Jerriah Love launched a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc at the end of overtime that looked right on target. It hit the front of the rim and bounced off in a 60-58 loss to Dobyns-Bennett on Friday night at the Buck Van Huss Dome.
It came just moments after Dobyns-Bennett’s Marae Foreman drove the lane and hit the game winner for the Indians.
“That was crazy. I took the opportunity and took the shot to win the game. It feels so good,” Foreman said. “When I saw Jerriah take his shot, I was like, ‘Oh no, don’t let that go in.’ He’s such a great player and it’s such a battle when we play.”
The Indians improved to 17-5 overall and 5-1 in the Big Seven Conference. Science Hill fell to 13-7 and 4-1.
Love paced the Hilltoppers with a game-high 17 points, followed by David Bryant with 12 points. Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip was most upset that his team wasn’t able to put the game away in regulation after holding a seven-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter.
“It was everything you would expect when Kingsport and Johnson City get together,” Cutlip said. “Two traditionally rich programs with a lot of pride. We get the shot at the end of regulation and it rolls out. They get the shot at the end of overtime and their shot goes in. I can’t fault our efforts, but I didn’t like our execution with the things we did to prepare for this game. Hats off to them, they made the plays to win the game.”
It took two long-range, 3-point baskets by Brody Potter just to keep the Indians in it. He hit one from the right corner with 1:00 left on the clock to cut the lead to 49-48. He hit another with eight seconds left to tie the game at 51-51. Science Hill forward Tate Wheeler’s shot rolled off the rim at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Riamello Wadsworth scored 16 points to lead the Indians, followed by Potter with 14 and Foreman with 10. The game was the first home game in the series for coach Chris Poore in his first year at Dobyns-Bennett.
“If this is what these games are like, I don’t know if I’m going to live very long,” Poore said. “That was fun to watch. You had such a great battle between Foreman and Love with those two going back and forth all night.
“Brody found a way and our other kids found a way to make tough shots late. Science Hill was fighting, scrapping and clawing and I was proud of how our guys stood toe-to-toe with you for the duration.”
Dobyns-Bennett opened the game with the first seven points and led 17-7 at the end of one quarter. The Hilltoppers soon closed the margin to just a single point on back-to-back 3-point shots by David Bryant. Science Hill kept pressing and took a 27-25 lead into the half.
The Hilltoppers led 43-37 at the end of three quarters, leading into the frantic final quarter and overtime.
Science Hill 45, Dobyns-Bennett 38
Symantha Fugate caught fire and the Lady ’Toppers (18-2, 5-0) opened the second half with a flurry to down the Lady Indians (13-7, 3-3).
Fugate scored 11 points in the third quarter and 16 points overall. Erin Egerbrecht came through with 11 points, including a pair of key 3-point shots in the fourth quarter. Jelia Greenlee also reached double figures with 10.
“The second half boiled down to whether we had pride and guts,” Science Hill coach Scottie Whaley said. “That’s what we told our kids at halftime, and to our kids’ credit they stepped up and made plays. D-B did a great job defensively where we couldn’t run sets, so our kids had to make plays.
“We were stagnant the first half, but a lot of that had to do with D-B. That was just a gut-check for our kids and they responded in what was a great high school game. Fugate and Egerbrecht made some big shots and Aysha Redford played great defense. Just a good team win.”
Down 24-13 at the half, Science Hill opened with the first nine points of the third quarter. A stingy Science Hill defense held Dobyns-Bennett to just three points, all on free throws, in the third quarter to leave the game tied at 27 heading into the fourth.
The Lady Indians scored the first eight points of the game and opened with a 10-1 run. They stayed ahead by at least five points the rest of the first quarter, holding a 16-8 lead at the end of one.
But, the early start didn’t hold up to Science Hill’s second-half surge.
Courtney Whitson scored 12 points and Emilee Lane finished with nine to lead the Lady Indians.