Cats squeak by Tibers, advance in 7-AA tourney
Lady Cats advance to championship game
Cats squeak by Tigers,
advance in 7-AA tourney
By KEVIN BURMEISTER, OCN staff
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
Brad West, #4, sinks DeKalb County with a free throw in overtime
Saturday night, to push LA forward.
Entering their highly anticipated season finale against Cookeville
High School, the visiting Wildcats faced a mob of riled fans, but
even without their starting point guard Wilson Cates, who was out
with a stomach virus, the LA squad felt confident that the Cavs
home court atmosphere was not enough to prevent a victory for the
The Cavalier defense, on the other hand, decided otherwise, and
proceeded to mop the floor with the whipped felines, winning a classic
defensive duel, 48-37.
"I thought we played decent under the conditions," LA
Coach Danny McCoin said. "We played great defense and held
them to 48 points. Our offense never really got going. Cookeville
has a big team, and they're a very good team. It was hard for our
little guards to get shots."
After staking a 3 point lead at the end of one, Livingston's offense
fell apart in the second quarter, placing them in a 22-16 hole at
The second half boded much of the same, with Cookeville outscoring
Livingston 26-21 to produce the final tally.
Neither team's offense gave reason to impress, but Cookeville's
meager production still outweighed LA's offering by the final buzzer.
"Cookeville didn't shoot worth a flip in the first half,"
McCoin said. "They shot a little better in the second half,
but we sure didn't shoot well."
Coach McCoin believed that his boys were out of rhythm against
the victorious Cavs, thus taking an ugly loss to the nose as a regular
season parting gift.
"Jamie [Gurley] and Matt [Reeder] got most of the shots,"
he said, "and they had to because they're bigger kids. We just
never could get into the fluid motion of the game."
Gurley led Livingston with 18, while Reeder chipped in 10. Dustin
Ferrell scored 5 points, with Cody King and Brandon Matthews each
putting in a deuce.
The second-seeded Wildcats looked to improve their fortune as they
hosted their first post-season contest against DeKalb County on
Saturday, Feb. 22.
With #7 DeKalb dwelling in the District 7-AA dungeon, Livingston
took full advantage of their weaker opponent by the second quarter,
building an ominous 17-point lead over the distinctly non-ferocious
"It looked like we were getting ready to put them away,"
McCoin said of his team in the first half. "We were getting
ready to cruise, and were playing well, playing really well."
The Tigers proved that Springsteen was right all along, as they
failed to start a fire without a spark in the first quarter. But
the Tigers eventually lit an offensive flame under themselves to
pull within 6 by half-time. McCoin attributed the DeKalb turn-around
to the Tigers' improved second-quarter shooting.
"We didn't start playing bad," he said, "DeKalb
County just started playing better. They started making shots and
hitting things and getting after it, and the next thing you know,
at half-time it's a 6-point game."
Livingston tried their hand at pyro-self-motivation by putting
the Boss' adage to use in the second half, once again building up
a double-digit lead. Entering the final frame, LA led by 12, and,
according to Coach McCoin, felt comfortable that the game was in
But DeKalb County never said 'die', chipping away at the Wildcat
barrier, and eventually breaking through with a 2-point lead with
28 seconds to play.
McCoin believed that, in that clutch situation, the only man for
the job was Gurley.
"When your down, you go to your number one man,” he said.
"You give him the ball and say, ‘Here it is. Let's jump on
you and ride you.' And we've been doing that all year with Jamie.
When we need a big bucket, we give it to him, and he takes care
of us normally."
Gurley took it to the hole with 12 second remaining, and laid in
the game-tying bucket to force an overtime period in the opening
round showdown. Early in the extra session, the Cats jumped for
the jugular straight out of the gate, pouncing to a 4-point overtime
"I think that kind of set the tone,” McCoin said. "We
had our confidence right then, and we weren't playing from behind.
I think it put a little pressure on DeKalb. I think that was the
biggest turning point in the whole overtime."
With the game slipping out of reach, DeKalb opted to foul Livingston
guard Brad West, sending him to the line 7 times in overtime. But
West was stoic, nailing 6 of his attempts, sealing the Wildcats'
bid to advance in the district tournament.
"They put him at the line, hoping he'd miss," McCoin
said. "It's great. Brad West stepped up to the call. He answered
the call, and you can't say enough about it. It was awesome. It
won the game for us."
Gurley deserved equal acclaim, scoring 37 points in the crucial
The Wildcats continued District 7-AA tournament play against #3
seed Cannon County on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at White County High School.
The winner will face the winner of #1 Upperman and #4 York/#5 Smith
County in the District 7-AA championship on Friday, Feb. 28.
Lady Cats advance to championship
By ASHLEY HUNTER, OCN staff
OCN file photo
Katrina Beechboard scored 17 points in last week's game against
Cookeville, then followed with 17 points in the District 7-AA Tournament
game against York Institute.
The Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats basketball team continues
to be much like the popular Mazda commercial. They keep the "Zoom,
Zoom, Zoom" attitude up as they will move on to the championship
game on Friday, Feb. 28.
