a pair of perimeter shots, including a 3-pointer, to stretch the lead to 13, and his driving left-handed scoop made it 62-54 with 4:33 remaining after Jacob Keefauver’s three-point play had gotten Boone within six.
Songster scored 11 of his 17 in the fourth quarter, which rinsed the taste of a handful of travel calls whistled against him.
“It was nice after I turned the ball over so many times trying to drive to the basket, it was relieving, I guess, to finally get one to go down for me,” Songster said. “And I think that just eventually … opened up other shots for us.”
Charles scored 13 points, as did fellow sophomore wing Peyton Wingate (three blocked shots). Kaden Wampler added 10 points.
Hensley had nine assists, and Daniel Sweeney and Blake Begley each grabbed nine rebounds.
“If we’ve ever had a team win, that was tonight,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said. “We end up with four kids in double figures. … In every aspect there were people stepping up and providing the things we needed.”
Daniel Boone was without guard Alex Percell (ankle), whose been averaging double-figure scoring of late. Science Hill was without point guard Malik McGue (tonsillitis).
“With Malik out we looked for somebody to provide a little energy, a little spark to us,” Cutlip said, “and I thought (Charles) did. He really looked good squaring up on his jump shot tonight, and those were important, because Boone came out and really was playing well, shooting the ball well. I thought that was a critical stretch right there with those baskets Noah provided for us from the perimeter (in the third quarter).”
Keefauver (12 points) and hard-nosed undersized post Aaron Shelton (10) joined Reppart in double figures.
“The third quarter’s the difference, I think,” Boone coach Ryan Arnold said. “They got a few easy baskets in transition and they made a couple of easy open threes there, too, and that was just the difference in the game.”
The Trailblazers host Sullivan Central on Tuesday in a game initially scheduled to be at Central. Science Hill hosts Sullivan Central on Friday.
Science Hill (girls)   59
Daniel Boone   43
Tianna Tarter scored 26 points to offset an energetic effort from the Lady Trailblazers as the top-ranked Lady Hilltoppers (9-0, 24-0) won their 47th straight regular-season league game.
Tarter, a senior point guard, made two 3-pointers, two conventional treys and 6 of 7 free throws.
“Tianna Tarter is just a really special player,” Boone coach Travis Mains said. “She had 26 points and I thought she had 10 or 12 and I thought Ali (Littleton) did a really good job on her. But when it’s time to take over the game she just kind of took over the game. Ali did a really good job on her and she had 26 points. …
“Tarter’s tough. She’s played a lot more basketball than our girls have and she’s got a different gear.”
Katelyn Cox’s driving basket tied the score at 37 for Boone with four minutes left in the third quarter. Science Hill’s Keisha Gregory answered with a steal and basket, and Tarter then cashed in a Gabby Lyon steal 10 seconds later. The baskets triggered a 15-1 run, which Baylee Head capped on a trey assisted by Lyon that made the score 52-38 with 3:48 to go.
Gregory had 12 points and four steals despite picking up three fouls in the first 10 minutes. Lyon scored six of her eight points in the fourth quarter and blocked two shots.
Littleton led Boone (4-4, 15-9) with 15 points, the majority of which came on aggressive drives to her left.
“They played harder than we did for the majority of the game, but we found a way to make some plays,” Science Hill coach Keith Turner said. “We got beat off the dribble way too much. (Littleton) drove in and got us in foul trouble. They attacked.”
Sophomore post Jaclyn Jenkins scored eight of her 11 points in the first half for the Lady ‘Blazers.
Science Hill hosts Sullivan Central on Friday. Boone will host Central on Tuesday.

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