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80 Years Ago

Archives 11-27-2002



Wildcats start season with Hall of Fame game





Wildcats start season with Hall of Fame game

Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff

LA’s Tyler Smith brings the ball around for the Wildcats in Thursday’s junior varsity game against Celina.



To rev up the 2002-2003 Livingston Academy boys basketball season, the Wildcats hosted Celina in the Celina Hall of Fame game played Thursday, Nov. 21.

Livingston kept up with the Bulldogs until late in the contest, when, according to Coach Danny McCoin, some youthful mistakes turned the game over to Celina, causing a tough loss in the opener, falling 72-68.

Despite the loss, the Cats were ignited by senior presence Jamie Gurley, who scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half. Freshman point guard Wilson Cates stood out in his own right, knocking in 17 points in his LA debut.

Coach McCoin was happy with his team’s performance, despite the unraveling they experienced late in the contest.

“We played well," he said. “We made a few youthful mistakes, early in the season mistakes late in the game. It was tied 60-60. We messed up a couple of times and Celina took advantage of us. But other than that, we played pretty well."

The surprisingly solid play from McCoin’s junior varsity players was a contributing factor to his satisfaction with the play of his young team.

“They did well," he said of his JV unit. “It was our freshmen playing against some older kids, and bigger kids, some sophomores and juniors. So, I was pleased with them."

All the good performances in the world don’t always add up to a mark in the ‘W’ column, however, and Coach McCoin felt that his team retains room for improvement.

“Well, one thing we’ve gotta to work on is rebounding," he said. “We don’t rebound real well. And plus we just need experience, and the only way you get experience is to play.

“We’ve got some young kids playing; we’ve just gotta get out and play."

Even in defeat, the Wildcats are still confident in their formula for success, with their coach being equally grounded in the fact that this year’s team is going places.

“We’re just going to do the same old stuff we’re doing and get experienced," he said. “And when we get experienced and settled in and relaxed and comfortable, we’re going to win ballgames."

The Wildcats will have an opportunity to prove themselves in the Cumberland County Classic on Thursday, Nov. 29 and Friday, Nov. 30 in Crossville. The Cats are scheduled to take on the Warriors of White County at 2 p.m. Friday, and then take on Campbell County, GA, at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Two-day passes to the Cumberland County Classic are currently available at Livingston Academy at $8 each, with half of the ticket proceeds going directly to Livingston Academy. Ticket prices at the gate will be $5 each, with none of the proceeds given to LA.






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Overton County News
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