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Archives 01-07-2004

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Lady Wildcats place 3rd in Greeneville tournament
LA Wildcats take wins in Roane County Classic

 

Lady Wildcats place 3rd in Greeneville tournament

OCN file photo by Dewain E. Peek
Megan Thompson sealed a win for the Lady Cats against McMinn Central by scoring the final 2 points of the game.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Though always undesirable, losses can be sour tasting opportunities.

One such opportunity was inflicted upon the Lady Wildcats in the Greene County Bank Ladies Classic played in Greeneville last week.

LA Coach Lesley Smith said, "We learned a lot. As a team, we learned so much about things we re not very good at. And we're starting to work on that."

First up was Jefferson County, a Class AAA school. The Lady Cats won 46-42.

"We won by 4, and had to hold on at the end to win," Coach Smith said.

"They got up on us early. They've got a really good post player, and they hurt us in the paint early scoring on the block.

"We were down 10 late in the third quarter and started putting the press on. Katrina got two big steals and we started scoring then. The press turned that one around."

Katrina Beechboard led LA in scoring with 14 points, including a 3-pointer and 3 free throws. Kellie Thurman followed with 13 points, including two 3-pointers and 3 free throws.

Kasey Baltimore and Megan Thompson each scored 5 points, both including a 3-pointer, and Thompson hitting 2 free throws. Haley Mullins scored 4 points, April Handy scored 3 points, including a free throw, and Megan Brown scored 2 points.

Thurman and Beechboard each had 3 steals, and Kristin Hoover and Whitney Sells each had a steal.

Beechboard led LA in rebounds with 9, followed by Thurman with 8, Mullins with 5, Brown with 2, and Baltimore and Handy with 1 each.

Next up was McMinn Central, a rematch of last year s sub-state game. Last year the two teams went into overtime. This game repeated the scenario.

"We led it most of the game, and kind of lost it toward the end," Coach Smith said. "We had 22 turnovers. We didn't shoot very well, and we let them score 62 points; so we weren't playing much defense either."

LA needed someone to step up in the game. Kasey Baltimore answered that need.

"She was our MVP in that game," Coach Smith said. "She was awesome.

"We were down 5 in overtime, with about a minute to go. And she hit a 2.

"Beech hit a 2.

"Megan only had 2 points, and they were the winning 2."

The Lady Wildcats advanced with a 63-62 win.

Katrina Beechboard scored 26 points, including a 3-pointer and 5 of 7 on foul shots. Kasey Baltimore scored 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Kellie Thurman scored 11 points, including a 3-pointer and 2 free throws.

April Handy scored 8 points, Megan Thompson and Whitney Sells each scored 2 points, and Kristin Hoover hit a free throw.

Thompson led LA in assists with 7.

Beechboard led LA in rebounds with 8, followed by Baltimore and Handy with 7 each, Thompson and Thurman with 3 each, Hoover with 2, and Krista Clinard with 1.

Beechboard blocked 3 shots, and Thurman and Hoover each blocked a shot.

Then came Class AAA Sevier County.

"They won the state two years ago." Coach Smith said. "Their defense is awesome.

"We stood a lot. We stood around against their zone. It was ugly. We were down 11 going into the fourth.

"Sevier County was in my district over there when I was at Farragut," she said, "and he's known for pulling it out in the fourth quarter, just holding it. So I knew if we just went back out and played our normal defense that they were going to hold it on us. So we tried some things in the fourth quarter."

Though the Lady Cats refused to go quietly into that dark night, the end result was their second loss of the season, 35-58.

Katrina Beechboard had a double-double in the game with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Out of contention for the tournament championship, LA faced perennial state tournament contender South Greene in the game for 3rd place.

"We played much better against South Greene," Coach Smith said. "We started recognizing some of the things that we were doing wrong, and tried to fix some of those things in the game, without practice or anything."

The result was a 52-49 win.

Beechboard once again had a double-double, this time with 20 points and 10 rebounds. She also earned designation on the All-Tournament team.

Kellie Thurman also scored in double figures for LA with 11 points.

"We did get 3rd," Coach Smith said. "Greenville, who beat Jackson County, was 5th. Mt. Juliet, who s Mid-State number 1, was 7th.

"We did pretty well, but we've got a lot to work on. And that's why you go. You go there and play the toughest teams you can play. We were very fortunate to play three different styles of teams."

According to Coach Smith, Jefferson County played a slow game, Sevier County was deliberate offensively and strangling on defense, and McMinn and South Greene played more man-to-man, jumping, and trapping.

"We're not going to see all those different things around here because everybody plays pretty much the same," she said. "So it was good for us to go and see all those different things because some of those things, had we stayed home, we wouldn't have known we were bad at, especially the Sevier County game.

"I'm really glad we went. We were fortunate to win three of them. I think we learned a lot."

