Lady Cats take district
Wildcats finish 4th in District 7-AA Tournament
Lady Cats take district
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
District 7-AA Tournament Most Valuable Player Katrina Beechboard
works her way inside for a shot in last Thursday's championship
win over Jackson County.
By DEWAIN E. PEEK, OCN staff
Poor first-half shooting was overcome by the Livingston Academy
Lady Wildcats when they took the District 7-AA Tournament championship
on Thursday, Feb. 26.
The first half belonged to the Jackson County Lady Blue Devils.
The defending state champs' defense forced LA into making bad shot
after bad shot. The Gainesboro team led Livingston 10-5 in the first
period, then held the Lady Cats to only 5 points again in the second
while dropping in another 10 to lead 20-10 at half-time. Jackson
County's last point of the first half came on a technical foul called
against the Lady Wildcats' bench at the buzzer. The LA faithful
cheered loudly in support of the Lady Cats as the team walked off
the floor while the free throws were about to be attempted. Jackson
County's shooter hit only one of the two free throw attempts, which
elevated the Livingston supporters' noise level.
A fired up Livingston Academy squad took the floor in the third
period and overpowered and frustrated the Lady Blue Devils to the
tune of 16-8, cutting the Jackson County lead to 28-26.
LA junior April Handy fired a 3-point shot to put LA ahead 30-28.
Gainesboro's Amanda Naff answered for the Lady Blue Devils, but
Coach Lesley Smith's squad would not be denied. The Lady Cats battled
until senior Katrina Beechboard gave Livingston Academy the final
lead by hitting a 3-pointer with 1:22 remaining in the game. LA
won the District 7-AA Tournament championship 41-39 over Jackson
Jackson County was led by Miss Basketball finalist Marissa Hensley
with 17 points, including a 3-pointer and 4 free throws. Hensley
also led Jackson County in rebounds with 7. She also blocked 3 shots.
LA's own Miss Basketball finalist, Katrina Beechboard, led in scoring
with 21 points, including a 3-pointer and 12 of 15 on free throws.
Accurate free throw shooting by senior Kellie Thurman helped keep
Livingston in the game early. Thurman scored 8 points in the game,
including 4 of 5 from the foul line.
Megan Thompson scored 5 points, including a free throw, April Handy
scored 4 points from a 3-pointer and a foul shot, and Whitney Sells
hit a 3-pointer.
Megan Thompson made 3 assists, and Haley Mullins and Beechboard
each made an assist.
Beechboard completed a double-double by pulling down 10 rebounds.
Thompson had 5 rebounds, Thurman had 4, Mullins and Handy had 2
each, and Kasey Baltimore had 1.
Beechboard and Thompson each blocked a shot. Beechboard had 2
steals, and Thompson, Handy, and Sells each had a steal.
Katrina Beechboard was named District 7-AA Tournament Most Valuable
Player, and Kellie Thurman and Megan Thompson were named All-Tournament.
Also named All-Tournament were Jackson County's Marissa Hensley,
Kayla Olson, and Courtney Childress, Smith County's Monica Chumney
and Audrey Goolsby, Cannon County's Erin Todd and Felicia Francis,
and York Institute's Brandi Brown.
The Lady Wildcats entered the Region 4-AA Tournament at Portland
on Monday, March 1 matched up against Springfield.
Springfield was ill prepared for the onslaught. Livingston overpowered
the District 8-AA team with a 22-6 pounding in the first period,
and the game was all but over. LA followed with a 27-12 second period
to lead 49-18 at half-time, and it was just a matter of time until
the end. The Lady Cats went on to win 78-28.
Katrina Beechboard led in scoring with 14 points, including a 3-pointer,
Kellie Thurman scored 13 points, including two 3-pointers, Whitney
Sells scored 11 points, including a 3-pointer, and April Handy scored
Kristin Hoover scored 9 points, including a 3-pointer, Megan Thompson
scored 6 points, Ashley Matthews and Megan Brown each scored 4 points,
Kasey Baltimore hit a 3-pointer, and Krista Clinard and Brittany
McCoin each scored 2 points.
Next up for the Lady Wildcats is a semifinal game against David
Lipscomb at 6:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, March 3 at Portland High
School. The winner goes to the championship game at 8 p.m. Thursday,
March 4; the loser goes home.
The winner of the championship game will host a substate game,
and the loser will travel to play the winner of another region.
Wildcats finish 4th
in District 7-AA Tournament
Dewain E. Peek/OCN staff
Livingston Academy junior Brad West prepares to shoot a free
throw after a technical foul was called against York Institute in
Friday's District 7-AA consolation game. The Wildcats forced overtime,
but ultimately lost 49-55.
By LYNDON JOHNSON, OCN staff
The LA Wildcats entered into the District 7-AA Tournament on a comeback
wave, having won just about every game in the final weeks heading
into the tournament.
So on the highs of victory, the boys in blue loaded up the bus
and headed to Hooper Eblen Center at Tennessee Tech on Tuesday,
Feb. 24 to face Smith County's Owls.
The Owls had beaten the Wildcats in their first regular season
meeting, but the Cats managed to undercut them in their last contest
and take a victory.
In the first quarter of this district semifinal game, the Wildcats
got off to a slightly slower start than did the Owls, who outscored
Livingston 14-10 to take the early advantage.
In the second quarter, LA doubled up on the Owls and then some,
scoring 16 to Smith County's 6 to take the lead headed into halftime,
After the half and a drink of water, play resumed and saw the Owls
pounding the boards, netting some 22 points in the third quarter.
