CHURCH HILL — In practical terms, being the second-ranked basketball team in any state is no different than being No. 1. All opponents, ranked or unranked, are shooting for you.
In Science Hill’s case Tuesday night, the teams wearing the bull’s-eyes did the shooting.
The Hilltoppers boys and girls combined for 30 3-point goals and Science Hill picked up a pair of Big 8 Conference road wins at Volunteer.
Morgan Knack knocked down six treys on her way to 18 points, and the No. 2 Lady Hilltoppers stroked 15 trifectas in a 91-46 win.
Will Adams went 4-for-5 beyond the arc on his way to 20 points for the No. 2 Science Hill boys, who also hit 15 treys in a 93-44 win.
“We have a great group of kids. All the work they put in during the offseason is why they’re able to hit the shots they do,” said Hilltoppers coach Ken Cutlip, whose squad hit nine first-half trifectas en route to a 53-23 intermission advantage.
It didn’t show up in the final score, but the Lady Falcons appeared to hang a little tougher with the Johnson City juggernaut.
Already missing two key contributors, the Volunteer girls were short-winded by virtue of rampant colds and flu. Rather than let the Lady Hilltoppers spread the floor and slash them to ribbons, coach Jerry Myers set them up in a zone defense.
The Lady Falcons (14-10, 3-5) had success getting back and kept Science Hill’s transition points to a minimum. But transition wasn’t Volunteer’s undoing.
It soon became evident that the Lady ’Toppers (20-2, 10-0) were on a collective streak. Shy Copney, Tianna Tarter, Knack and Keisha Gregory all hit 3s in the final three minutes of the first quarter, after which Science Hill led 27-16.
“If we played them before they invented the 3-point shot, I think we could’ve hung with them,” quipped Myers, who subsequently proclaimed Science Hill the best high school girls team he’d ever seen.
The fearless Lady Falcons manage a final defiant surge toward the end of the second quarter.
Volunteer trimmed the Lady ’Toppers’ lead to 10 points when Savannah Felgemacher deflected a Science Hill pass into the backcourt and raced past the opposing guards. Felgemacher caught the runaway ball just before it rolled out of bounds in the right corner, and the sophomore deftly flicked it back to trailing teammate Emily Armstrong for an easy layup.
The afterglow of that athletic highlight was short-lived. Science Hill responded with seven unanswered points, including another Knack 3, to lead 45-28 at the half.
Lindsey Overbey scored 14 points to pace the Lady Falcons. Felgemacher finished with nine.
Copney scored 16 points for the Lady Hilltoppers. Tarter added 13 and Gabby Lyons chipped in 12.
On the boys’ side, Reed Hayes scored 17 points with five rebounds for Science Hill (26-2, 10-0). Calvin Songster had 16 points and five assists. C.J. Good had 15 points and Patrick Good had seven assists.
Brad Halderman scored 16 for Volunteer (3-16, 0-8).
“They’re as unselfish as any team I’ve seen. At times, I’d have liked to have been able to just watch them play,” said Volunteer coach Chris Brown, whose team committed 17 first-half turnovers.