Lady Wildcats pound out four wins
Streaking Wildcats sweep week's play
Lady Wildcats pound out
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
April Handy, #20, is hindered by a Smith County defender while
attempting to put up a shot in the LA win.
By ASHLEY HUNTER, OCN staff
Four more big games, four more big wins.
First, the the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats basketball team
faced a tough non-district opponent in the Cumberland County Lady
Jets on Monday, Feb. 3.
The game began with LA jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. Quick
play by Cumberland County, though, allowed them to come out to a
big 13-7 lead toward the end of the first quarter. Livingston Academy
came back on a 5-0 run to end the quarter only 3 points behind CCHS,
Early in the second period, the Lady Cats came back to tie the
Lady Jets at 15 apiece. Then, the Crossville team went on a 5-0
run similar to the one made by Livingston earlier in the game.
LA didn't just sit back and watch them run points up on them, though.
A Christen Cates bucket and back-to-back threes by Katrina Beechboard
put the Lady Wildcats up 3 at 23-20. Cumberland County scored the
last bucket of the quarter, though, to make the halftime score 23-22
in favor of LA.
The Lady Cats must have gotten motivated in the locker room at
halftime, because they opened the third quarter scoring three straight
buckets. CCHS then came back to score one, and then LA matched it
on the other end of the floor, but that was Livingston's last scoring
of the quarter. The Lady Jets went on another 5-0 run to end the
frame behind the Lady Cats by 2, at 31-29.
In the fourth quarter, though, it was LA saddling up their horse
and riding away with the game, as throughout the fourth, they got
it to Beechboard, who either puts the ball in the hole or gets fouled
trying. Livingston went up 39-33 with about a minute and a half
to go on a Beechboard bucket, thus creating "Let's foul LA
time" for CCHS. When it was all over and done, LA won by 7,
Cumberland County was led in scoring by Jennifer Hood and Amanda
Harville, with 10 and 8 points, respectively.
Livingston was led in scoring by Katrina Beechboard, with 25. She
was followed by Megan Thompson with 6.
Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Smith said, "It was one of our
best defensive efforts. Offensively, we had a little trouble scoring,
but we kept up a great defense throughout the entire game."
The next day, the girls traveled to play a district contest against
Smith County in the LA gymnasium.
The Lady Cats started the game in their zone, jumping out to an
early 9-0 lead. Smith County outscored LA for the rest of the quarter,
9-5, but it was Livingston who had the lead at the end of one, 14-9.
In the second quarter, it was a little more nip and tuck. Smith
County tied LA at 16 at one point in the quarter, but it was LA's
halftime advantage, at 26-23.
The Smith County Owlettes continued to quietly stay in the game,
keeping one or two points behind the Lady Cats until about midway
through the third quarter, when Livingston broke it open wider than
the Grand Canyon. First, a Whitney Hill basket, then a Kasey Baltimore
three, then a 4-point play by Beechboard brought down the house
and put Livingston up 10, 46-36, to end the third period.
It was more of the same in the fourth quarter, as the teams exchanged
baskets and LA's lead never got below the 10 it was at the end of
the previous period. When it was all over, the score was 61-47,
with LA taking the huge district win.
Smith County was led in scoring by Audrey Goolsby and Kendra Bayne,
each with 13 points.
Livingston was led in scoring by Katrina Beechboard, with 27 points.
She was followed by Whitney Hill, with 8.
Coach Smith said, "We didn't play as well as I'd hoped. We
let up defensively and let them hang in too long."
The Livingston team went on the road to play the DeKalb County
Tigerettes in Smithville on Friday, Feb. 8.
The game began with more on-fire play by the Livingston girls.
The Lady Wildcats held DeKalb County to only 3 first quarter points,
while they scored 13, saying a lot about the caliber of the Livingston
Academy program's offense as well as defense.
As the second quarter opened, the Livingston girls continued to
punish. They began the period with a 6-0 run, taking a 19-3 lead.
At halftime, LA had taken a 19-3 advantage and turned it into a
whopping 37-11 lead.
By the time DeKalb County ever hit 20 points, LA was already up
to 51. When DeKalb County's bad dream was over, and the game-ending
horn sounded, it was Livingston Academy winning 77-45.
DeKalb County was led in scoring by Laura England and Mia Jeffries,
with 16 and 10 points, respectively.
Everyone on the Livingston Academy team scored in the game.
Coach Smith said, "We played really well from start to finish.
"They have a really young team.
"The game was really kind of unusual for us in that we had
two young players to lead us in major categories. Krista Clinard
led us in assists with 5, and April Handy led us in rebounding with
LA went on to play their final game of the week on Saturday, Feb.
8, at home against Clarkrange. This turned out to be a game rather
than a slaughter.
The game began with Clarkrange jumping out to an early 8-0 lead
with 5:55 to play in the first period. LA came back to score 8 points
of their own to end the first. The only problem with that, though,
is that Clarkrange managed to score 7 more points, to take a 15-8
advantage to end the first.
Clarkrange continued to lead until about midway through the second,
when the great basket-exchange fest began. At halftime, Clarkrange
still had the advantage, this time by only a point, though, at 22-21.
The third quarter was more of the same edge-of-your-seat action
with two or three lead changes. At the end of the third quarter
exchange fest, it was LA by 2, 33-31.
In the fourth quarter, Livingston began to pull away. Clarkrange
didn't go down without a fight, though. They stayed in it right
up until the end, firing up threes and putting forth a winning effort.
In the end, though, it was LA who had eaten their Wheaties that
morning, and won it 48-42.
Clarkrange was led in scoring by Michelle Snow, with 21 points.