The Wildcats, try as they might to keep up with the astonishing
pace, could only strike for 14 points, and thus the Owls took the
lead headed into the final frame, 42-40.
Knowing they didn't have far to go to catch the Owls, the Cats
came out and played hard ball, but not hard enough to claim victory,
losing the game 57-52.
Leading the Wildcats in scoring was Brad West, who shot 50 percent
inside (7 of 14) and made 5 of 12 from downtown to total up 30 points
by the night's end. Brandon Matthews scored the second highest total
of the evening, nailing down 14. Matt Reeder made 6 of 12 down low
to help him score 13 by night's end. The rest of the scoring was
handled by Wesley Puckett with 7 and Wilson Cates and Brian Colson,
who netted 2 apiece.
LA Basketball Coach Danny McCoin said, "The main thing with
Smith County was our offense in the fourth quarter. We had no offense
Ð we couldn't get anything going offensively. We couldn't stop their
big guy inside, and we weren't getting very good shots."
Since they lost in the semis, the Livingstonians moved on to the
consolation game to face York Institute's Dragons on Friday, Feb.
The Dragons came out and scored the first bucket of the contest,
which was answered by double layups from Matt Reeder to put the
Wildcats up 4-2 early in the going.
Afer a timeout was called by the Dragons, Matthews laid down a
trey for the Wildcats to make it 7-2 before Reeder fouled a York
player, who missed both foul shots.
Matthews came right back out and shot another bucket from downtown
to make it 10-2 before Cates fouled, sending a York player to the
This time, he hit one of the two buckets, making the score 10-3.
Matthews continued his offensive showing by making a layup at about
the halfway mark of the first quarter. Reeder was then fouled by
the very player he sent to the line earlier, and made one of two
buckets from the free throw line to make the score 13-3.
York scored its second 2-point bucket of the quarter somewhat late,
nailing a layup with 3:21 left to make the score 13-5. LA answered
in the form of a Matt Reeder jump shot to make the score 15-5.
The Dragons then called a timeout, and, after discussing a few
things, came out and closed the first quarter on a 6-point run to
make the score headed into the second LA 15, York Institute 11.
The second quarter began somewhat slowly, with neither team making
a basket for some minute and a half until York made a three to cut
LA's lead to one, 15-14.
Wilson Cates answered the Dragon scoring again with a layup to
spread the spread to three, 17-14. York, however, would tie it up
at 17 with another 3-pointer with 5:46 left in the second quarter.
Things were pretty slow going for the next 3 minutes or so, with
the teams exchanging minor fouls before Cates nailed a jumper with
40 seconds left in the quarter to make the score LA 23, York 19.
A technical foul by the York bench saw Brad West step up to the
line all alone and swish both buckets to give the Cats a 6-point
Brian Colson added 2 more to that total to close things out in
the first half with the Wildcats in the lead, 27-19.
York came out in the third quarter doing all the scoring, making
10 points and closing the gap before fouling Reeder, who shot well
from the line to make the score headed into the fourth period all
tied up, 29-29.
Again, in the fourth frame, the Dragons scored first, firing in
a 3-pointer with 6:47 to play. LA came back with 2 of their own
by Colson, making the score LA 31, York 32.
York scored a duo of jumpers to stretch their lead to five (31-36)
before LA's Cates made a deuce to make it 33-36.
The Dragons traded buckets with the Cats for most of the quarter,
with neither team really making good headway. LA closed the gap
at 43 on a Colson free throw with just 24 seconds remaining, and
that is where the score stayed, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra frame, LA scored first on a jumper from Reeder, though
York answered with a basket from downtown. A foul sent Wilson Cates
to the line, where he shot 50 percent to tie the game at 46 with
2:54 to play.
Colson had the chance to give his team the lead on a single-shot
foul, but he missed. York capitalized, scoring a deuce and then
sinking two foul shots to lead 50-46.
Wesley Puckett made a welcome contribution to the Wildcats' game,
nailing a 3-pointer to cut York's lead to one, 49-50.
A foul by Colson sent York to the line, where they nailed both
shots to extend their advantage to 52-49 before fouling Cates, who
missed his one shot.
Cates fouled a York player then, who made his single shot to make
the score York 53, LA 49.
A foul by Puckett would sew things up for York, who again nailed
the double-shot foul with 12 seconds remaining to set the final
score York Institute 55, Livingston Academy 49.
The Wildcats' scoring summary was led by Reeder, who managed a
respectable 16 points by shooting 6 of 17 from inside and making
4 of 6 foul shots. Cates had the second highest total with 13 points,
going 6 of 13 from 2-point range and 1 of 3 from the line. Other
scoring was handled by Matthews with 12, Colson with 7, Puckett
with 5, and West with 2.
"We had our moments," Coach McCoin said.
"We started out very well, then we slipped a little bit. The
third quarter was our downfall. We scored two points at the end
of the third.
"We battled and played real hard to get back into it and tie
it up, sending it into overtime. But York just outplayed us in overtime.
We missed some crucial free throws."
Having finished 4th in their district, the Wildcats headed to
the Region 4-AA Tournament in Portland where they were scheduled
to play Martin Luther King High School on Tuesday, March 2.
"That's gonna be a hard game," the coach said prior to
"They're the number one team over in their district, they're
very well coached, they're very well disciplined, they play hard,
and they're fast. That's going to be their big advantage. They're
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