Postseason time is here for Science Hill’s girls soccer team.
The Lady Hilltoppers will take aim at the District 1-AAA title this week. They got a first-round bye Monday and will play in today’s semifinals at the Stone Castle in Bristol.
Head coach Megan Harmon believes her team has made good progress this season.
“I told the kids in July that we wanted to be playing our best in October,” said Harmon. “It’s October now, and I think the girls have gotten better every game.”
Included in the improvements are more consistent finishing, said Harmon.
“We’ve been doing a better job of capitalizing on our opportunities,” she said. “As long as we finish our opportunities and keep defending the way we’ve been defending, I think we will be OK.”
Science Hill will play the winner of Monday’s quarterfinal match between Daniel Boone and Sullivan Central. Game time is set for 5 p.m. The other semifinal is scheduled for 7:30.
The championship match is set for Thursday at 6 p.m. in Bristol.
The Lady Hilltoppers (14-1) won the district and region last year before losing in the sectional round.
n Dalton Boles is becoming a legend not only in Mosheim, but in Northeast Tennessee.
The West Greene senior running back ran for 270 yards and six touchdowns in Friday’s 43-24 win over South Greene. Doing that against a county rival with the Rebels fightimg for a playoff spot adds more stature to Boles’ reputation as one of the best running backs in Northeast Tennessee history.
Boles has racked up 2,251 yards rushing this season and 5,297 for his career. This year’s yardage is the 12th-best total in the history of the TSSAA, and Boles still has at least two more games remaining. The Buffaloes close their regular season Friday at home against Chuckey-Doak, and have a bye before playing at least one game in the Class 3A playoffs.
Boles is averaging 250 yards rushing per game. If he continues that pace, he will move into the top five on the all-time list.
The Johnson City Press is asking for information on the area’s top rushers. According to current knowledge, Happy Valley’s Tommy Sams is the area’s all-time leader with just over 5,300 yards in a career that ended in 1992.
Other high numbers were recorded by Cloudland’s Randy Birchfield (just over 4,800 ending in 1988), Tim Clipse (just over 4,600 ending in 1992) and Science Hill’s Terry Copeland (just over 4,600 ending in 1994).
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information on any player who may have reached 5,000 yards rushing for his career.
n North Greene head coach Josh Edens was selected Monday as the Tennessee Titans state coach of the week.
Edens led the Huskies to a 6-0 win over Cloudland on Friday. It was North Greene’s first victory against the Highlanders since 1988, a streak of 20 games. And the Huskies had been outscored 195-7 in the previous four contests against Cloudland.
Through the Titans Foundation, team owner K.S. “Bud” Adams Jr. will make a $1,000 contribution to North Greene’s football program in honor of Edens, who will be the team’s guest on Dec. 11 when the Titans take on the New Orleans Saints.
n Playoff update — If the playoffs started today, here’s a look at how things would stack up for area teams:
Class 6A — Hardin Valley at Maryville; Knox Bearden at Dobyns-Bennett; Knox Karns at Sevier County; Science Hill at Knox Farragut
This quadrant will show up a little different on the TSSAA website this week because Coffee County won’t be listed as a playoff team. However, despite having just three wins on the season, Coffee has already locked up the No. 2 spot in its district and earned a playoff berth.
That will likely bump Jefferson County from the playoff picture. The Patriots could battle back with one win in its next two games. If Jefferson County returns to Quadrant 1, Farragut would return to Quadrant 2.
Farragut is actually closer to Science Hill and Dobyns-Bennett in terms of travel distance than Maryville is. But the Rebels would come this way, according to TSSAA assistant executive director Matthew Gillespie.
The TSSAA’s explanation? Farragut is located closer to I-40 and better suited than Maryville for travel to far-end schools in Quadrant 2, such as Murfreesboro Riverdale, Blackman and Oakland.
Class 5A — Tennessee High at Morristown West; Morristown East at Knox West; Cocke County at South Doyle; Sullivan South at Cherokee
Daniel Boone still has a chance to get in the mix, and it’s strength of schedule could be a valuable tool. However, the Trailblazers must win their final two games.
Class 4A — Notre Dame at Greeneville; Sequoyah at Red Bank; Corryton Gibbs at Knox Fulton; Strawberry Plains Carter at Sullivan East
This quadrant gets stretched different directions each week, it seems, by many miles.
Class 3A — Happy Valley at Sullivan North; South Greene at Elizabethton; Gatlinburg-Pittman at West Greene; Chuckey-Doak at Pigeon Forge
In order for this quadrant to hold its form, Happy Valley and South Greene each need to win at least one of their last two games. If one of the two stays at four wins and doesn’t reach the playoffs, Austin-East could be bumped back into Quadrant 1. If neither reaches four wins, Alcoa could accompany Austin-East into the quadrant.
Barring a few major upsets across the state, Pittman should be OK even with four wins because it has eight games against teams who have won 50 percent or more of their games — the second tiebreaker after overall wins.
