Lady Cats advance to Region 4-AA Tournament
LA Wildcats close season in District 7-AA Tournament
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Lady Cats advance
to Region 4-AA Tournament
By Dewain E. Peek, OCN staff
AMANDA HARRIS SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
Renee Melton looks for an opening against Cannon County in Friday’s
District 7-AA Tournament game.
Technically, anything other than first place in the District 7-AA
Tournament assured a tough matchup in this week's Region 4-AA Tournament
at David Lipscomb.
To borrow from Dave Dudley, "There ain't no easy run” through
Region 4-AA with David Lipscomb and a strong Macon County team finishing
first and second to anchor the District 8-AA side of the tournament.
Livingston Academy eliminated Smith County early last week, only
to fall into the consolation round with a loss to Upperman. LA avoided
being thrown against David Lipscomb in the first round by defeating
Cannon County last Friday, setting the Lions against Lipscomb.
For their winning effort, the Lady Wildcats won the dubious honor
of playing Macon County's Lady Tigers on Tuesday night, Feb. 26.
A win would give the Lady Cats another shot at District 7-AA champion
The District 7-AA Tournament held last week at Tennessee Tech's
Hooper-Eblen Center started off on a pleasant note for LA on Wednesday,
Feb. 20 as Lady Wildcats feasted on Owlettes in a 62-35 win.
Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Smith said, "I was real happy with
the way we came out against Smith County considering how close it
had been the time before. We pretty much controlled it from the
Scoring by Katrina Beech-board, Renee Melton, and Jessica Leach
pushed LA to a 7-0 lead to begin the win over Smith County. Three
Jenna Baltimore 3-pointers in the first quarter helped propel the
Lady Cats to a 22-10 lead by the end of the period.
Lady Cats defense held the Carthage team to 3 points in the second
quarter, while adding 11 of their own for a 33-13 lead at halftime.
Livingston dominated the rest of the way.
"I was real happy with our defensive effort, and the fact
that as we subbed, we didn't go down much," Coach Smith said.
"We just kept pouring it on them. We tried real hard not to
overlook them, with potentially Upperman coming the next night.
"Renee Melton, in that game, was just amazing. They all played
Jenna Baltimore led LA in scoring with 12 points, including three
3-pointers and a free throw. Jessica Leach scored 7 points, including
a 3-pointer, Renee Melton also scored 7 points, including a free
throw, and Christen Cates also scored 7 points, including a free
throw. Katrina Beechboard scored 6 points, including 2 free throws,
Stephanie Sullivan also scored 6 points. Kasey Baltimore had 5 points,
including a 3-pointer, Whitney Sells also had 5 points, including
a 3-pointer, and Kellie Thurman also had 5 points, including a free
throw. Megan Thompson scored 2 points.
Thompson led LA in assists with 6, followed by Jenna Baltimore
and Leach each with 5, and Beechboard and Kristen Hoover with an
Beechboard led LA in rebounds with 6, followed by Thurman with
5, Sullivan with 3, Leach and Kasey Baltimore with 2 each, and Cates,
Sells, and Thompson each with 1.
Jenna Baltimore, Kasey Baltimore, Beechboard, Thompson, and Leach
each had 2 steals, and Melton and Sullivan each had a steal.
Sullivan blocked 4 shots, and Beechboard blocked a shot.
April James led in scoring for Smith County with 14 points.
Upperman played a medley of hits the following night to keep LA
off the top of the tournament chart. Cynthia Medley hit four 3-pointers
in the first quarter to bullet the Bees ahead of the Lady Cats 23-8.
"Upperman came out and jumped on us and threw us out of our
game plan," Coach Smith said. "They didn't miss a shot
until there was about 40 seconds left on the clock in the first
Two Jenna Baltimore 3-pointers helped LA climb back into the running
in the second period, capped by a Thurman free throw to pull the
Lady Cats within 7 points of Upperman at 22-29 going to the break.
The Lady Cats mounted a comeback in the third period and cut the
lead to a single point at 32-33, but an Upperman steal and score
took the heart out of LA. The Lady Bees reversed fortune and flew
ahead 42-32 by the end of the quarter.
Upperman slowed the dance to three-quarter time in the fourth to
close out a 52-40 victory over Livingston.
"As happy as I was about the Smith County game, I was just
as disappointed about the Upperman game," Coach Smith said.
"I don't think we were ready to play. Maybe the players we
depend on the most let us down a little bit.
"Jenna, Jessica, and Renee played great defense. They kept
Amanda Austin from scoring many.
"Offensively, we let each other down. We didn't execute anything.
Our big time players who have been scoring for us didn't score.
So, I was very disappointed. I didn't think we played as well as
we can play.
"We had the opportunities, and just didn't execute. I'm hoping
we get another chance. We may not, but I'm hoping we get another
chance to play them. That was pretty much a poor showing of what
we can do."
Emily Christian led Upper-man in scoring with 20 points, including
6 of 6 on free throws, and completed a double-double by pulling
down 12 rebounds. Medley finished with 14 points.
Renee Melton led LA in scoring with 13 points, including a perfect
5 of 5 from the foul line, and
Jenna Baltimore scored 10 points, including three 3-pointers and
a free throw. Leach scored 8 points from two 3-pointers and 2 free
throws, Sullivan and Beechboard each scored 6 points, and Thurman
hit a free throw.
Jenna Baltimore and Melton each made 4 assists, Leach made 3 assists,
and Thompson and Sullivan each made an assist.
Beechboard led LA in rebounds with 7, followed by Sullivan with
5, Melton with 4 , and Jenna Baltimore, Cates, and Leach each with
Melton and Jenna Baltimore each had a steal.
