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Archives 02-11-2004

Sports

 

 

 

Cats hold second place with two more wins
Lady Cats defeat Owlettes, Lady Tigers

 

Cats hold second place with two more wins

Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
Brandon Matthews had a huge night for the Wildcats versus DeKalb County's Tigers last Friday, Feb. 6, scoring some 27 points (21 of those the product of 3-pointers).

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy boys are really switching it on as it comes down the stretch to District 7-AA tournament time.

LA Wildcats Coach Danny McCoin said, "We're playing real good at the right time. We've won the last six out of seven, I think. It is getting close to tournament time. We've still got a couple of regular season games, but we've picked a good time to start playing well."

The Wildcats moved into Smith County to face the Owls in the first of their two games last week on Tuesday, Feb. 3.

The Livingston crew came out on top after the first quarter, but just by a basket. Still, the improving nature of the team and its shooting consistency in the early going showed with the score LA 13, Smith County 11.

In the second quarter, LA managed to outpace the Owls by 5 points (15-10) to retain the lead all the way into halftime, 28-21.

The third quarter saw a dominant performance from the Wildcats on both sides of the ball. Livingston denied Smith County very many scoring opportunities, holding them to only 7 points the duration of the quarter, all the while scoring 17 of their own, their highest by-quarter score of the night. After three, it was LA 45, Smith County 29.

All that hard playing in the third must have winded the Wildcats a bit, as they let Smith play catch-up and then some. The Owls outscored LA by 11 (26-15) but could not overtake by the buzzer, making the result Livingston Academy 60, Smith County 55.

LA's big man, Matt Reeder led Wildcat scoring with 17 points. Wilson Cates followed suit with 12. Brad West took it easy on the competition this night, laying in 6, the same total also scored by Wesley Puckett, Tyler Livingston, and Brandon Matthews. Tyler Smith scored 3 points to round out the scoring summary.

"We played three-and-a-half good quarters of basketball against Smith County," McCoin said, "and then in the fourth quarter, we let them come back. We made a few turnovers and missed some free throws and let an 18-point lead get away from us."

The coach and his team were still happy with the win, though, and rode back home to Livingston to face DeKalb County's Tigers on Friday, Feb. 6, in the LA Basketball Homecoming game.

It would all begin well for LA. The Cats outscored DeKalb 19-13 to take the preliminary lead to an enthusiastic home crowd.

The impressive performance continued into the second quarter, with LA hammering down 24 points to DeKalb's 16 to take the lead at the half, 43-29.

After a breather, DeKalb came out ready to fight, but not ready enough. Scoring just 3 more points than the Wildcats (13-10), the Tigers still had plenty of ground to make up in the upcoming final stanza. The score after three: LA 53, DeKalb County 42.

The fourth quarter quickly became a battle of the big guns, an offering of offensive oppressiveness, if you will, with both teams scoring over 20 points (LA 26, DeKalb 23) to give the fans quite a show. After the buzzer, the end result was Livingston Academy 79, DeKalb County 65.

"We beat them pretty soundly and played pretty good," McCoin said.

Brandon Matthews had a very Brad West-like performance, following West's path and becoming the second Wildcat this season to nail seven 3s in a contest. Matthews led overall scoring for the evening, netting a total 27 points. Reeder made another 16-point night out of it, while Wesley Puckett scored 12. West scored 11, Cates 8, Lance Ruble and Tyler Smith netted 2 apiece, and Tyler Livingston made a foul shot to give the Cats their total.

The Wildcats played a little more soundly this time in the fourth quarter, not allowing the visitors to catch up in the home stretch.

"We made our free throws against DeKalb County," McCoin said.

"That was a big difference."

If LA beats Jackson County Tuesday, Feb. 10, they secure second place in District 7-AA. Either way, they face number one-seeded Upperman High School on Friday, Feb. 13.

"We gave Upperman their only loss this season," McCoin said.

 

Lady Cats defeat Owlettes, Lady Tigers

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Junior Krista Clinard gets airborne for a shot over DeKalb County's Sherry Davis in Friday night's 62-25 win over the Lady Wildcats' District 7-AA opponent.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Two more district opponents down, only two to go for the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats.

Livingston took wins over Smith County's Owlettes and DeKalb County's Lady Tigers last week, and looks to get past Jackson County and Upperman this week in hopes of entering the District 7-AA Tournament as the top seed.

Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Smith said, "It was two must wins. Smith County and DeKalb, and it's basically the bottom two in the district, but you've got to win them, and you've got to play sharp."

