Scott High stormed to a 16-point halftime lead against Livingston Academy in the championship game of the South Fork Physical Therapy Christmas Classic Monday, then held on for dear life as the Wildcats roared back in the second half, escaping with a 69-68 win after Livingston’s last-second 3-point shot was off the mark.
Logan Goodman scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Highlanders to the exhilarating win, as Scott improved its season record to 13-0 and remained one of only two undefeated teams in Tennessee Class AA basketball. Monday’s win gave the Highlanders the longest winning streak in Class AA basketball, ahead of Jackson South Side’s 12 straight wins.
The first half was all Scott High. Luke West scored nine points in the first quarter, while Goodman scored eight and Trey Morrow scored six, and the Highlanders had a double-digit lead by the time the first eight minutes were up.
The second quarter was much the same, as Goodman scored 10 more, and Morrow scored seven, to help the Highlanders expand their lead to 43-27 at halftime.
Goodman would finish with seven rebounds in addition to his 31 points. Morrow finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists. West had 13 points.
Also scoring for the Highlanders were Cash Tucker and Jon Hayden Strunk, with three points each.
Livingston quickly began to storm back in the second half. Matthew Sells — a Division I prospect who has prompted interest from Tennessee Tech and Western Carolina, among others — had 13 points in the first half and cranked up his game in the second half with twice that, finishing with 39 points.
In fact, Sells often appeared unstoppable. The Highlanders began shadowing the Livingston junior with Mason Owens, and then with Morrow, as the fourth quarter progressed.
Livingston was never able to take the lead, but was able to tie the game at one point. The Highlanders went back ahead in the waning minutes, however, and expanded their lead to four when Goodman knocked down both ends of a one-and-one free throw opportunity in the final minute.
But Sells was fouled on a 3-point shot attempt and hit all three free throws, cutting the lead to one point with 6.7 seconds remaining. Livingston then fouled Morrow, but the front-end of a one-and-one situation was off the rim, and Sells quickly raced back down the floor to put himself in position for the winning shot as time expired.
Sells’ shot was well off the mark however — one of the few he missed all night — and the Highlanders escaped with the narrowest of victories to keep their unbeaten streak alive.
Scott 72, North Greene 36
North Greene is a solid team, winning 24 games last season and entering the South Fork Physical Therapy Christmas Classic with a 9-4 record. But on the opening day of play Friday, Scott High completely dismantled the Huskies, doing it with a combination of shooting and defense.
When the Highlanders weren’t forcing turnovers, they were knocking down 3-point shots. They had 10 of them for the game, and shot 62 percent from long range. They were 66 percent from the field overall.
The first quarter was all about Scott senior Jon Hayden Strunk. He had 14 points in the opening period, including four 3-point shots. In fact, at one point Strunk had scored all of Scott’s points and the Highlanders led North Greene 11-2.
The lead was 23-11 by the time the first quarter ended, and then it was Eli Storey’s turn to kick it into high gear. The junior came off the bench to hit back-to-back 3-pointers in the second period, as the Highlanders expanded the lead to 40-22.
Scott High point guard Trey Morrow was limited to a season-low 12 points — he also had 10 rebounds to finish with his 10th double-double of the season — but it did not matter, as five different Highlanders finished in double figures. Logan Goodman had 12, Cash Tucker had 11 and Storey finished with 10.
Scott High had essentially put the game away by halftime, but made sure there would be no comeback with a dominating third quarter. Tucker scored seven and Morrow added six as the Highlanders went on a 25-8 run to build a 65-30 lead as the fourth quarter began.
Tucker finished with five assists in addition to his 11 points, while Morrow had four assists and four blocked shots.
SCOTT (72): Strunk 14, Goodman 12, Morrow 12, Tucker 11, Storey 10, West 6, Bodwell 3, McCarty 2, Owens 2.
NORTH GREENE (36): Freshour 9, Starnes 8, Campbell 6, Whaley 3, Bailey 3, Pierce 3, Malone 2, McDonald 2.