Hilltoppers preparing for private-school power

Douglas Fritz • Updated Dec 4, 2017 at 6:25 PM

The Science Hill boys’ basketball team will get quite a test Friday as the Hilltoppers open play in their own Roundball in the Palace tournament.

In the fourth game of the evening, they will take on Knox Webb. The Spartans are unbeaten at 7-0, heading into Tuesday’s game against First Baptist Academy.

And the private school hasn’t been beating up on cream puffs. The Spartans’ opponents have a combined record of 20-14, meaning they are 20-7 when not playing Webb.

Science Hill head coach Ken Cutlip said his team will face quite a challenge.

“The fact they are playing in the Arby’s Classic speaks volumes,” said Cutlip. “They are always well coached and return all-state and Mr. Basketball finalist Chase Ridenour. We will definitely have our hands full.”

Ridenour averaged 19 points per game last season. Webb also has Myles Rasnick, Charlie Wyrick and Emory Lanier. Rasnick, Lanier and Ridenour combined for 48 points in a recent 68-44 win over Alcoa.

Science Hill is 6-2, but still undefeated against in-state opponents. Their losses came against Mac McClung and Gate City, Virginia — by six points in overtime — and to Smyrna (Georgia) Campbell, which is 5-1 with its only loss against two-time Arby’s Classic champion Marietta (Georgia) Wheeler.

CAK is also in the two-day event. The Warriors (4-3) will take on Elizabethton (0-4) at 5:30 p.m.

On the girls’ side, Science Hill will play Knox Webb (1-5) at 7 o’clock. The Lady Hilltoppers are 7-0 with four wins by five points or less.

In the early game Friday, CAK will take on Elizabethton at 4 o’clock. CAK is 6-1 with its lone loss against Greeneville. The Lady Cyclones are 2-4.

The Hilltoppers and Cyclones trade opponents for Saturday’s games, which begin at 2:30 p.m.

Boys Games of the Week


Cherokee at Daniel Boone


Dobyns-Bennett at David Crockett

Sullivan Central at Sullivan East

Daniel Boone has a chance to get back in the mix at the top of the Big Seven. …

David Crockett can solidify a good start by protecting its home court. …

East and Central renew their rivalry, this time as league opponents.

Girls Games of the Week


Science Hill at Tennessee High

Cherokee at Daniel Boone

Unicoi County at Sullivan South


Sullivan Central at Sullivan East

The Lady Hilltoppers get a road challenge as they try to keep pace with Boone, which gets its first league test against the newcomer Lady Chiefs. …

After South’s surprise win over Central, the Lady Rebels find themselves fighting with Unicoi for the early lead in the Three Rivers.

Hilltoppers’ Hall

Science Hill has announced its Hall of Fame class for 2018. The school will induct: Lucas Anderson, Jeff Bedard, Lexi Burley, Ty Cody, Chris Cole, Tim Colvin, Brian Falkner, Kenneth Gilley, Alexander Greer, Will Little, Matthew McGahey, Brian Miller, Kendall Murphy, Victoria Nguyen, Daniel Norris, Mike Rader, Ivey Rice, Chris Smith, Louise Stallworth, Sam “DD” Stuart, Tom Wade, Jay Wilkerson and Pete Zannis.

The ceremony will take place on Jan. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Science Hill auditorium.

College signings

Elizabethton softball standout Lauren Brickey made her decision last week. The Lady Cyclones’ pitcher and infielder made it official with Walters State. …

Science Hill baseball standouts Chance Hall and Garrett Wilkins will sign Wednesday with Milligan College. The ceremony is set for 3 p.m. at the Science Hill gym.

Wrestling update

The first state poll of the season came out Monday, and Science Hill stood strong at No. 4.

Coming off a season where the Hilltoppers lost a tough state semifinal match against Cleveland and ended with a third-place finish, Science Hill looks strong against this year. The Hilltoppers are the No. 2-ranked public school.

Cleveland is ranked No. 1, followed by private schools Chattanooga McCallie and Memphis Christian Brothers. Private school Chattanooga Baylor is fifth, followed by Wilson Central and last year’s champion, Bradley Central.

This is the 26th year of the poll, which is primarily a measure of dual-meet strength with some consideration to individual-tournament strength. Votes are cast by a statewide panel of high school wrestling coaches.

Basketball rankings

David Crockett muscles its way up to the No. 2 spot in this week’s Top 10:

Team (W-L) — Prv

1. Science Hill (5-2) — 1

2. David Crockett (5-2) — 5

3. Unicoi County (6-1) — 3

4. Daniel Boone (4-3) — 4

5. Dobyns-Bennett (5-4) — 2

6. Johnson County (6-2) — 9

7. Sullivan East (5-4) — 6

8. Sullivan Central (4-3) — 7

9. Cherokee (5-2) — 10

10. Tennessee High (2-3) — 8


There was plenty of movement again this week in the girls’ rankings:

Team (W-L) — Prv

1. Daniel Boone (5-1) — 1

2. Science Hill (7-0) — 2

3. Sullivan Central (3-1) — 3

4. Cherokee (5-2) — 4

5. Cloudland (7-1) — 6

6. Unaka (7-2) — 7

7. Unicoi County (4-2) — 10

8. Dobyns-Bennett (3-5) — 5

9. Sullivan East (4-6) — 8

10. North Greene (7-1) — 9

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