Hilltoppers to meet tall Georgia team in Arby's Classic

Douglas Fritz • Nov 19, 2017 at 6:30 PM

Science Hill has met its share of first-round behemoths in the Arby’s Classic basketball tournament.

And while Decatur (Ga.) Columbia might not be the toughest, the Eagles certainly meet the height requirement.

Boasting 6-foot-8 sophomore Josh Taylor, 6-5 senior Keondre Kennedy, and 6-5 senior Lorenzo McGee, the 2010 Arby’s champions will meet the Hilltoppers at 4 p.m. on Dec. 26 on the first day of the event at Viking Hall in Bristol. The pairings were announced Sunday during a blind draw at the Arby’s restaurant in Bristol, Virginia.

“Size like that is a big concern,” said Science Hill head coach Ken Cutlip. “We probably have one of the smallest teams I’ve ever coached. That size will be a huge obstacle for us. As always, the outside teams you face in this event are going to be a big challenge for all of the local teams.”

In earlier games on Dec. 26, Tabernacle Baptist plays Virginia’s Eastside High at 1 p.m., and Greeneville takes on Knox Bearden at 2:30 p.m.

Also on Science Hill’s side of the bracket are Knoxville’s Webb School and Fern Creek, Kentucky. Those teams will play at 5:30 p.m.

Gate City, Virginia, takes on North Mecklenberg, North Carolina, at 7 o’clock. The final game is Tennessee High going up against Landstown, Virginia, at 8:30.

The tournament continues with five games on Dec. 27. Columbus, Mississippi, plays the Eastside-Tabernacle winner at 4 p.m., and Dobyns-Bennett battles Mater Academy of Florida at 5:30. Sullivan East faces off with Alabama’s Lee High at 7, and Ohio’s Lakota East takes on the Greeneville-Bearden winner at 8:30.

Cutlip said one thing he doesn’t like about the Arby’s is the potential to play area teams after the first round.

“In our same bracket, we have Gate City, Tennessee High and Knox Webb,” said Cutlip. “We will have played all of those teams before the Arby’s Classic. That’s the detriment. We don’t want to see the same teams, especially not conference teams like Tennessee High.”

Eight games are scheduled for Dec. 28 and the semifinals are set for Dec. 29. The championship is slated for Dec. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

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