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Archives 01-21-2004

Sports

 

 

 

Wildcats take down Owls and Buffaloes
Lady Cats post 3 wins over area opponents

 

Wildcats take down Owls and Buffaloes

Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
Brad West makes a breakaway layup for the Wildcats in Friday's game as a Cannon County Lion tries his best to catch up. West scored 15 points on the evening.

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
You win some, and you lose some, or so goes the old saying. Livingston Academy's Wildcats are trying hard to make that "You win more, you lose less."

The Cats played Smith County's Owls last week on Tuesday, Jan. 13 in their first home game since the Jaycees Tournament before Christmas.

Early in the going, Livingston shot to impress, going on a 9-0 run by nailing a trio of trios to take the lead 10-3. Smith County caught up, though, closing out the first quarter down by just 3 at 15-12.

The Cats slipped up a little in the second quarter, allowing the Owls to outscore them by some7 points (17-10) and take the lead at halftime, 29-25.

The third quarter opened up to look like a continuation of Smith's rejuvenation, but in the waning moments, LA scored some 13 points to head into the fourth frame up by 5, 45-40.

The fourth quarter was all-Owls early. The Smith Countians came out firing, scoring four times the points of LA in the first five minutes to take the lead at 52-48.

With just 55 seconds remaining, the Owls took the lead on a 2-point basket (55-54) before LA's Wilson Cates made a steal, made the layup, and got fouled in the process. Cates sunk the foul shot to give the Cats a 2-point lead.

That's how it would all wind up, with the Wildcats 57, the Owls 55.

LA Boys Basketball Coach Danny McCoin said,

"We made plays at the end of the game that we hadn't been making. We didn't play the greatest game, but we made the plays when we needed to.

"We made some defensive stops and made some big baskets at the end... we just kind of snuck in the back door and got that one."

Ball-handling machine Cates led the LA squad in scoring with 21 points, the only player to score in the double-digits. The rest of the team's scoring was delegated out to Brad West with 9, Tyler Livingston with 8, Lance Ruble with 6, Matt Reeder with 5, Tyler Smith with 4, Brian Colson with 2, and Brandon Matthews with 2.

The Wildcats returned to their home court to face Cannon County's Lions on Friday, Jan. 16.

The first quarter saw both teams try to open up an early lead, but their attempts cancelled each other out. LA went on a run first, and took an early lead at 6-5. Then the Lions went on a run of their own to take the lead for themselves at 14-6. And then the Cats again made a run of 8 before the first buzzer to tie things up at 14 after one.

The Wildcats kept a steady hand to the ball in the second quarter, scoring 13 (answered by 11 from the Lions) to keep the lead at halftime of 27-25.

The third quarter was yet another showing of LA's impressive defensive prowess. Livingston held the visitors to only 3 points the entirety of the quarter, scoring 12 of their own on the capitalization. At the end of the third, the Cats had their biggest lead of the evening (and perhaps of the season) at 39-28.

The fourth quarter would again be a tight contest for the boys in blue, with Cannon closing to within 2 points. LA hit 75 percent of 4 free-throws given away by the Lions to take the late lead at 54-50 before the Lions nailed one down from way downtown to cut the advantage to just a point, 54-53.

Another 2-shot foul was committed by the visiting Lions, but LA missed both, and Cannon County pulled down the rebound.

After a timeout was called, the Lions swished a short-ranger at the buzzer to take the upset, and their first district victory. Result: LA 54, Cannon County 55.

"We didn't make the plays at the end this time," Coach McCoin said.

"We let Cannon County make the plays. We had some poor mistakes. We missed some free-throws that cost us the ball game, basically.

"We had a 13-point lead on Cannon, playing real good and looking good. And then we just didn't put it away. We didn't concentrate enough the last four or five minutes of the game.

"Cannon never gave up," he said. "They got hot and we got caught up in a situation where we had to play some basketball and we weren't ready to play there at the end of the game."

Wilson Cates again got the proverbial lion's share of points for the Wildcats, netting 17. Brad West fell just short of that mark with 15 of his own, as did Matt Reeder with 10. Lance Ruble with 4, Wesley Puckett with 3, Brandon Matthews with 3, and Tyler Livingston with 2 completed the Wildcats' scoring summary.

The Wildcats then travelled to Clarkrange, where they beat the Buffaloes by a comfortable margin of 63-42.

"We played Clarkrange Saturday night, and I guess we kind of took our frustrations out on them," Coach McCoin said.

"We came out and played a great game. The lead stayed mainly in the double-figures all night. Everybody contributed, everybody played real well.

"We played great defense. We caused them to make several turnovers, and we all shot the ball well."

The Wildcats are almost over their injuries, having spent some time without a couple of regular starters due to illness and mishaps.

"We're getting better," McCoin said.

"(Brian) Colson's at about 60 percent, you know, and everybody else is healing up. When Brian gets back at full rudder, we're going to be doing a lot better."

After facing the Upperman Bees in Livingston on Tuesday, Jan. 20, the Wildcats travel to Jamestown on Friday, Jan. 23 to face the York Dragons in part deux of this season's continuation of the legendary York Institute/Livingston Academy rivalry. The Cats will then return home to face Pickett County's Bobcats on Tuesday, Jan. 27.

 

Lady Cats post 3 wins over area opponents

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Livingston Academy's Katrina Beechboard loses the handle on the basketball, which bounces right toward the waiting hands of teammate Whitney Sells in Friday night's win over the Lady Lions of Cannon County.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
The Lady Wildcats entered the zoological portion of the season last week with games against Owls and Lions and Buffaloes.

Livingston Academy hosted Smith County's Owlettes on Tuesday, Jan. 13.

