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Archives 02-25-2004

Sports

 

 

 

Wildcats end regular season, head into tournament
Lady Cats to face Jackson Co. in championship game

 

Wildcats end regular season, head into tournament

Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
Wilson Cates outpaces a herd of Clarkrange Buffaloes on his way to scoring a deuce in the contest on Feb. 16.

By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The Livingston Academy Wildcats got ready for District 7-AA Tournament play in the week past before heading to "The Hoop", otherwise known as Hooper Eblen Center, to play in said tournament.

On Monday, Feb. 16, the Cats made the LA gymnasium sound much like the old rancher's song, "Home on the Range". "Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam," says the song, and so said LA as they faced the Clarkrange Buffaloes in competition.

In the opening quarter, both teams started hitting the boards in a steady manner, almost too steady. After the first 8 minutes of play, the score was tied like shoelaces at 11.

The Wildcats came out and nailed down 6 points early in the second to take a 17-11 lead before Clarkrange managed to start keeping up with their pace. LA Sophomore Brandon Matthews shot the last-ditch attempt at the buzzer and swished it, making the final 3-pointer of the half and setting the score at halftime to LA 26, Clarkrange 21.

The Wildcats came out hustling in the third, scoring 11 points thanks in large part to dueling 3-pointers from Wesley Puckett. After a great start and reasonable rest of the quarter, LA led 43-31 headed down the stretch.

In the fourth, Clarkrange would score more points than LA for the only time during the evening, albeit not nearly enough to take the cake. The Buffaloes scored 15 to the Wildcats' 11, giving the Cats the win at 54-46.

Matt Reeder led LA in scoring with 17 points. Wesley Puckett had 13, 12 of which came from downtown. Wilson Cates and Brandon Matthews both scored 8 points apiece, while Tyler Livingston with 6 and Lance Ruble with 2 rounded out the scoring summary.

On the positive mentality of that win, the LA squad headed to the locker room knowing full well that they would have to hit the home court again to face Cookeville High School the next evening.

The Wildcats didn't show any fatigue early in the going on Tuesday, Feb. 17 when they faced Cookeville's Cavaliers. In the first quarter, they came out shooting and playing just as hard as the Cavs, coming away with the preliminary lead, 16-14.

In the second, the Cavaliers held LA down, but didn't necessarily go on a scoring tangent themselves. Netting 11 and holding LA to 6 allowed the Cavs to take a lead of 3 points (25-22) headed to the halftime break.

CHS made a grab for the psychological victory in the third quarter, as LA's weary legs allowed the Cavs to score 17 points to the Wildcats' 9. With an 11-point lead headed into the fourth (42-31), the Cavaliers looked confident.

And then, the Wildcats caught their second wind. In the fourth quarter, LA came back to form in a hurry, scoring 15 points to the Cavaliers' 6; however, the Cookevillians held off the Wildcat comeback to take home the slim 48-46 victory.

Brad West, returning to play from injury, led the Wildcats with 13 points. Brandon Matthews with 11, Wilson Cates with 10, Matt Reeder with 8, Wesley Puckett with 2, and Tyler Livingston with 2 completed the scoring summary.

The regular season completed, a couple of Wildcats made the District 7-AA All-District Team. Named to first team were Wilson Cates (who was also named to the All-Defensive Team) and Brad West. Matt Reeder was named to the All-District 2nd Team. Wesley Puckett received an honorable mention.

And then, it was tournament time. The Wildcats headed into the District 7-AA Tournament at Tennessee Tech's Hooper Eblen Center on Saturday, Feb. 2 as the number 2 seed.

The competition for LA that night was Jackson County.

In the first quarter, the Blue Devils fought harder than LA by one basket, taking the early lead at 12-10.

In the second, LA started warming up a little more, scoring 15 to the 6-point offering by JCHS to take the lead headed into the halftime break, 25-18.

In the third quarter, both teams had a good showing, but the Wildcats had the better. Scoring 23, the Wildcats outshone the Blue Devils' 18 and took the commanding 48-36 lead heading into the final measure.

That final measure was a close one, which meant that Jackson County did not outscore LA by a big enough margin to take the win. Final result: 69-58, Livingston Academy.

The Wildcats head into the semifinals in the District 7-AA tournament as a result of that win. As of press time, the game was scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 24 at "The Hoop".

 

Lady Cats to face Jackson Co. in championship game

Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Kasey Baltimore drives by a Lady Cavalier in last week's regular season finale against Cookeville.

By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
The District 7-AA Tournament championship game will have a familiar look at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26 at Tennessee Tech. The Lady Blue Devils of Jackson County will face the Lady Wildcats of Livingston Academy, a very familiar sight over the last several years.

The Lady Blue Devils narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of the Smith County Owlettes in a 55-53 nail-biter on Monday, Feb. 23. Smith County had eliminated Upperman in a 49-41 upset on Friday, Feb. 20.

Livingston advanced to the championship game after a 63-46 win over Cannon County on Monday. The Lady Lions had upset the Lady Dragons of York 39-37 in overtime on Friday night, sending them home.

Against Cannon County, LA took an 11-8 lead in the first period, then stretched it to 31-15 by halftime. Livingston outscored the Woodbury team 16-10 in the third, to go ahead 47-25 and the game was effectively over. The Lady Lions outscored LA 21-16 in the fourth period, but not enough to keep the Lady Cats from the 63-46 win.

Cannon County was led in scoring by Tracy Wilson with 14 points, and Felicia Francis with 10 points.

LA's Katrina Beechboard led in scoring with 19 points, including 9 free throws. Also scoring in double figures for LA was Kellie Thurman with 11 points, including two 3-pointers and 5 free throws.