First up was a trip to Carthage on Tuesday, Feb. 3. The Lady Cats and Lady Tigers locked in battle in the first period with both teams scoring 11 points. The home team pulled ahead in the second round with a 16-14 period to lead 27-25 at the half.

"We didn't have a great first half against Smith County, but I think they did it to us," Coach Smith said. "They hit five 3s in the second quarter, and they were shooting the lights out. We weren't defending very well.

"But then in the second half we determined that we were going to have to play to win this game."

The Lady Cats came out and put a 20-12 quarter on the board to take the lead 45-39, then didn't look back. LA outscored the Carthage team 22-13 in the fourth to win 67-52.

"We just hadn't played. We had just kind of gone through the motions," Coach Smith said. "In the second half, we did a really good job. We got more aggressive offensively, and, to an extent, we outscored them. But we were scoring so quickly that we were giving them opportunities and they continued to score. They're a hard matchup for us.

"I was happy with that win. Playing at Carthage is always so hard."

Four Lady Wildcats scored in double figures in the game. Katrina Beechboard led with 21 points, including a 3-pointer and 2 free throws, followed by Kellie Thurman with 14 points, including three 3-pointers and a free throw, Megan Thompson with 12 points, including two 3-pointers, and April Handy with 10 points.

Also contributing in the win were Haley Mullins with 4 points, Kasey Baltimore with a 3-pointer, Kristin Hoover with 2 points, and Krista Clinard with a free throw.

Megan Thompson led in assists with 8, followed by Baltimore, Thurman, and Mullins with 3 each, Clinard with 2, and Whitney Sells with 1.

Katrina Beechboard completed a double-double by pulling down 13 rebounds. Mullins had 4 rebounds, Thurman 3, Thompson, Clinard, and Handy 2 each, and Baltimore, Hoover, and Sells 1 each.

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

Thurman and Beechboard each blocked 2 shots, and Mullins blocked a shot.

Livingston Academy hosted DeKalb County on Friday, Feb. 6. The Lady Cats were rude hosts as they slammed in 24 points in the first period and allowed their guests only 6, then held the Lady Tigers to 2 points in the second quarter, scored in the final half-minute of the half. Leading 35-8 at the half, LA had already taken the contest. DeKalb never scored in double digits in any period throughout the game.

Livingston moved to 10-0 in District 7-AA with the 62-25 win.

Every girl on the Livingston Academy squad saw playing time in the game.

"It gave a lot of kids an opportunity to play," Coach Smith said.

Katrina Beechboard almost matched DeKalb's scoring with her 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Whitney Sells scored 8 points, including a 3-pointer and a free throw, Kellie Thurman and Haley Mullins each scored 6 points, Krista Clinard scored 5 points, including a free throw, Kristin Hoover hit a 3-pointer, Jada Ledbetter and April Handy scored 2 points, Kasey Baltimore scored 2 points from the foul line, and Ashley Matthews hit a free throw.

Clinard and Baltimore each made 3 assists, Thompson, Thurman, Matthews, Hoover, and Mallie Stephens 2 each, and Handy 1.

Beechboard led in rebounds with 6, followed by Thurman and Mullins with 5 each, Baltimore with 4, Clinard and Matthews with 3 each, Handy and Brittany McCoin with 2 each, and Hoover, Megan Brown, Jada Ledbetter, and Mallie Stephens with 1 each.

Matthews, Brown, Clinard, Thurman, Thompson, and Beechboard each had 2 steals, and Stephens, McCoin, Mullins, Hoover, and Baltimore each had a steal.

Matthews and Beechboard each blocked a shot.

For many teams, the quality of play takes a sizable drop when the freshmen take the court - not so with the Lady Wildcats.

"They've just finished their tournament over in Farragut, and they won it," Coach Smith said.

The team guided by Lady Wildcats Assistant Coach Elizabeth Woodard defeated Knox-Webb to open the tournament, then defeated Farragut in the semifinals, and won over Knox-Austin East for the championship

"They did a great job," Coach Smith said.

After hosting Jackson County's Lady Blue Devils on Tuesday, Feb. 10 in a fight for the top spot in the district, the Lady Wildcats will travel to Baxter on Friday the 13th to close out the district season against the always dangerous Upperman Lady Bees.

"It's a must-win, too," Coach Smith said, "and it's a really tough place to play, and they're just getting better and better. Their style is so hard for us to match up with, kind of like Smith County, they are so small and so quick.

"I think we'll do better against them on a bigger floor, and their floor's bigger than ours. They press and trap and do all that stuff."

Livingston Academy will host the Clarkrange Lady Buffaloes on Monday, Feb. 16, then will host the Cookeville Lady Cavaliers on Tuesday, Feb. 17 to close out the regular season.

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