LA jumped way ahead of the Carthage team 20-9 in the first period. Then piled it on again 19-11 in the second to lead 39-20 at halftime.

The two teams played close in the third, with LA having the advantage 14-11 to lead comfortably 53-31 going into the fourth quarter. In that fourth frame, the Lady Cats' comfort zone disappeared as the Owlettes mounted an 18 point scoring effort. Livingston managed 8 points to hold off the Smith County attack and take a 61-49 District 7-AA win.

Kasey Baltimore led LA in scoring with 17 points, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range and 5 of 6 from the foul line. Megan Thompson also scored in double figures with 10, including 4 of 4 on foul shots.

Haley Mullins scored 9 points, including a free throw, Katrina Beechboard also scored 9 points, including 3 free throws, Kellie Thurman scored 6 points, including 4 of 4 on free throws, Whitney Sells scored 5 points, including a free throw, April Handy scored 3 points, including a free throw, and Megan Brown scored 2 points.

Thompson led LA in assists with 4, followed by Mullins with 2, and Baltimore, Beechboard, Thurman, and Krista Clinard with 1 each.

Katrina Beechboard led LA in rebounds with 12, followed by Mullins and Handy with 6 each, Baltimore with 5, Thompson 4, Sells 3, Thurman and Clinard 2 each, and Kristin Hoover and Brown with 1 each.

Thurman led in steals with 3, followed by Baltimore and Thompson with 2 each, and Beechboard and Mullins with 1 each.

Beechboard blocked 2 shots.

The Lady Wildcats remained on the home court Friday night, Jan. 16, when they played host to the Lady Lions of Cannon County.

The visitors took the battle to the Lady Cats early, fighting tooth and claw until the last shot of the first period dropped in to give Livingston a 17-16 advantage.

Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Smith was not happy.

"I felt like defensively we weren't doing a good job," she said after the game. "We started making our shots. Katrina came out on fire, making everything. But then we came down on defense and it looked like it was going to be a scorefest who had the ball last. And I was very disappointed with our defensive effort at that point."

The coach challenged her team to show what they are capable of.

"So, they answered it," Coach Smith said. "The people that came off the bench answered it, everybody answered it, and played great defense.

"And all our threes started falling in, and that's huge for us because we haven't made many lately. Kasey's made several, but she's the only one making them lately. We needed those to start falling in."

The Lady Cats outscored the Lady Lions 25-6 in the second period, having dropped in 8 of 11 first half 3-point attempts, to lead 42-22 at halftime. For all intents and purposes the ballgame was over.

"Against Smith County on Tuesday night, we had the same kind of lead at halftime and gave it up," Coach Smith said. "We relaxed."

She stressed to her team the importance of not letting up.

"And I think they did that," she said. "I think offensively and defensively we stayed about where we were in the second quarter, and continued to play well."

Coach Smith put in younger players in the third and fourth quarters, but the team kept scoring. Livingston outscored Cannon County 22-11 in the third, and then 17-11 in the fourth to win 81-44.

Katrina Beechboard scored 17 points, including two 3-pointers and 2 free throws.

April Handy scored in double figures with 14.

"People were making good passes to her," Coach Smith said of Handy. "Katrina in particular was breaking the press and making bullet passes to her. They were great passes, but they were hard to catch. She was making some great catches and finishes.

"She played great rebounding and defensively for us too, especially in the second half."

Megan Thompson scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers.

Kellie Thurman scored 9 points, including a 3-pointer and 6 of 8 free throws, Ashley Matthews scored 9 points, including 3 of 3 on free throws, Krista Clinard scored 5 points, including a 3-pointer and 2 of 2 on free throws, Whitney Sells scored 5 points, including a 3-pointer, Kasey Baltimore hit a 3-pointer, Mallie Stephens scored 3 points, including a free throw, Amber Brown scored 2 points, and Haley Mullins scored 2 points.

The following night, the Lady Cats travelled to play Clarkrange in a non-district game.

The home team held an 8-5 advantage at the end of the first period, and again outscored LA 10-7 in the second to lead 18-12 at halftime.

The two teams settled into defensive play in the third period, with the Lady Cats narrowly outscoring the Lady Buffaloes 7-6.

Livingston broke through in the fourth period to overpower the host team 18-10 and pull out a 37-34 victory and move to 19-2 on the season.

Kellie Thurman led LA in scoring with 8 points, including 2 free throws, followed by Beechboard with 7, including a free throw, Mullins with 6, Baltimore with 5, including a 3-pointer, Sells with 5, including a 3-pointer, Thompson with a 3-pointer and a free throw, and Brown with 2 points.

Incidentally, like Sparta the week before, the loss to LA boosted Clarkrange's profile in the Tennessean's Midstate Top 10. Clarkrange entered the poll at number 10.

After hosting Upperman's Lady Bees in another district game on Tuesday, Jan. 20, the Lady Wildcats will travel to Jamestown on Friday, Jan. 23 to enter the Lady Dragons' den.

"I think that's one of the toughest places for us to play," Coach Smith said. "Kasey's had a couple of really good games there, so I'm hoping she can do that.

"It's a huge game."

Coach Smith is wary of the perpetual district rival, who she considers among the district's elite.

"We have some matchup problems with York," she said. "If Kellie can stay out of foul trouble, Kellie can limit Brandy Brown's scoring, but she can't stop her. I don't think anybody can stop her."

Heading into the last month of the regular season, Coach Smith is happy with where the team stands.

"This is the toughest schedule I've ever seen here," she said. "So, I'm real proud of where we are.

"It's been drudging, a tough walk through the season, and it doesn't get any easier. We've just got to get stronger and stronger."

 

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