Holding South Greene to 14 first-half points, the Hilltoppers churned out a 52-45 boys’ basketball victory at Sullivan East High School. Although there was more scoring in the second half, it remained a sloppy game without much flow.
“It slowed down on both ends and was an ugly game,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said. “South Greene plays really hard and they did what they needed to stay in the game. I thought defensively we were good the first half, and we were solid until up in the fourth quarter when they got loose for some threes late when they had to catch and shoot them.”
Griffin Ballard scored a career-high 14 points to lead the Hilltoppers (4-0) offensively. Keynan Cutlip finished with 10 points, while Jordan McLoyd and Jake Matherne each added eight. Hunter Phillips added five rebounds and four assists.
Aydan Hawk was the only Rebels player in double figures with 11 points. Levi Myers added seven for the Rebels (2-3).
It was a defensive struggle for both teams early with the Hilltoppers leading 8-5 at the end of one quarter. Science Hill opened up a little distance in the second quarter, going up 26-14 at the half. Dalvin Mathes hit a pair of 3-point goals which the coach felt was a key to the victory.
“Dalvin made some big plays in the second quarter,” Cutlip said. “He did a good job of taking care of the basketball and he made those two 3-pointers. That gave us some cushion and breathing room.”
The pace slowed in the third quarter with each team scoring nine points. Science Hill pulled ahead by 12 in the final period before South Greene closed within five with 10 seconds to go. McLoyd hit a pair of free throws with five seconds left for the final score.
Sullivan Central 51, Hampton 39
The Cougars (1-3) avenged a loss to the Bulldogs (2-1) days earlier by winning Wednesday’s opening game.
Joltin Harrison led the way with 18 points. Preston Sams wound up with eight points and Jacob Fields added seven.
Hampton rallied to pull within four points in the fourth quarter before Central pulled away. Jordan Bentley paced the Bulldogs with 11 points, followed by Matt Hughes with eight and Izaak Hill with seven.
Sullivan Central 60, Morristown West 45
Jaelyn West led four Lady Cougars (4-0) in double figures in a surprisingly easy win over the Lady Trojans (1-1).
Avery Leming hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer for a 32-22 Central halftime lead and the Lady Cougars dominated the second half, pushing the lead out to 22 points. Jaelyn West totaled 14 points for Central while Peyton Sams had 12 points, Macy McClellan 11 and Abby Crawford 10.
Lexi Howard was West’s leading scorer with 18 points. Hannah Seals was next highest with six.