She was followed by Erica Whittenberg with 14.
Livingston Academy was led in scoring by Kellie Thurman, who put
in 14 for the Lady Cats, including back-to-back threes in the third
quarter. She was followed by Christen Cates and Katrina Beechboard,
who each scored 10 points.
Coach Smith said, "It was a big challenge for us. We had beaten
them twice, and it was hard to do it again. "
They came out in a triangle and two defense, with a lot of coverage
on Beechboard and Thompson. Kellie Thurman really came through for
us, hitting three threes and kind of icing the game for us."
The Lady Wildcats' record moved to 19-6 overall, with a district
record of 9-1. Their only district loss was to Jackson County, the
team they were scheduled to play Tuesday night, Feb. 11. Following
that game, the Livingston team suits up for a St. Valentine's Day
contest against Upperman High School, then round out the season
with an away game against Cookeville on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Coach Smith said of these games, "They're two huge games.
If we want to tie for first in the district, we've got to win both.
Otherwise, we're stuck in second place.
"I think we can win both of them if we play well."
Streaking Wildcats sweep
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
Kyle Copeland, #12, drops in a bucket for LA in last week's district
victory over Smith County's Owls.
By KEVIN BURMEISTER, OCN staff
This week's boys basketball action featured the Wildcats grounding
both the Jets and Owls, as well as herding the Tigers and Buffaloes
out of the picture altogether, with a crucial late-season sweep
of the week's schedule.
The first LA victim came in the form of the Crossville Jets on
Monday, Feb. 3.
The Jets had beaten up on the Cats in their December 10 victory
earlier this season, and Livingston was poised to avenge.
After the first frame, it appeared the Jets would be once again
requesting permission to fly by the crouching Wildcats, with Crossville
leading by a 3 spot after one.
All Top Gun lingo aside, Livingston pinned back their ears for
the second quarter and ate up the Crossville defense, outscoring
the Jets 28-10 in the period, taking a 41-26 lead into half-time.
After the break, the Cats were still surging, dropping 19 on the
crashing and burning Jets. The final quarter proved a bit more optimistic
for Crossville, but their 24 fourth quarter point effort fell in
vain, with Livingston prevailing, 76-60.
Livingston played like a solid unit in this contest, with 12 players
contributing to the final score. Matt Reeder led Livingston with
12, with Brandon Matthews chipping in with 11 bench points, including
Brian Colson scored 9 points, Jamie Gurley and Cody King each scored
8 points, King hitting two 3-pointers, Wilson Cates and Kyle Copeland
each scored 6 points, Copeland including a 3-pointer, Dustin Ferrell
scored 5 points, Brad West hit a 3-pointer and a free throw, Wesley
Puckett scored 3 points, and Shawn Gray and Luke Eldridge each scored
After cleaning up the heap of twisted metal that was Crossville's
Jets, the Cats hosted Smith County on Tuesday, Feb. 4.
After squeaking to a 25-24 halftime lead, the Owls coughed up a
whopper of a pellet in the second half, giving up 23 to the red-hot
Cats in the third quarter alone. The final frame was not looking
any better for the Owls, whose fourth quarter tailspin locked them
in at an 18-point loss at the hands of the raging Cats.
The 72-54 victory was spearheaded by Jamie Gurley's 24 point offering,
which included two 3-pointers, with Reeder throwing in 16 of his
own. Brad Matthews and Wilson Cates scored 11 points apiece, with
Matthews hitting three from 3-point range.
Copeland and Colson each scored 4 points, and Eldridge scored 2.
With half of their broom session in the books, the Wildcats continued
their sweep on the road against DeKalb County on Friday, Feb. 7.
The first quarter brought Livingston an early 13-8 lead, but the
Tigers were not so easily deterred. After falling behind, the Smithville
team fought back in the second frame, outscoring the Cats by 15
within its duration to claim a 34-23 lead at the break.
The game put on a whole new face after the break, with Livingston
destroying the meowing Tigers, reeling off a 36-11 third quarter
Despite a historically forest and meadowland-filled habitat, the
Wildcats proved to be kings of the jungle by the final buzzer, defeating
the Tigers 81-70.
Gurley led the LA onslaught with 29 points, including six 3-pointers.
Kyle Copeland scored 14 points, including two 3-pointers, and Wilson
Cates, who put in 10.
Reeder scored 7 points, West and King scored 5 each, each including
a 3-pointer, Colson scored 4, and Matthews, Gray, and Puckett each
scored 2, and Ferrell hit a free throw.
Livingston's dominating week was wrapped up with a homestand against
Clarkrange on Saturday, Feb. 8. The Wildcats were hungry for yet
another mark in the win column, and trampled the Buffaloes out of
the gate, staking a 23-8 first quarter lead.
Even after their stingy defense cooled in the second quarter, Livingston
remained on top by a double-diez, boasting a 45-25 advantage at
the nacho break. LA's margin of victory spreaded from substantial
to downright gluttonous in the second half, with the Cats leading
by 27 entering the fourth quarter.
Livingston pegged the coffin's final nail with a 17-12 showing
in the final session, securing an already secure 90-58 win.
Gurley once again led all scorers with 24, as Reeder totaled 12
points. Brad West scored 10 for the winning squad, while Brandon
Matthews and Luke Eldridge both scored 9.
The Cats crept ever closer to the regular season's end when they
hit the road against Jackson County on Tuesday, Feb. 11. Livingston
will show no love to the Bees when they host Upperman on Friday,
Feb. 14, nor to the Cavaliers when they close out the season at
Cookeville on Tuesday, Feb. 18.
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Overton County News
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P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570