Third time's the charm for 'Toppers

By Ivan Sanders

   BRISTOL -- Science Hill was hoping that the third time would be the charm against Chattanooga Brainerd in the Arby's Classic.
   After being defeated twice this season by Brainerd by margins of three and 12, the Hilltoppers finally found the right formula and defeated Brainerd 49-37 at Viking Hall on Thursday evening.
   Rob Love scored 15 and Nick Bradley pitched in with seven to give Coach Mike Poe and his squad a big win. Brainerd was paced by their star point-guard Cedric Dozier with 12, while teammate Antoine Ward netted 11.
   The game was a close affair, as the 'Toppers held the upper hand at intermission 25-20. Defense was the name of the game in the third period, as Brainerd outscored Science Hill 9-6 to cut the lead to two 31-29.
   The fourth quarter belonged to the 'Toppers as they burnt the nets for 18 while limiting the Panthers to only eight. Included in the quarter was a two-handed slam by Love that brought the crowd to its feet.
   Science Hill will now face Memorial High from Houston, TX at 8 p.m. on Friday night, while Brainerd will face Jack Hayward from the Bahamas at 12 noon on Friday.
   Memorial, TX .........................55
   Jack Hayward, Bahamas.........42
Memorial, TX came out with vengeance against Jack Hayward, as the Mustangs completely shut down the Wildcats in the first half.
   Memorial tickled the twine for 35 points in the first 16 minutes of play while holding Hayward to 17 total points. The Mustangs full-court press took its toll early forcing several turnovers by the Wildcats.
   The Wildcats managed to re-group at intermission and came back to make a game of it as they outscored Memorial 12-6 in the third. Memorial made some adjustments between quarters and came out to take the game by outscoring Hayward 14-13 in the final period.
   Jonathan Gaines and James Lake paced the Mustangs with 12 points each. Marvin Gray had another outstanding game as he led Jack Hayward with 15. Trevor Williams added 11 for the Wildcats.
   Memorial must now prepare for the Hilltoppers of Science Hill on Friday, while Jack Hayward faces Brainerd.
   Urspring, Germany.................38
   Spartanburg, SC....................37
Spartanburg led for most of the game, until it counted the most.
   This contest was a nip-and-tuck affair the entire game as neither team seemed to be able to establish a large lead. Urspring was able to edge out to a 11-8 lead after one, as Julius van de Laar took matters in his own hand scoring eight in the period.
   Spartanburgs' 6'7" Jamaal Brown, who has verbally committed to Western Kentucky, then came alive in the second period. The Vikings post player scored eight in the quarter to finish with 14 points in the first 16 minutes of action.
   The Vikings clung to a slim one-point lead at the half 20-19. Brown then scored five in the third to help the Vikings outscore Urspring 11-8 in the third to take a four point margin into the final stanza 31-27.
   Laar again stepped up his play, scoring six points early to help Urspring take a 34-33 lead with 5:09 left to play.
   Over the next three minutes, the Vikings were able to regain the lead due in large part to a technical assessed to Roland Andris for slapping the ball on an inbounds play by the Vikings.
   Leading 37-36 with 1:42 to play, Urspring called time out to set up a final play. The Germans milked the clock to :02 when Laar hit a bank shot to give Urspring the lead and the victory 38-37.
   Laar finished with 24 for Urspring while Brown collected 19 for Spartanburg. Brown also ripped the boards for 24 rebounds.
   Elizabethton will take their shot at the Germans on Friday night at 9:30 p.m. while Spartanburg will face Tabernacle of the Bahamas at 1:30 p.m. Friday.