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80 Years Ago

Archives 03-03-2004





Lady Cats take district championship
Wildcats finish 4th in District 7-AA Tournament


Lady Cats take district championship

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.

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 County.

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 10 points.

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.

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, 26-20.

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 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. 27.

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 line.

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 margin, 25-19.

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 the contest.

"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 real fast."


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