Friday morning’s elimination game at the 36th Arby’s Classic basketball tournament inside Viking Hall was no exception.
The Indians, led by junior post player Charlie Browder’s 16 points and nine rebounds, came away with their second win over the Hilltoppers this season, 64-54. D-B advanced in the losers’ bracket to play Morristown East on Saturday at 9 a.m.
Marae Foreman also finished with 16 points and Riamello Wadsworth had 12 for the Tribe.
“We know exactly what they do and we know what they stand for. It’s never easy,” D-B coach Chris Poore said of the Hilltoppers. “They were the much more physical team in the first half and we did a poor job of blocking them out.”
Junior forward Jake Matherne scored 16 points and hauled down 15 rebounds to lead the Hilltoppers.
After being down 14-4 at one point early, Science Hill had grabbed the momentum heading into the locker room at halftime. The Hilltoppers trailed just 16-13 at the end of the first quarter and 27-25 after two. Matherne helped cap the rally by getting a hook shot to go underneath the bucket as the horn sounded.
The Tribe imposed its will late in the third quarter, pushing what was a four-point lead out to 10 by the end of the period. Up 60-52 but with Science Hill regaining momentum following an Andrew Miller 3-pointer from the corner, the Indians found a forceful spark.
Browder cut underneath for an emphatic slam dunk, a play that even garnered a smile from the usually stoic Poore.
“That was just an energy play,” the coach said. “We’re not used to seeing it in the game, but we’re seeing it more and more in practice. It definitely put an emphasis on the game tonight.”
Science Hill had a 29-28 rebounding edge in a game in which the teams limited each other to a lot of one-and-done possessions. But the ’Toppers turned over the ball 15 times and shot 21-for-51 from the field — just 5-for-16 from 3-point range.
“We stayed in with offensive rebounds, but we still have to put the ball in the basket,” Science Hill coach Ken Cutlip said. “We turned the ball over too much. They imposed their will on us in that third quarter and pushed us out of our spots.
“It’s hard to defend turnovers when its two-on-none or one-on-none going down the court. We’ve got to do a better job of taking care of the ball.”