BRISTOL—Oak Ridge senior Tyshawn Young scored a game-high 29 points and senior Anthony Gibson added 17 as the Wildcats beat Science Hill in the first round of the Arby’s Classic in Bristol on Tuesday.
It was the second time Oak Ridge defeated the Hilltoppers this month. They also won 82-72 in the Champion Chevrolet Shootout at Science Hill in Johnson City on December 17.
In the earlier game, the undefeated Wildcats (12-0, 5-0 District 3-AAA) played without standout senior Tee Higgins because his right shoulder was inflamed.
On Tuesday, they again played without Higgins. He is in Orlando for the Under Armour All-America Football Game on New Year’s Day. But they also played without another top senior, E.J. Bush, who injured his knee during the earlier Science Hill game and will not play in the Arby’s Classic basketball tournament this week.
Without those two in the lineup, other players are expected to step up, including some sophomore bench players. Sophomore Herbert Booker started for Bush Tuesday.
Young, a senior, stepped up on Tuesday. He had 12 points in the first half, and another 17 in the second, or 29 total on 10-of-14 shooting. It’s not clear if that is a personal best for Young. (Oak Ridge Today will try to confirm that and update this story as we can.)
Young made nine out of 10 free throws and also had eight rebounds and one steal.
Gibson, who led the Wildcats with 22 points during one Arby’s Classic game last year, hit three of six three-point shots on his way to 17 points total against Science Hill on Tuesday. Like Young, he had six rebounds, and he added one block and one steal.
The Hilltoppers held Oak Ridge senior Tajion Jones to seven points and only one three-point shot. (In one Arby’s Classic game last year, Jones had a game-high 28 points, seven three-pointers, and seven rebounds.)
The Wildcats led most of the game on Tuesday and were up by 10, 18-8, after the first quarter. But Science Hill battled back from a 30-19 deficit a few minutes before halftime to tie the game at 33 in the middle of the third quarter.
But Oak Ridge went on a 7-0 scoring run to regain the lead. The Hilltoppers were able to narrow the Wildcats’ lead to three points late in the third quarter and again late in the fourth, but each time Oak Ridge was able to widen it again.
Science Hill (10-7, 2-0 District 1-AAA) was led by Holden Hensley with 17 points and Bowden Lyon with 14. Lyon had eight rebounds and five assists, and Hensley had three steals.
The Wildcats will play again in the Arby’s Classic at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, when they take on Trinity of Louisville, Kentucky, in a winners bracket game. The Shamrocks beat Dobyns-Bennett 76-57 in another first round game on Tuesday.
Science Hill will play Dobyns-Bennett (2-9, 1-0 District 1-AAA) in a losers bracket game at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.
See the tournament bracket here.
See also this Johnson City Press story from the Tuesday night game.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
See more photos here.
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