The competition level doesn't lower this week. After travelling to Sparta on Tuesday, Jan. 6 to play the White County Warrior-ettes once again, the Lady Cats will travel to Gainesboro to play the state champion Jackson County Lady Blue Devils. The Lady Wildcats will take to the home court on Tuesday, Jan. 13 when they host the Owlettes of Smith County.

Livingston Academy entered this week ranked number 3 in Tennessean's midstate top 10. Jackson County is ranked number 4 in the same poll. Coach Smith doesn't make a big deal of the clash given the time of the season.

"I think everybody thinks it's such a big game, and it is a big game, a big district game, but we'll probably play each other three or four times," she said. "This first one may be more of a feeling out on our part just to see how they're playing and who's playing well for them.

"We know their kids, but they've got some kids who haven't played a whole lot in the past, and I want to see their experience level against a team like us.

"We know it s a big game, and they know it's a big game; and our kids have been in it before, but theirs haven't. So, I want to see how they react.

"Of course, it's at Jackson County and it s always hard to play down there, but it s a great atmosphere for basketball. I think it s going to be one of those where it s going to be really close, could go either way. And there's going to be a few more of them."

And if other weaknesses happen to be exposed by another sour tasting opportunity, those too will be worked on before tournament time in hopes of a sweet result.

 

LA Wildcats take wins in Roane County Classic

OCN file photo by Lyndon Johnson
LA s big man, Matt Reeder, came up big in the game against Rockwood, leading the team with 18 points.

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy boys basketball team showed some improvement in the week past, playing a much better game of basketball at the Roane County Christmas Classic despite having to do without the missing-in-action Brian Colson, who is out with an ankle injury.

The Wildcats opened up the proceedings with a loss to Kingston High School, who beat them by a rather good-sized margin of 54-31.

LA Coach Danny McCoin said, "We didn t shoot the ball well. We played good defense. We out-rebounded them, but we couldn't score.

"The halftime score was 20-11, and we scored just 2 in the first quarter.

"They ended up beating us pretty good at the end."

But the Wildcats would make up for it in the ensuing game on Monday, Dec. 29 versus Rockwood High's Tigers.

In the opening quarter, the Cats scored 15 points to Rockwood's 12, a much better start than the first game they played in the tourney, not to mention a better start than many games played this season.

Livingston continued to outscore Rockwood in the second quarter, scoring 8 to the Tigers 5, to make it 23-17, Livingston Academy, at the break.

In the third quarter, the Tigers would try to mount a rally, but LA would not let it go unnoticed.

Rockwood outscored Livingston by only a point, 12-11, making it 29-34 heading into the final stanza.

Livingston allowed more points in the fourth quarter than they had in any one of the previous three, but scored more points of their own than they had in any other quarter, too. Outscoring the Tigers 18-16, the Cats closed out their second game at Harriman with a 52-45 victory.

"We broke out and scored some points," McCoin said.

And indeed they did. Matt Reeder led the team with 18, while Wilson Cates, recuperating from injury and "not at 100 percent yet," according to McCoin, trailed with 10. The remainder of the scoring was done by Tyler Livingston, 7, Brandon Matthews, 5, Brad West, 5, Tyler Smith, 4, and Wesley Puckett, 3.

"They were 6-1," McCoin said of the defeated Rockwood.

"They were supposedly the best team up there."

Hot off the heels of that win, the Cats moved on in hopes of upsetting home team Harriman Blue Devils on Tuesday, Dec. 30.

The first quarter was more or less a repeat of the Cats previous performance, with LA outscoring Harriman 16-13.

In the second quarter, the Wildcats dominated the Blue Devils, scoring a whopping 19 points and holding the competition to just 5 to make it 18-35, Livingston, at the end of the first half.

In the third quarter, the Harriman troops showed signs of rejuvenation, scoring 14 points on the quarter. But it would not be nearly enough, as Livingston again outscored them, netting 18 points of their own. LA headed down the home stretch to make it 53-32.

The fourth quarter would be a real blinder, with the teams scoring a combined 37 points. Harriman finally managed to outscore the Wildcats, making up 20 of those 37, but it was all too little too late for the Blue Devils to pull out any chance of victory.

Result: Livingston Academy 70, Harriman 52.

Coach McCoin said, "We beat 'em. We played very well.

"It was the best shooting night that we've had all year. We pretty much blitzed them."

Brad West shot the eyes out of it with 20 points of his own during the game, followed closely by Cates, who chucked in 18. Matt Reeder managed to sink 10 points, while Wesley Puckett, 6, Tyler Livingston, 6, Brandon Matthews, 5, Lance Ruble, 4, and Tyler Smith, 1, rounded out scoring for the night.

McCoin made note of sophomore Tyler Livingston.

"He really played well in the three days up there," Coach McCoin said. "He s getting better. The more experience Tyler gets, the better ball player he's getting to be."

The Wildcats travel to face district rival Jackson County on Friday, Jan. 9 after facing White County on the road on Tuesday, Jan. 6.

 

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