“That might be a really huge understatement,” said Science Hill head coach Ken Cutlip, whose team earned a 79-44 basketball win over Volunteer on Senior Night at The New Gym on Wednesday.
Science Hill (12-14) had lost five of six games coming in and was looking for something positive.
“It’s one of those things you keep beating your head against the wall and don’t feel like you’re making any progress,” said Cutlip. “This is one of the best groups of young men I’ve had the opportunity to coach in my 15 years here. They get along and show up every day, no matter what happened the night before, and have a great attitude and work hard. The most frustrating part has been for me to see a good group of kids struggle the way we have.
“Finally they get a little bit of reward for their efforts. And they did it the way we expect from a Hilltoppers’ basketball team.”
Science Hill improved to 12-14 overall while moving its Big Seven Conference mark to 6-4. Volunteer (5-19 overall) fell to 2-7 in league play.
In the girls’ game, Science Hill crushed Volunteer by a score of 61-21.
STEVENS AT THE FOREFRONT
Senior Will Stevens made the most of his opportunity. He steered home four 3-pointers and finished with 17 points.
“It was Senior Night and everybody was looking for everybody and being unselfish,” Stevens said. “That’s the best thing about this team is we’re the most unselfish group. We were just looking for each other and people were hitting.”
Cutlip said it was a nice night for Stevens.
“He looked really good,” said Cutlip. “We made the extra pass to get him some of those shots, and he just kept going.”
Amare Redd and Drew Morrison also reached double digits in points, each totaling 10.
Science Hill jumped out to a 20-9 lead at the end of one quarter, but stretched it only slightly, 35-22, by halftime.
In the third quarter, Science Hill ran away by outscoring the Falcons, 25-9.
“We’re really close to being a pretty good team,” said Cutlip. “I’m proud of them. Tonight was a step in the right direction.”
Chance Johnson paced the way for Volunteer. He finished with 12 points.
Teammate Hunter Skelton added 10 points.
Science Hill 61, Volunteer 21
It started like a runaway and never slowed down.
The Lady Hilltoppers built a 35-13 halftime lead and then held Volunteer to eight second-half points. The Lady Falcons made only six baskets the entire game.
“I thought our kids focused and really came out ready to play,” said Science Hill head coach Scottie Whaley. “That’s what you want to see at this time of year. Defensively, we did a good job in spells. We’ve just got to be able to rebound a little better. For the most part we played really well.”
The Lady Hilltoppers (22-3 overall) improved to 9-1 in league play.
Symantha Fugate and Alasia Smith each totaled 13 points to lead the Hilltoppers’ offensive attack. Erin Egerbrecht totaled 12 points while freshman Nae Marion came off the bench and contributed nine points.
Volunteer (5-19) fell to 1-8 in conference play.