Science Hill had success in basketball throughout the years, but the arrival of head coach Elvin Little in 1960 put fear in the hearts of Hilltoppers’ opponents.
By the time the 1970s rolled around, Little had turned Science Hill into one of the state’s elite programs. Of course, Little’s chances of success were heightened because of the standout players he was able to put on the court.
Science Hill reached the state tournament three times. The Hilltoppers lost in the round of 16 in 1972, a tough three-point setback to Nashville McGavock.
In 1973, as Tennessee moved to two classifications, the Hilltoppers defeated Chattanooga Howard 57-56 in the Class L quarterfinals. Howard had reached the title game in 1972. In the semifinals, another tough three-point loss (57-54) came at the hands of Gallatin — which defeated Dobyns-Bennett in the finals.
And in 1976 Science Hill was knocked out in the quarterfinals by Haywood.
After a superb athletic career at Science Hill where he was an All-State selection, Carter was a four-year starter at the University of Tennessee. He was selected in the fifth round of the 1982 NBA draft by the San Diego Clippers. He graduated in 1978 and is seventh on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,625 points.
An All-State selection in 1973, he totaled 34 points and 21 rebounds in two state tournament games. Stuart continued his success on the next level, starting for four seasons at ETSU and averaging double digits in points the last three.
He scored 18 points in the state tournament loss to Haywood. Crowder played at Wofford College and later started for two seasons at Milligan, averaging double digits both years.
A 1,000-point scorer on The Hill in the late 1970s, the forward enjoyed four seasons as a starter at Milligan College.
A physical fixture on the court along with impressive quickness, he had eight points and six rebounds in the state semifinal loss to Gallatin. He went on to play football at ETSU.
Basketball wasn’t the only sport where he excelled in the early part of the decade. He was a team leader and three-sport letterman who went on to play baseball for three seasons at ETSU.
He was a hard-nosed performer for the Hilltoppers’ squads in the early part of the decade. He had seven points and nine rebounds in the state tournament win over Howard.
Graduating in 1971, the 6-foot-7 swingman and all-around standout could play in the post and handle the ball. He went on to play one season at Western Kentucky, averaging six points and four rebounds for the college version of the Hilltoppers — who had reached the Final Four in 1971.
A Hilltoppers’ standout as a rebounder and defender at the beginning of the decade, the 6-foot-7 post walked on at Georgia Tech and appeared in 64 games over three seasons.
He posted double-digit scoring efforts in both of the Hilltoppers’ state tournament games in 1973. The dead-eye shooter was an honorable mention All-State selection.