Science Hill stayed atop the Big Seven Conference’s boys and girls basketball standings with a sweep of homestanding David Crockett on Friday night.
The Hilltoppers beat the Pioneers 59-47 in a game that didn’t resemble the teams’ first meeting at all. Science Hill won 80-38 two weeks ago in a Sevierville holiday tournament. This time around, the ’Toppers held just a four-point lead heading into the final quarter.
Led by Keynan Cutlip’s game-high 21 points and four assists, the ’Toppers made the plays down the stretch to improve to 16-2 overall and 5-0 in the league. Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip thought another key was his team taking better care of the ball the second half.
“We had five turnovers the second half after we had nine the first half,” Coach Cutlip said. “I told our kids coming in that we had played about the best we could the last time we played them and everything went our way. They didn’t play that well, so we got the lopsided score.
“We knew they were much better than that score indicated. I thought early on, they were quicker to the ball and got the loose ball. But in the second half, we did a better job defensively and we were more effective finishing some shots.”
Guards Joah Shay and Dalvin Mathes scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. Despite getting in early foul trouble, Amare Redd finished with nine points and six rebounds. Keynan Cutlip recorded nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter.
“We knew the game was on the line and we had to get it done,” Keynan Cutlip said. “We knew they were going to come out hot and have some pep in the step after the way the last game ended. We just had to fight through and come out on top.
“Dalvin and Joah, they’re amazing. They’re so fast and they can just get you the ball in the perfect spots. That’s why they rack up so many assists.”
Science Hill took an 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, but couldn’t shake the Pioneers over the next two quarters. The lead was 22-18 at the half and 42-38 when the third-quarter buzzer sounded.
Mason Britton scored 15 points to lead the Pioneers (6-8, 1-2). Isaiah Lang also landed in double figures with 11 points.
“I thought we played good enough to win defensively. We kept hanging in there, but we couldn’t score,” Crockett coach Cody Connell said. “We got some good looks, but that’s been the problem the last 3-4 games where we can’t score. I hate losing more than anybody, but I thought we played good enough to win. At the end, they just pulled away.”
Science Hill 56, David Crockett 41
Every time that Science Hill needed a big score, Jasmin Myers answered the call.
Myers scored 10 fourth-quarter points and 19 overall to lift the Lady ’Toppers (8-9, 3-0) over the Lady Pioneers (5-5, 1-2).
Science Hill dominated the first half, leading 19-13 at the end of one quarter and 33-18 at the break. The lead grew as much as 18 points in the third quarter before the Crockett rally began.
The Lady Pioneers cut the lead to eight points early in the fourth quarter before Myers had back-to-back scores.
“She’s just a tough kid,” Science Hill coach Scottie Whaley said about Myers. “Jasmin shows up to play every night. People saw it last year in the sub-state game. I love her and all these kids on this team.”
Whaley said there was an emphasis to stop Crockett’s leading scorer Emma Gouge, limited to two points, and shooters Emily Trivette and Alyssa Suits, who were both held to five.
“It’s a credit to our kids. We stayed in the 2-2-1 press and then to a zone, trying to match to her (Gouge),” Whaley said. “Then, our kids rotated to the shooters. I really liked our defensive effort tonight.”
On the offensive end, Nae Marion totaled 10 points for Science Hill, while Colleen Coughlin and Kathryn Patton each finished with eight. Science Hill dedicated the win to the late Buzzy Love, the grandfather of assistant coach Gabby Lyon and a mentor to many players in the Johnson City area.
Mackenzie Baldwin was Crockett’s lone double-digit scorer with 11 points. Crockett coach Thomas Gouge felt the Lady Pioneers didn’t play their best ball after scoring a big win over Dobyns-Bennett on Tuesday.
“We came out flat early and they pounded the ball inside to get 3-4 easy baskets,” Gouge said. “Once we started packing it in, they made five threes. We’ve got to get better production from our top six (players). We were 2-for-21 from the 3-point line. We had 23-24 turnovers and you’re not going to win against teams like that. Their zone was long and they extended it and we couldn’t make shots.”