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Athleticism wasn't lacking for the Hilltoppers in the 2010s

Douglas Fritz • May 5, 2020 at 10:00 AM

Editor’s note: This is the fifth of a six-part series, honoring the top players in the last 50 years of Science Hill High School basketball. The Johnson City Press All-Decade and All-Half Century teams were chosen by a panel. Each team consists of 10 players.

Carving its own niche in Science Hill history, the teams of the 2010s have kept tradition rolling.

And they did it with plenty of athleticism. Several players shined in other sports, including a pair who are still part of professional baseball teams these days.

The Hilltoppers’ 2012 squad had eventual Class AAA champion Memphis East on the ropes in the state semifinals. Leading by 19 points in the third quarter, the Hilltoppers lost all but one point of that advantage by the end of the period. They regrouped for an eight-point fourth-quarter lead, but eventually lost, 81-71.

Another tough pill to swallow came the next season. Seemingly destined to set the all-time school record for wins, Science Hill was upset 60-59 in overtime by Maryville in the sectional. The 2013 team finished in a tie with the three state championship teams (1990, 1994, 1995), which each won 37 games.

The Hilltoppers returned to the state in 2016, losing to Blackman in the quarterfinals. Head coach Ken Cutlip guided the Hilltoppers to three 30-win seasons in the decade.

C.J. GOOD

With maybe the quickest release of any player in Science Hill history, Good shredded the nets for 1,869 career points. One coach said he was “one of the best pure shooters to play at Science Hill.” He shot 56 percent from the field as a senior, despite a high number of treys. His 363 career 3-pointers rank No. 8 all time in state history, and his teams won 133 games in his four years. The guard went on to average 12.5 points in a four-year career at King University.

WILL ADAMS

The numbers tell an important part of the story: 1,486 points with over 500 assists, 400 rebounds and 300 steals in a four-year varsity career. One coach said Adams was, “one of the most unselfish players, and an extension of the coach on the floor.” Also a standout football player on the The Hill, the point guard went on to play 102 games over four years at Presbyterian College, averaging 6.5 points his senior season in 2017.

HUNTER LEVEAU

He was 6-foot-5 and could score inside or outside. He totaled over 800 points and 500 rebounds for his career in the early part of the decade, shooting 56 percent from the field. The swingman went on to average double digits in scoring for four seasons at King University.

ZACH HOWARD

Finishing just seven points shy of 1,000 for his career, Howard was an integral part of the 2012 team. Against Memphis East, the guard totaled 22 points, four assists and three rebounds, and was chosen to the all-tournament team.

WILL CARTER

An athletic wing, Carter was a big-time threat from behind the arc. He hit at least five treys in a game three times in his senior year in 2011. He played collegiate baseball at Alabama and is currently a member of the Chicago White Sox’ Triple-A team in Charlotte.

REED HAYES

One of the best athletes in the history of Science Hill, the swingman made his mark on the basketball court with over 800 points, 400 rebounds and 200 assists in the early part of the decade. He played baseball at Vanderbilt and is in Class A Advanced minor league ball with the Baltimore Orioles’ organization.

CALVIN SONGSTER

He built a resume that included 1,166 points. The guard made 93 treys in his senior season in 2014. One coach said he was one of the toughest players in several decades. Songster averaged 12.6 points in a four-year career at Maryville College.

MALIK McGUE

A gifted athlete, McGue’s career was defined as being a winner. He shot an eye-opening 47 percent from behind the arc as a senior in 2015 while also dishing out 105 assists. He hit the game-winning shot to beat Dobyns-Bennett in the region championship as a senior. He went on to play football at Army and is now playing at ETSU.

PEYTON WINGATE

Totaling 558 points as a senior, Wingate climbed into the top 15 on Science Hill’s all-time scoring list with 1,286 points. He made 104 treys as a senior in 2016 and helped the Hilltoppers reach the state tournament.

BOWDEN LYON

Another of Science Hill’s impressive athletes, Lyon was a part of three straight region championship teams. He was first or second in every statistical category as a senior in 2017. He also made the game-winning shot to beat David Crockett for the region title as a junior.

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