LA boys take two, ladies defeat Clarkrange
LA boys take two,
ladies defeat Clarkrange
By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
Just about the time the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats appeared
to be hitting stride and heading for a strong second half of the
season, up pops old nemesis Jackson County.
In the meantime, the LA boys rebounded from a disappointing tournament
championship loss to have a good week at home on the hardwood.
So it was as the high school basketball season entered its run
for playoff berths and title hopes last week.
Going into action, LA's boys were showing promise as one of District
7-AA's strongest contestants, while the girls, after a struggling
start, were hitting stride as perhaps the league's second best team
When the week was over, the Wildcats were looking at a strong week
and a 13-4 record while the Lady Wildcats were sporting a 9-7 mark.
Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Smith said, "I thought we were
finally figuring out who could play with who. Against Clarkrange
Tuesday night, we played perhaps our best game of the year, especially
on defense. Tonight, we have to go back and figure it all over again."
Smith was referring to Livingston's 57-39 win over Clarkrange
and 61-47 loss to Jackson County.
Against a very good Clarkrange team, the Lady Cats breezed away
from a 26-25 lead at intermission by holding the Lady Buffalos to
only 10 points in the third period and only 2 in the final frame.
In the meantime, April Handy, Ashley Mullins, Whitney Sells, and
Ashley Matthews poured on the offensive power. Handy led the winners
with 13 points, Mullins added 10, and Sells and Matthews each contributed
"That was the way we wanted to play," Coach Smith added.
"We controlled the second half, and we did it impressively.
"Kristin (Hoover) ran the offense so well and never made a
turnover, while (Jada) Ledbetter and Mullins controlled the boards
on both ends of the court.
"It was a very good team victory."
But it didn't turn out that way Friday night with Jackson County.
Not only could the Lady Cats not find the basket; several players
got into foul trouble early, and to add insult to injury, from the
foul line, Livingston hit only 8 of 18 tries.
The Lady Cats led early at 11-8, but two straight 3-pointers put
the Lady Blue Devils out front early in the second period, and they
never looked back. Livingston trailed, 31-22 at the intermission.
In the third period, Livingston managed to close the gap to 6 at
42-36, but Jackson County opened the offensive door on easy lay-ups
and outstanding free throw shooting for the 61-47 win.
Ledbetter had 12 to pace the Lady Cats, and Mullins added 7.
While the girls were having an up and down go of it, the LA boys
had little trouble posting a pair of wins.
Against Clarkrange on Tuesday, Jan. 4, the Wildcats led by only
1 at 26-25 at the intermission, but got hot on offense in the final
two frames while showing off a torrid defense. In the final half,
Livingston hit for 36 points while holding the Buffalos to only
15 to post a 62-40 win.
Wilson Cates and Brad West paced the winners with 12 points each,
while Tyson Stover and Justin Monday added 10. West had four 3-pointers
and Stover had two.
By Friday night against Jackson County, the Wildcats were in a
scoring mood. West started things off with a 3-pointer, Matt Reeder
added 2 on a driver up the lane, Stover canned a three from the
corner, Cates hit for a pair of buckets, West and Stover each added
a 3-pointer, and Brian Colson dripped in a free throw to blast the
home team to a 19-0 advantage.
From that point on, it was all downhill, mostly with the first
team watching from the bench. Livingston hit on 50 percent of its
shots in the first half to lead, 43-17, and had very little trouble
coasting to the 76-45 victory.
"We were on tonight," Reeder explained. "Brad (West)
hit that first 3-point try, then Stover hit one and Wilson was all
over the place offensively and defensively. Everybody got to play
tonight, and I think about everybody scored. It was a fun game to
Reeder led the Wildcat attack with 14 points and 15 rebounds. West
had 11 points, Stover 9, and Cates had 6 and also added 7 assists.
Wildcats Coach Danny Mc-Coin said, "We had a good week. Against
Clarkrange, we came out strong on offense and defense in the second
half, and that was what we need to do every game. Tonight against
Jackson County, we just got hot so fast it was hard for them to
hold us back.
"We have some tough games next week (at Smith County Tuesday,
at Cannon County on Friday, and a rematch with White County at home
Saturday)," he said Friday night, "and I hope we can play
as well as we did this week. It's so important for Brad (West) to
hit those early threes because it opens up the inside to Reeder.
We are strong inside if we can get the defense to have to play our
"I thought our bench came out and played extremely well both
nights and it was good to get them all in the games and get the
experience," McCoin added.
After the games against Smith County, Cannon County, and White
County, Livingston Academy will host Upperman High School on Tuesday,
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Overton County News
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