Sullivan blocked 3 shots, and Beechboard, Leach, and Thurman each
blocked a shot.
In Friday's game against Cannon County to decide who would be number
3 and who would be number 4, the Lady Cats were officially taken
out of their rhythm early on, with 15 fouls called in the first
Despite the foul play, LA led 11-8 at the end of the first period,
and still held the lead, although precariously, at 24-23 going into
The third period allowed LA to pull away slightly from the Lady
Lions, at 41-35, before the Lady Cats turned up the slow down in
the fourth quarter to lull the Lions into a 48-63 loss to Livingston.
"We had a little jet lag starting the game," Coach Smith
said. "Thursday night was so emotional. We came in kind of
still hanging our heads emotionally exhausted, and maybe physically
"Cannon started out really strong, and the foul trouble killed
"In the third quarter and in the fourth quarter, our defense
was the best it's been. We just shut them down and they couldn't
get shots off."
Jenna Baltimore led in scoring with 17 points, including two 3-pointers
and a free throw, followed in double figures by Melton with 14 points,
and Beechboard with 13 points, including a free throw. Leach scored
6 points, Thompson also had 6 points, including 4 free throws, Sullivan
scored 4 points, and Cates scored 3 points, including a free throw.
Thompson led LA in assists with 5, Melton and Leach each made 4
assists, Beechboard made 2 assists, and Jenna Baltimore, Kasey Baltimore,
and Thurman each made an assist.
Beechboard led LA in rebounds with 5, followed by Leach and Melton
with 4 each, Cates and Thompson with 2 each, and Jenna Baltimore,
Kasey Baltimore, and Thurman with a rebound each.
Leach led LA in steals with, 5, followed by Jenna Baltimore with
3, Melton and Sullivan with 2 each, and Beechboard with 1.
Sullivan blocked 4 shots, and Melton blocked a shot.
Olivia Snyder led Cannon County in scoring with 16 points, followed
in double figures by Ashley Nichols with 13.
LA's Jenna Baltimore and Katrina Beechboard were named to the District
7-AA All-Tournament Team. Also named to the team were Emily Christian,
Cynthia Medley, and Kim Blankenship of Upperman, Ashley Nichols
and Olivia Snyder of Cannon County, and Andrea Davidson, Emily Lane,
and Tournament MVP Alyssa Bowman of Jackson County.
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LA Wildcats close season
in District 7-AA Tournament
By Ashley Hunter, OCN staff
AMANDA HARRIS SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHY
LA's Joseph McGill brings the ball around for the Wildcats in Wednesday's
game against the Blue Devils.
The Livingston Academy Wildcats boys basketball team closed out
their season this past week, losing to Jackson County in the first
round of the District 7-AA Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
LA Coach Danny McCoin said, "We played hard and never quit.
We played a good game, but just made a few more mistakes than they
The game was a tight race from the beginning, with each team fighting
tooth and nail for every bucket. Every time one team would pull
ahead, the other team would take it up to the next level and match
the score. This continued, and at the end of the first quarter,
the score was tied at 14 apiece.
This "edge of your seat" action continued throughout
the entire second quarter. Once again, each team matched one another
bucket-for-bucket and, thanks to a bad pass from a Jackson County
player, tied the score at halftime at 26-26.
The third quarter proved to be a whole new ball game as Jackson
County went on an 11-2 run to begin the third quarter. This was
sparked by excellent play by Jackson County's Joseph Meadows, who
scored 6 of those 11 points. The Blue Devils persisted in their
takeover of the ballgame and went up by 10 points, 40-30.
Livingston fought back for the rest of the quarter, despite some
excellent shots being hurled up by the Blue Devils, and managed
to cut the lead to 7, at 45-38, to end the third frame.
The fourth quarter began with a 6-0 run by Jackson County. Then,
Jeff Aldridge converted on 2 of 3 free throw attempts to cut the
lead to 11, 51-40. A quick 3 by Jackson County's Brandon Ward brought
them back up to a 14-point advantage.
Instead of just giving up, though, LA fought back and went on a
16-6 run. This was primarily sparked by LA freshman Matt Reeder,
who scored 9 of the run's points. This, coupled with a 3-pointer
by Jesse Wolfram, brought LA right back into the game with both
Time ran out on Livingston's chances and forced them to foul while
down 4 points with 34 seconds remaining. Jared Hix easily converted
the two free throws to put the Blue Devils up by 6 points. Jesse
Wolfram promptly ran down the floor and hit a beautiful 3-pointer,
but it was too little, too late for the Wildcats as they lost, 63-59.
Jackson County was led in scoring by Brandon Ward, with 18 points.
He was followed by Joseph Meadows and Jared Hix, with 16 and 15
Livingston was led in scoring by Matt Reeder, with 19 points.
Jesse Wolfram and Jaime Gurley each scored 12 points. Jeff Aldridge
and Joseph McGill scored 8 and 4 points respectively. Kyle Copeland
and Shawn Gray each scored 2 points.
Livingston was led in assists by Jesse Wolfram with 6.
Jaime Gurley and Joseph McGill each had 4 steals.
Rebounding was extensive as Jaime Gurley pulled down 11 boards
and Matt Reeder had 10 rebounds in the loss.
Of the past season, Coach McCoin said, "It was a tough, disappointing
year. They played hard, practiced well, and never gave up. We played
a lot of close games.
"Our seniors – Joseph McGill, Jesse Wolfram, and Jeff Aldridge
– have been wonderful and just kept chugging along. I'm going to
miss them a great deal.
"Next year, there are going to be a lot of new faces. It will
be exciting to see who steps up next season. We have a lot of young
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Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570