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Archives 12-01-2004

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LA basketball teams defeat Pickett County








LA basketball teams defeat Pickett County

Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
LA's April Handy pulls up for a shot in last week's home win over Pickett County.

By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
Last week was a good one for the Livingston Academy boys basketball team as the Wildcats played two strong teams and came away with two wins. For the Lady Wildcats, it was up and down, losing one on the road and winning the season's home opener.

After an opening loss to Celina the previous week, Livingston's boys came on strong despite the fact that four players from the football team have yet to return to hardwood action. Travelling to Nashville last Monday, Nov. 22, the Cats used strong defense to topple Hume Fogg, 50-47.

Livingston jumped out to a 14-11 first period lead, trailed at intermission, 24-20, then put up 30 points in the final half to take their first victory of the year. Brandon Matthews paced the winners with 16 points while Tyler Livingston added 14.

Coach Danny McCoin said, "This was a much better performance all around than our first game. I was really pleased with our defense and patience.

"It's still very early in the season, but we're already improving."

In the girls game, it was a different story. Try as they may, the Lady Cats just couldn't get the ball to fall through the net. Livingston led briefly at the intermission, 22-20, but couldn't hold the lead and fell 45-41.

Coach Lesley Smith said, "We have got to become a much better shooting team. We're still looking for the right team combination, and that's my fault right now. We only shot about 20 percent against Hume Fogg, and that won't win many games in this league.

"I guess we have to remember that this team wasn't called on much to make shots last year, so we have to just practice shooting and then be more selective with our shot selection."

Ashley Matthews was the only Lady Cat to hit double figures in the game. She had 12 points. Whitney Sells added 9, and Haley Mullins and Brittany McCoin each contributed 6.

In their home opener Tuesday night, Nov. 23 against Pickett County, Coach Smith didn't actually find the combination she was looking for, but did get a strong scoring night from Mullins (16), Sells (13) and Krista Clinard (10) as the Lady Wildcats evened their record at 2-2 with a convincing 72-38 victory.

"Obviously, we shot much better against Pickett County, but we are still looking for the right rotation to put on the floor," Coach Smith said. "Everyone got to play and everyone scored, so we have to be pleased with that. We'll get better as the season goes along."

The boys first home game was a nip and tuck battle all the way. The Wildcats took a 10-9 lead at the end of the first period, but trailed by one, 22-21, at the half. It was still a one-point game at the end of the third period with Pickett on top, but clutch free throw shooting down the stretch gave Livingston a 55-52 win.

"I thought the team played with a lot of poise, especially down the stretch," Coach McCoin said. "In the fourth quarter, we got some pressure points, and on defense we played well to keep them from getting any good shots. So far, this team has matured a lot in just three games."

Matthews hit 4 critical free throws late in the game, as did Tyson Stover, while Brad West led all scorers with 18 points, including five 3-pointers.

The victories gave the Wildcats a 2-1 record.

Both LA teams will hit the hardwood three times this week. After hosting Cookeville on Tuesday, Nov. 30, Livingston Academy will travel to Jamestown to play York Institute on Friday, Dec. 3, then will host David Lipscomb on Saturday, Dec. 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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