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Archives 12-03-2003

Sports

 

 

 

Lady Cats take down three opponents
Cats struggle through tough weeks

 

Lady Cats take down three opponents

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff

Coach Lesley Smith gave thanks last week for having such a talented basketball team. The Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats won all three games they played during the Thanksgiving week.

The first stop on the road tripping week was in Byrdstown on Tuesday, Nov. 25, where the girls steamrolled Pickett County's Lady Bobcats. LA came up just shy of 100 points in the 91-52 win.

Coach Smith said, "It's obviously the best game we've played up to this point because we shot the ball so well. Everybody was looking to score. That's what's going to make us so much better.

"Our full court press was just everywhere. April Handy had five steals in the first quarter. "We didn't let them have open shots anywhere."

The big early lead allowed Coach Smith the opportunity to give every girl on the active roster time on the court.

"Everybody scored but April,” Coach Smith said. "But she did everything else.

"The freshmen were really nervous when they got in. They played the entire fourth quarter.

"I had to take a time-out to calm them down. They were real excited,” she said. "But that's good for them. Shoot, if we can get them in a lot of games this year, then next year they won't be just freshmen rookies anymore."

Katrina Beechboard led LA in scoring with 20 points, including two 3-pointers. She was joined in double figures by Megan Thompson and Kellie Thurman. Thompson scored 12 points on four 3-pointers, and Thurman scored 11 points, including a 3-pointer and 2 free throws.

Also scoring for LA were Whitney Sells, Krista Clinard, and Brittany Ray with 8 points each, Clinard including 2 free throws, and Ray hitting 5 of 6 from the charity stripe. Haley Mullins scored 7 points, including a free throw, Kasey Baltimore hit two 3-pointers for 6 points, Brittany McCoin scored 3 points, including a free throw, Jada Ledbetter, Ashley Matthews, and Mallie Stephens each hit a 2-point basket, and Kristin Hoover hit 2 free throws.

Megan Thompson made 5 assists, Ray 3, Baltimore, Thurman, Handy, and Stephens 2 each, and Beechboard, Sells, and Matthews 1 each.

Kellie Thurman completed another double-double on the season by pulling down 11 rebounds. Mullins had 6 rebounds, Beechboard, Clinard, and Ledbetter had 4 each, Baltimore, Sells, and Stephens had 3 each, Handy, Hoover, Ray, and Matthews had 2 each, and Thompson and McCoin each had a rebound.

April Handy had 5 steals, Thompson 4, Beechboard 3, Matthews 2, and Thurman, Ray, and Sells each had 1.

Haley Mullins blocked 3 shots, and Thurman, Matthews, and McCoin each blocked a shot.

One player could not take the court.

"Jada played a little bit extra because Megan Brown had appendicitis. Megan didn't get to play. She had an emergency appendectomy Sunday night," Coach Smith said. "She won't get to play for I don't know how long. But she's healthy though. She went with us this weekend."

The Lady Cats opened the weekend with a game against Obion County on Friday, Nov. 28 at the Thanksgiving Classic in Lawrenceburg.

The scoring was tight early, but the Lady Cats outdueled the Lady Rebels for a 57-42 win.

"Obion's a really good team," Coach Smith said. "On Saturday, they beat Oliver Springs.

"They've got a really good post player. Kellie Thurman just shut her down. Kellie made her look like just an average post player.

"Defensively, again, we just pressed them and controlled the tempo. They kept trying to throw it over our press; we kept breaking on it and stealing it.

"They were about our size, and they played our style," she said. "They pressed us, and we pressed them. It never got out of control. It was a pretty well-played game.

"We got into a little bit of foul trouble and some young people had to play. Jada Ledbetter, a freshmen, got in in the first half and played real well for us.

"We didn't play great, but we played pretty well, and Obion is a West Tennessee double-A team that's really good. They're usually double-A ranked in the top 10. So, we expected a tough game, and it was pretty tough."

Katrina Beechboard led LA in scoring with 24 points, followed by Kellie Thurman with 11, including 3 free throws. Kasey Baltimore hit three 3-pointers for 9 points. April Handy scored 6 points, Megan Thompson scored 5, including a 3-pointer, and Krista Clinard scored 2 points.

Megan Thompson led in assists with 8, followed by Thurman with 4, Beechboard and Mullins with 2 each, and Handy and Hoover with 1 each.

Beechboard and Thurman each had 7 rebounds, Thompson had 5, Mullins 4, and Ledbetter 3.

Beechboard led in steals with 6, followed by Thompson with 3, Thurman, Clinard, and Handy with 2 each, and Hoover and Ledbetter with 1 each.

Beechboard blocked a shot.

The following day, LA took on McMinn County in what looked to be another good matchup. Looks were deceiving. The Lady Cats defeated the Cherokees 72-29.

"I thought McMinn was going to be the better game of the two because they're a triple-A team, and they went to the state last year," Coach Smith said.

"They graduated three starters, but I expected them to be a team that wanted to speed us up and make us go crazy, and they weren't. They walked it up the floor. So we tried to speed them up, and we were able to.

"We jumped up on them early. It was 50-19 at half-time, and they just quit. And again we continued to build on it rather than looking back."

McMinn scored only 10 points in the second half of the game.