Class 2A — Cosby’s fourth win of the season gave Hampton a little comfort room in keeping Boyd Buchanan in Quadrant 2. Last year Hampton had to play Boyd in round 2 of the playoffs.
Right now the Bulldogs are the No. 1 seed in Quadrant 1 and would play host to the winner of North Greene and Oliver Springs.
If this bracket holds its shape, Hampton’s toughest hurdle to the state semifinals would probably be Rockwood or Oneida.
n Stat chat: Dobyns-Bennett and Science Hill are two of the highest-scoring Class 6A teams in the state.
Mount Juliet has scored the most, with 366 points, while D-B is second at 361. Arlington is third with 312, followed by Dickson County (306) and Science Hill (305).
The Indians average 46 points per game while the Hilltoppers are scoring 38 a contest. …
Defensively speaking, Memphis Whitehaven has allowed 51 points to lead the state among Class 6A teams. Maryville is second with 64, and the Rebels are followed by Independence (66), Brentwood (92) and D-B (98).
n Volleyball recap: Science Hill suffered a tough way out of last week’s district tournament, losing a pair of five-game matches. In each of its losses, against D-B and Sullivan Central, Science Hill led 2-0 but couldn’t finish it off.
“I was pleased with the way we finished the regular season, but I was disappointed with the district tournament,” said head coach Louise Stallworth. “I thought we had a shot to get to the finals. It was just one of those things.
“We let the third game get away both nights. It turned into a dogfight after that. A lot of it was due to youth.”
But that youth should serve Science Hill well in 2012.
“We have a good opportunity to have a really good season if we stay healthy,” said Stallworth.
n Elizabethton and University High will play first-round games in the Region 1-A/AA soccer tournament today.
The Lady Junior Bucs play host to Grainger at 6 p.m. at Civitan Park. Elizabethton takes on Claiborne at Rider Field, also at 6 p.m.
The other game will be Chuckey-Doak traveling to play Cosby.
Greeneville and Elizabethton each went 6-0-1 in league play, tying each other. Greeneville won the coin flip, and got the first-round bye.
Teams will wait until next week to play the region semifinals and championship.
n Football games of the week — Science Hill at Tennessee High, Daniel Boone at Sullivan South, Hampton at Happy Valley, Chuckey-Doak at West Greene.
Hilltoppers vs. Vikings — Tennessee High can present some offensive problems for opponents, but the Vikings’ defense will likely be no match for Science Hill’s high-point offense.
Trailblazers vs. Rebels — If there is any playoff talk in Gray, it can only be backed up if Boone finds a way to knock off its favored neighbors.
Bulldogs vs. Warriors — It might look like another long night for Happy Valley. However, if the Warriors can play two halves like the first half against Sullivan North, an upset — and likely a playoff berth — is within reach.
Black Knights vs. Buffaloes — It’s a county rivalry and there’s plenty at stake. It could be the makings of a classic.
n Pick of the week — Science Hill 33, Tennessee High 21.
There should be quite a few big plays in this contest, and the Hilltoppers should make the majority of them.
Picks record: 8-1.
n Player of the week — Austin Glover of Sullivan East.
It has been a surprisingly good season for the Patriots, and Glover added another chapter in Friday’s 49-13 win over Unicoi County.
The senior running back carried 17 times and gained 211 yards. He scored touchdowns on runs of 1 and 81 yards, and also scored on a 32-yard pass reception.
With his effort, Glover set a single-season school record for rushing yardage with 1,107 — breaking a 39-year-old school record, set in program’s third season of existence.
n The Hogs Award — Science Hill Hilltoppers.
In a 49-3 shutdown of Volunteer, the “Hill Hogs” were blocking maniacs. They cleared lanes for 335 yards rushing on 36 carries, an average of 9.3 per attempt.
In pass protection, the Hill Hogs’ fortress allowed 17 completions in 25 attempts (68 percent).
n Defensive unit of the week — Dobyns-Bennett Indians.
Tennessee High’s offense was victimized by the Indians’ defense, which racked up three touchdowns in a 46-10 victory.
Austin Straley had a 52-yard fumble return for a score, Justin Long had a 27-yard interception return, and Nick Sensabaugh had a 7-yard interception return.
D-B also held the Vikings to 52 yards rushing on 23 carries.
n This Week in Prep History — October 11, 1991.
Cloudland star running back Tim Clipse ran circles around West Greene. He totaled 360 yards rushing and four touchdowns in a 46-14 win. He also added two 2-point conversion runs.
n The top seven teams all earned wins, so there is little change in this week’s Prep Top 10.
Team W-L Prv
1. Dobyns-Bennett 8-0 1
2. Greeneville 7-1 2
3. Science Hill 6-2 3
4. Sullivan North 9-0 4
5. Hampton 8-0 5
6. Elizabethton 6-3 6
7. Sullivan South 5-3 8
8. Sullivan East 6-2 7
9. Tennessee High 4-4 9
10. Chuckey-Doak 6-2 10
(tie) West Greene 6-3 nr