Kasey Baltimore scored 9 points on three 3-pointers, Megan Thompson scored 7 points, including 3 free throws, Megan Brown scored 4 points, including 2 free throws, Kristin Hoover hit 4 free throws, and Krista Clinard and Haley Mullins each scored 2 points.

Beechboard led in rebounds with 7, Mullins led in steals with 4, and Thurman blocked 2 shots.

The semifinal win over Cannon County came after a first round win over DeKalb County on Friday, Feb. 20.

Livingston led 14-10 over the Smithville team in a close-scoring first quarter, then pulled away with a 17-2 defensive clampdown in the second period to lead 31-12 at halftime. The game was all but over as the Lady Tigers managed only 4 points in the third period and 9 in the fourth to succumb to LA 25-63.

DeKalb County was led by Courtney Davis with 10 points.

Katrina Beechboard led LA in scoring with 13 points, including a 3-pointer. She also led LA in rebounds with 8, and had 5 steals, and blocked 2 shots.

Megan Thompson also scored in double figures for LA with 12 points, including two 3-pointers. Whitney Sells scored 9 points, including two 3-pointers, Haley Mullins scored 8 points, Krista Clinard scored 5 points, including a 3-pointer, Kellie Thurman scored 4 points, including 2 free throws, Kasey Baltimore hit a 3-pointer, April Handy scored 3 points, including a free throw, and Megan Brown, Kristin Hoover, and Brittany McCoin each scored 2 points.

The Lady Cats will enter the Region 4-AA Tournament at Portland as either the number 1 or number 2 team from District 7-AA to face the teams in District 8-AA.

Lady Cats Coach Lesley Smith said, "Hume Fogg and David Lipscomb are the strength of the other district, but the way Smith and Cannon are playing, I wouldn't be shocked if they beat them both.

"Lipscomb is the exact same team they were last year, and they were very, very good. Hume Fogg is the most athletic team any of us has played. I'm not sure our 3 and 4 might not upset them."

At the close of the regular season, All-District 7-AA honors were announced.

Katrina Beechboard was named All-District 7-AA Most Valuable Player, and Kasey Baltimore was named Most Valuable Player of the District 7-AA All-Defensive Team.

Megan Thompson was named to the All-District 1st Team, Kellie Thurman was named to the All-District 2nd Team, and Kasey Baltimore was named to the All-District 3rd Team.

Ashley Matthews and Mallie Stephens were named to the District 7-AA All-Freshmen Team.

Kellie Thurman was named to the All-Defensive Team.

Coach Smith said of the selections, "I was happy with it. Katrina, I think, hands down is the best player in this district.

"I feel like Katrina's one of the best players to ever play here.

"I was real proud for Kasey. You know, Kasey's somebody who doesn't show up on the stat line a lot. She's so important to us.

"We recognize it, the coaches here, and our players, and our fans, hopefully, recognize it, but it was good to have the other district people recognize what a great defender she is."

Coach Smith was also pleased with the other LA players honored, though she did express a wish that Kellie Thurman could have been included on the All-District 1st Team.

Before heading into the tournament, the Lady Wildcats closed out the regular season with home wins over Clarkrange and Cookeville.

Against Clarkrange on Monday, Feb. 16, LA jumped ahead of the Lady Buffaloes 12-8 in the defense-dominated game, but Clarkrange fought back with a 15-12 second quarter to trail 23-24 at halftime. The Lady Cats outscored the Lady Buffaloes 10-7 in the third period and 18-12 in the fourth to win 52-42.

"We played a little bit better, but they do a great job defending us," Coach Smith said. "Our outside shots weren't falling like they needed to against their zone.

"Defensively, I thought we played pretty well. Kellie in particular played well on Michelle Snow.

"In that game, Katrina went right to 1,900 points and Michelle Snow went over 1,900.

"That was a preparation game too because no one in our district plays zones like that," Coach Smith said. "So, as we go on, the region might be like that, or there might be a substate matchup or something like that."

Kellie Thurman led LA in scoring with 14 points, including two 3-pointers and 2 free throws, and also blocked a shot. Katrina Beechboard scored in double figures with 13 points, including a 3-pointer and 2 free throws, and completed a double-double by pulling down 11 rebounds. And April Handy also scored in double figures with 10 points, including 4 for 4 on free throws.

Megan Thompson scored 8 points, including a 3-pointer and 3 free throws, and led LA in steals with 3. Kasey Baltimore hit a 3-pointer, and Megan Brown and Haley Mullins each scored 2 points.

Livingston Academy played the last game of the regular season against the Cookeville Lady Cavaliers on Tuesday, Feb. 17.

The Lady Cavaliers charged ahead 19-9 in the first period, but the Lady Cats responded with a 19-10 second period to tighten the Cavs' lead to 29-28. Livingston's defense shut down Cookeville in the third, allowing only 4 points while the LA offense put 15 on the board. LA finished off with a 17-13 fourth quarter to win 60-46.

"To score 60 against a Cookeville team is pretty amazing," Coach Smith said.

Katrina Beechboard led LA in scoring with 16 points, including 2 free throws. She also led LA in steals with 3. She had 6 rebounds and blocked a shot.

Kellie Thurman scored 13 points, including a 3-pointer and 2 free throws. She also had 6 rebounds.

April Handy scored 9 points, including a free throws. Kasey Baltimore scored 8 points, including two 3-pointers, and she blocked a shot. Whitney Sells hit two 3-pointers, and Megan Thompson and Haley Mullins each scored 4 points. Mullins also blocked a shot.

 

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