Livingston Academy teams
defeat Cannon County
teams defeat Cannon County
Lyndon Johnson/OCN staff
Livingston Academy senior Brian Colson goes up for a shot during
a tough scramble under the basket in the Wildcats' 76-56 win over
Cannon County at home on Friday night.
By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
A couple of things should be kept in mind when you go to Sparta
to play an athletic contest: there are 48 minutes of playing time
in a football game, and 32 minutes in a basketball game.
If anyone doubts that, contact the athletic department at Livingston
Three seasons ago, the Wildcats football team had a 13-point lead
with less than 15 seconds to play. When it was over, the White County
Warriors won by 1 point. Saturday night, the LA boys basketball
team was ahead by 2 points with less than a second and a half to
play, and lost by the same slim margin of 1.
Livingston Basketball Coach Danny McCoin said, "It was probably
the toughest loss I've ever experienced as a coach. Our kids played
a great game all night.
"White County was a much bigger team than us, but we never
panicked, stayed calm and fought back several times late in the
game. It was a tough loss, but the kids will bounce back, and we'll
be ready for DeKalb County Tuesday night."
McCoin was referring to a 62-61 setback on Saturday, Dec. 11 that
had all the appearance of a 61-59 victory. After battling all night
just to stay close, the Wildcats looked like the victors with 1.6
seconds remaining. With 2 seconds left, Wilson Cates drove in for
what appeared to be the winning basket.
On the ensuing inbounds play, White County threw the ball down
the court and the shot was missed from the foul line, but a late
whistle and a technical foul call sent the home team to the line
for four shots. They made three.
Livingston trailed by 6 after the first period, led by 1 at the
intermission, and was 6 points down going into the final frame.
Brad West had kept things close early with four 3-pointers in the
second period, another in the third, and yet another in the fourth.
In the meantime, Cates had a hot hand as did LA's big man, Matt
West would lead all scorers with 18 points, while Cates would add
14, Reeder 11, and Brandon Matthews 10.
On Friday night, Dec. 10, the Wildcats played perhaps their finest
game of the young season, whipping district foe Cannon County 76-56.
Hitting on 50 percent of their shots and grabbing 30 rebounds, the
Wildcats upped their record to 5-1 overall.
"We had a good week of practice," explained Cates, referring
to the fact that the Wildcats' first game of the week was Friday.
"We got to work hard on a lot of little things, and it showed
Coach McCoin added, "We did play well tonight. On both ends
of the court.
"We substituted freely, and it didn't change our appearance,
and we got great shooting from several players as well as good defensive
play from everyone."
Matthews had 20 points for the Wildcats, followed by 11 each from
Tyson Stover and Tyler Livingston.
Meanwhile, the Lady Wildcats were having their good times and bad
Center Haley Mullins laughed, "Every time I hear a whistle,
I want to dive under the bench. Playing inside means you have to
be more physical, and you get whistles more often.
"I'm getting more comfortable with the position, but I still
hate to hear a whistle."
Mullins and her teammates had the best game of the season thus
far on Friday, beating district foe Cannon County 53-39.
The Lady Cats also had almost a week off from competition and used
the time to get in some good practice, and it paid off.
Coach Lesley Smith said, "We need the time to practice, and
the kids worked really hard this week. Haley definitely had her
best game of the season, and I thought we played our best defense
Mullins had a terrific first period, scoring 10 of her game total
11. Alison West took over in the fourth with 3 critical rebounds
and 7 points, while Whitney Sells played steady all night and tallied
The victory brought the Lady Cats even on the season at 4-4.
Saturday night's game was a totally different story.
Facing a 5-3 White County squad, the Lady Cats took an early 6-3
lead, but trailed by 2 at 11-9 at the end of the first period. At
intermission, Livingston trailed by 7, but midway through the third
period managed to knot the game at 29. It was Mullins again who
led the charge back.
But White County ripped off 9 unanswered points late in the third
period to nail down the 52-43 victory.
Unlike Friday night, on Saturday the Lady Wildcats didn't shoot
well, didn't rebound well, and had far too many turnovers. Mullins
led the LA attack with 13 points, with April Handy and Ashley Matthews
each adding 9.
After hosting DeKalb County on Tuesday, Dec. 14, Livingston Academy
will start holiday tournament action Friday night in Cookeville
in the MidSouth Classic.
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