Friday morning’s elimination game at the 36th Arby’s Classic basketball tournament inside Viking Hall was no exception as the Indians came away with the second win over the Hilltoppers this season, 64-54.
Led by junior post player Charlie Browder’s 16 points and nine rebounds, the Indians advanced in the losers’ bracket to play Morristown East on Saturday morning starting at 9. Marae Foreman also had 16 while Riamello Wadsworth amassed 12 for the Tribe.
“We know exactly what they do and we know what they stand for. It’s never easy,” Tribe head coach Chris Poore said. “They were the much more physical team in the first half and we did a poor job of blocking them out.”
The ’Toppers were paced by junior forward Jake Matherne, finishing with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Science Hill barely outrebounded D-B 29-28, but it was fairly even most of the game as both teams limited each other to a lot of one-and-done possessions.
Science Hill did get a lot of momentum going into the locker room, being down 14-4 at one point early in the first quarter. Matherne helped cap off the rally by getting a hook shot to go underneath the bucket as the horn sounded for halftime.
“We stayed in with offensive rebounds, but we still have to put the ball in the basket,” Science Hill head coach Ken Cutlip said. “We turned the ball over too much. They imposed their will on us in that third quarter and pushed us out of our spots.
“It’s hard to defend turnovers when it’s two on none or one on none going down the court. We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”
The ’Toppers finished with 15 turnovers and shot 21 for 51 from the field. The 3-point line was also not a friend for the ’Toppers, as they went just 5-for-16.
All in all, the statistics for both teams were pretty close — but the Tribe had a few more timely takeaways that sealed the deal.
The Indians did impose their will late in the third quarter, pushing what was a four-point lead out to 10 by the end of the period. With D-B leading 60-52 and Science Hill getting momentum off of an Andrew Miller 3-pointer from the corner, D-B needed an answer.
The Tribe got that answer in the form of a emphatic slam dunk from Browder cutting underneath. It even garnered a smile from the usually stoic Poore.
“That was just an energy play,” he said. “We’re not used to seeing it in the game, but we’re seeing it more and more in practice. It definitely put an emphasis on the game (today).”