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Lady 'Toppers ride Smith to win over Chiefs

Douglas Fritz • Jan 16, 2019 at 1:47 AM

JOHNSON CITY — If Tuesday’s girls basketball game was any indication of Alasia Smith’s readiness for Dobyns-Bennett later this week, the Lady Indians should prepare for a heavy dose of No. 30.

The Science Hill junior scored 21 of her team’s 27 first-half points, and the Lady Hilltoppers rode her 29-point overall effort to a 51-34 Big 7 Conference win over Cherokee on Tuesday night at The New Gym.

“We had a mismatch with her inside,” said Science Hill coach Scottie Whaley. “We just kind of went with a four-around-one motion, and the kids did a good job of getting her the ball in the first half.”

Science Hill (18-3, 5-1) hosts the first-place Lady Indians on Friday.

Playing without the injured Symantha Fugate, who could return to the lineup for Friday’s game, Science Hill was more than a one-player show — especially in the final two quarters.

“In the second half, our other kids really stepped up and made plays,” Whaley said. “Lily Cullop and Jasmine Myers really played well for us in the second half tonight.”

Whaley said Cherokee has been up for challenges this season against everybody in the league.

“They’re going to be tough to deal with come tournament time,” he said.

This game was no exception. The Lady Chiefs, who got a 20-point performance from Harper Russell, were within eight points, 34-26, heading into the fourth quarter. But Science Hill found a groove and pulled away. Cullop had three fourth-quarter buckets.

“We had really good effort tonight,” Whaley said. “That’s what I was pleased with.”

SCIENCE HILL BOYS SURGE TO WIN

Science Hill’s boys scored 29 points in the second quarter and didn’t look back in taking a 78-45 Big 7 win over Cherokee.

The Hilltoppers (11-11, 5-1) remained in a first-place tie with D-B going into Friday night’s clash in Johnson City.

“It was important to get momentum,” said Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip. “We haven’t been able to sustain it, but this is an indication we’re headed in the right direction.”

One of the best things Science Hill did was use everybody on the court. Five players scored and four of them had multiple buckets in the second quarter.

For the game, the Hilltoppers totaled 20 assists with five players getting three or more. Laithen Shingledecker led with four.

“That right there is an indication of fantastic ball movement,” Cutlip said.

Scoring-wise, Hunter Phillips stood out in the first half by totaling 13 of his 17 points for the game. Phillips added 12 rebounds to finish with a double- double.

“He had the best first half he’s had all year,” Cutlip said. “Really over the last couple of weeks, he has elevated his game offensively and defensively. Tonight he was really aggressive and set the tone.”

Kendle Cutlip was another part of the Science Hill story. He wore out the nets with five 3-pointers and finished with 16 points. Jake Matherne added 13 points and Andrew Miller chipped in with 12.

“We had some guys get some really good looks, and they knocked it down,” said Coach Cutlip.

Ryan Bledsoe led the Chiefs (0-6 Big 7) with 13 points and Jason Satler added 11.

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