"They had trouble scoring because they are a perimeter-oriented team; they didn't have any post play," Coach Smith said. "So we just spread out our defense and just guarded them out as far as they wanted to go.

"Defensively we're playing a whole lot better. Our goal in that game was to hold them under 40. Of course, 29 is much under 40, so that was pretty good.

"And in that game, there were a lot of underclassmen who played quality minutes when it was still in question," she said. "We're going to have to start doing that more to keep our starters fresh and to get those kids some experience for next year and for the end of this year."

Kellie Thurman led LA in scoring with 22 points, including two 3-pointers and 6 of 8 from the free throw line. She was joined in double figures by Katrina Beechboard with 18 points, including two 3-pointers, and Megan Thompson with 10 points, including two 3-pointers.

Also scoring for LA were Brittany Ray with 5 points, including a 3-pointer, Kristin Hoover and Jada Ledbetter with 4 points each, Kasey Baltimore with a 3-pointer, and April Handy, Whitney Sells, and Haley Mullins with 2 each.

Megan Thompson made 7 assists, Baltimore made 6, Thurman 3, Sells 2, and Clinard, Handy, and Hoover 1 each.

Haley Mullins led in rebounds with 10, followed by Beechboard and Thurman with 6 each, Sells with 5, Ray 4, Hoover and Stephens 3 each, Baltimore, Handy, Ledbetter, and McCoin 2 each, and Clinard and Matthews 1 each.

April Handy had 4 steals, Thompson 2, and Beechboard, Thurman, Hoover, Sells, Mullins, and Matthews each had 1.

Thurman blocked 2 shots, and Mullins blocked 1.

The week's play moved the Lady Cats record to 3-1 on the season.

After travelling to Cookeville on Tuesday, Dec. 2 to take on the Lady Cavaliers, Livingston Academy will host the Lady Dragons of York Institute in the home opener on Friday, Dec. 5.

"York is one of the strongest teams in our district," Coach Smith said. "They're big. They're 6-2, 6-1, 6-foot, three of their players, big kids, and they can play.

"They are just a scary team. They play great man-to-man defense. They're young. They've got some sophomores that play a lot. They've got three sophomore starters.

"But I expect it to be a close one. If we play well, we should win. I don't know how handily we should win.

"I think our kids will be excited about the first home game, getting to play in front of everybody that they know, and all the students coming in."

 

Cats struggle through tough week

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff

Livingston Academy's Wildcats basketball team has some catching up to do after last week's gameplay. The Cats, with a 2-0 record thanks to a win at Oliver Springs and a win at Clay County in overtime, went on to lose three consecutive games the week of Thanksgiving.

The losses have seemingly gobbled up the headway made by the impressive early wins, giving the Cats a losing record (3-2) for the time being by way of a triplet of losing games.

The first loss came at area rival Pickett County's house. The Bobcats came out firing, and firing well, and it was all downhill from there.

LA Wildcats Coach Danny McCoin said, "They came out shooting eyes out and hit everything they shot, and we were the exact opposite.

"We were playing catch-up from the word ‘go', which made it tough, but when you don't shoot good, you don't win."

After trailing much of the game by around 20 points, the Cats went on to lose at Byrdstown, 71-50.

The Cats then saddled up and headed to Warren County for the Warren County Thanksgiving Classic.

On Friday, Nov. 28, the boys played the first of their two games in the Classic.

Again, shoddy shooting plagued the Livingston squad.

"Our shooting woes from Pickett County were still with us," McCoin said.

"We didn't shoot the ball well at all. That was the difference in the ball game."

But it wasn't all bad.

"We played pretty well other than that," Coach McCoin said. "We rebounded well and played a pretty good, solid defense. But we could not put the ball in the basket."

Warren County went on to win the game 64-45, scoring more than half of its attempted 2-pointers and a third of its threes.

LA mustered only 38 percent of 2-point tries and 21 percent of threes.

Of the scoring the Wildcats did, Brandon Matthews led with 14 points on the evening, 9 of those from outside the arc. Also scoring were Matt Reeder with 18 points, Brian Colson with 10, Wilson Cates with 6, Shawn Gray with 4, and Wesley Puckett with 3.

The Wildcats would think about their mistakes and shortcomings overnight, only to come back to the Warren County High School gymnasium to face Murfreesboro's Riverdale the following day, Saturday, Nov. 29. Livingston would do without "ball-handling machine” Wilson Cates in the contest due to an ankle injury he suffered the evening before.

The curse of bad shots seemingly lifted, the Wildcats played quite an improved game against Riverdale's Warriors.

"We played a lot better," Coach McCoin said. "We came out and shot the ball against Riverdale a whole lot better. Our percentage was extremely better."

Despite the improved performance, Livingston was shunned from victory again, this time by the much slimmer margin of 65-60.

"We made a few key turnovers there in the fourth quarter that were the difference in the ball game," McCoin commented.

"Wesley Puckett, Brad West, and Brandon Matthews all stepped it up and played better without Wilson. They had to pick up the ball-handling duties a little bit more, and they did a pretty good job of it."

After facing the Cookeville Cavaliers on Tuesday, Dec. 2, the Wildcats will play their first home game of the season against York Institute's Dragons onFriday, Dec. 5 in continuation of the never-ending Jamestown-Livingston high-school sports rivalry.

 

 

 

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