The Lady Cats lost their final game of the season to Cookeville
High School on Tuesday, Feb. 18, but the team was all smiles, however,
because they were seeded first in the District 7-AA Tournament,
and got a bye out of the first round. When they finally did play,
they got a little shaken up by the flaming York Dragonettes, but
managed to pull out a victory.
In the game against Cookeville, the Lady Cavaliers started off
red hot, going on a 10-0 run to start the contest. Livingston managed
to match the Lady Cavs scoring for the rest of the quarter, with
the frame-ending score at 15-5.
The Lady Cats managed to pull back a little in the second quarter.
They managed to turn what was originally a 10-point lead into a
4-point lead at halftime. This burst in scoring all came from great
team play by the Lady Cats, who managed to get offensive output
from several different players in the quarter, plus two threes by
Katrina Beechboard, who was recently selected MVP of District 7-AA.
Going into the third quarter, the Cavs were up 21-17. The third
quarter was very much nip and tuck as the Lady Cats pulled the lead
to within two four different times in the period. The Lady Cavs
managed to hold their 4-point advantage for yet another quarter,
though, as this time the score was 35-31.
LA continued to stay in the game throughout the beginning of the
fourth quarter, but a good Cookeville offense and a lack of time
on the clock to catch up forced Livingston into the loss, 54-41.
Livingston Academy Coach Lesley Smith, who was recently named
District 7-AA Coach of the Year, said of the loss, "I don't
think we were very focused. We didn't play very well.
"Our defense was okay, but our offense couldn't get going."
LA was led in scoring by Katrina Beechboard with 17 points, followed
by Megan Thompson with 13, Haley Mullins with 4, Kasey Baltimore
with 2, and Christen Cates with 1.
Following the end of the regular season, Livingston kicked off
action in the District 7-AA Tournament with a second-round matchup
against York Institute's Lady Dragons. What was seemingly projected
to be a blowout win for Livingston, considering the final scores
in the first two times LA and York met this season, quickly turned
into a slugfest.
York, the #5 seed in the district tourney, knocked out #4 Upperman
High School in the first round. They brought their "A"
game to White County High School, packing some heat in their matchup
with LA on Monday, Feb. 24.
The game began with Livingston skyrocketing out to a 6-0 lead.
That skyrocket was stuck at the take-off position for a little while
after that, though, thanks to the superior play of York's Brandi
Brown, who scored 7 straight points and gave York a 7-6 lead.
LA then went on a 12-0 run to once again capitalize with an 18-7
lead over the Lady Dragons. Brown scored the next 4 points, to cut
the LA lead down to 7, but a 3-pointer by Megan Thompson put the
advantage back to 10 big ones.
LA continued to lead fairly comfortably for the rest of the half,
going into the locker room at halftime with an 8-point lead, 26-18.
York must have had some pep talk by Lady Dragons Coach Bruce Winningham
at halftime, because following the intermission, those Lady Dragons
came out living up to their name.
York scored 8 straight points to begin the third quarter, tying
the score at 26. LA continued to press and appeared to be pulling
away again, leading by 9 toward the end of the third quarter. It
was York, however, scoring the last two buckets of the frame, and
LA clung to a 5-point lead at the end of the third period.
York scored the first 4 points of the fourth quarter, but LA went
up 6 points with a little over 3 minutes to go, with a 3-pointer
put up by their bread and butter, Katrina Beechboard. York just
didn't seem to want to roll over and die, though. Reserve player
Jill Herren scored two straight buckets for the Lady Dragons and
pulled them to within 2 at 46-44.
LA's Kasey Baltimore hit two clutch free throws to increase the
LA lead to 4.
York's Sarah Pierce came down and hit a basket for York, but it
was too late for the fire-breathing Lady Dragon as they lost to
Livingston by 2, 48-46.
York was led in scoring by Brandi Brown. Brown, who did not seem
to miss for the entire night, scored 18 points. She was followed
by Jill Herren, who threw up 13 for the Dragonettes. The rest of
York's scoring was a stepladder from 5, all the way down to 1 point.
Those players were Bethany Ross scoring 5, Kristin Ross scoring
4, Sierra Qualls scoring 3, Sarah Pierce scoring 2, and Delane Allred
LA was led in scoring by District 7-AA MVP Katrina Beechboard.
Beechboard put up 17 in the victory. She was followed by Megan Thompson,
who scored 9 and was selected to the District 7-AA Third Team. Christen
Cates and Kasey Baltimore each scored 6 points. Cates was selected
to the District 7-AA Second Team. Baltimore earned an honorable
mention in the ranking. Kellie Thurman scored 4 points in the game,
and was also selected to the District's Second Team. Danielle Thrasher
and Whitney Sells each added 3 points, both of those coming from
The Lady Cats move on to the championship game where they will
play the winner of the Jackson County-Smith County contest played
on Tuesday, Feb. 25. The championship game will be held Friday,
Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. at White County High School. Regardless of whether
the Lady Cats win or lose the District Tournament, they will still
move on to play at the Region 4-AA Tournament, beginning on Monday,
March 3 at White County High School.
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Overton County News
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P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570