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Archives 01-19-2005

Sports

 

Cats undefeated in district, Lady Cats endure losses

 









Cats undefeated in district, Lady Cats endure losses

Mac McLeod/OCN Sports
Brian Colson tied the White County game with a basket in the third period, but the Wildcats took a home loss.

BY MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports For the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats, this past week was a week of "firsts".

For the first time since 1984, a total of 43 games with White County, the Lady Cats lost.

First, the Lady Cats continued to break streaks by losing to Cannon County for the first time since 1992.

And for the first time since almost anyone can remember, Livingston's girls have lost four straight times, not to mention that no one can recall the last time they lost a 20-point lead in route to a defeat.

"To say the least, it was a frustrating week," LA Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Smith said. "We lost four straight games. We started putting pressure on ourselves and three of those losses were district games.

"That, plus the fact we play top-ranked Upperman Tuesday, won't make next week any easier either," she said Saturday night.

While Smith and her Lady Cats were struggling all week, that wasn't quite the case for the Livingston boys. It didn't turn out a perfect week, but they had two district wins and an explainable loss.

Wildcats Coach Danny McCoin said, "We had a good week overall. Tonight (Saturday), I thought we were going to do well against White County, and we started out like we would, but then we just couldn't get anything to drop. You have those nights and tonight we had one."

Despite a 52-49 setback in the rubber match with White County, the Wildcats still rest atop District 7-AA with a perfect 6-0 record.

The week started out in Carthage on Tuesday, Jan. 11. That should have been a pair of victories for the visitors and it looked like it at the start.

The Lady Cats jumped out to a 20-15 lead in the first quarter on strong defense and some good inside shooting by Haley Mullins. Alison West started off the second frame with a 3-point basket and the Lady Cats were on a roll. Brittany McCoin finished off the first half with a lay-up and Livingston was up 39-21. In the first half, Whitney Sells and West each had 9 points.

Then the roof fell in. At the end of the third period, LA's lead was cut to 12 at 47-35. Then in the fourth frame, the Owlettes hit 80 percent of everything they threw at the basket, while Livingston hit only 14 percent. At the end of regulation, the game was knotted at 59.

In overtime, April Handy scored 6 points for LA, but no one else scored at all, and the Lady Owls won by 2 with a final score of 67-65.

Coach Smith said, "We didn't change a thing in the second half, but we started making foolish turnovers and just couldn't buy a basket. It was a very disappointing defeat."

Sells paced the Lady Cats with 14 points, while Mullins added 10.

The Livingston boys didn't have an easy night either, but managed to hang on for a 53-50 win. The Wildcats trailed by 3 at the end of the first period, 9-12, but went up by 4 at intermission, 28-24. Wilson Cates had a good second quarter, scoring 7 points.

Fortunately for Livingston, Smith County was also having trouble finding the basket. At the end of the third period, LA led 36-28.

In the fourth frame, strong play by both Matt Reeder and Brian Colson held off a charge by the Owls. Cates had 17 for the winners, while Reeder dropped in 15, and Colson, having his best scoring night of the season, added 13.

"I was just glad to get out of there," McCoin explained. "We played well at times, and got some good offense inside with Reeder and Colson, plus I thought we played the boards good also."

Friday night in Woodbury, the Lady Cats ran into a fired up pride of Lions. Cannon County brought a respectable 12-7 record into the game, while Livingston at 10-9 was still nursing the loss three days earlier to Smith County.

From the outset, it was all Cannon County. The Lady Lions were up by 6 at the end of the first period, 13-7, and were on top at the intermission, 25-11.

Livingston closed the gap with a strong third frame to 33-27 on strong play from Mullins and Sells, and in the fourth period managed to close to within 3, but could never put together a killing drive. Cannon pulled away to a 48-38 win.

Mullins and Ashley Matthews shared scoring honors for LA with 10 points each.

In the boys game, LA took a 10-5 first period lead, were ahead by 15 at 31-16 at the half, then coasted away to a 64-29 decision.

In the game, Coach McCoin got a chance to play most of his bench, and they came through with flying colors. Justin Monday was top scorer with 12 points, and Tyler Smith added 11 as did Reeder. Wesley Puckett also had a good night shooting and ended the game with 7 markers.

The win was Livingston's second of the season over Cannon County and upped LA's mark to 15-4 overall and 7-0 in the district. The win was also the Cats' fourth straight.

Saturday night, before a large home crowd, the basket had a lid put on it for both LA teams as visiting White County simply did what they had to do to win both games.

With Ashley Matthews nailing the nets for 20 points on five 3-pointers, a pair of 2-pointers, and a free throw, it looked as if the Lady Cats might return to their winning way, but it wasn't to be. Only Mullins came close to double figures with 8. White County won 49-44.

Matthews said, "Right now we are struggling both offensively and defensively. We played poorly on defense tonight (Saturday), and for some reason, we can't get a total shooting performance from the team.

"One night one player shoots pretty good, but the others don't, and the next time, it's the other way around.

"We aren't down because we know basketball is a tournament sport, but we have got to start putting together good offense and defense on the same night."

In two previous matches, both the White County boys and the Livingston boys had split. White County won a controversial 62-61 contest in mid-December, then Livingston got revenge in the Mid-South Classic with a convincing 60-44 victory.

Before the game started, Wilson Cates said, "This will be a good game tonight. The winning team will have to play well."

White County won 52-49, and Livingston didn't play well at all after the first period.

Jumping out to a 19-10 advantage early, the Wildcats led by only 1 at 23-22 at intermission, then watched shot after shot miss in the final two periods.

Colson tied the game at 34 late in the third period, and Lance Ruble put the Wildcats ahead with 30 seconds to go in the period, 36-35, but it was all White County in the fourth quarter.

Coach McCoin said, "We couldn't buy a basket in the fourth period, and it wasn't because we weren't trying. We got out of our rhythm, and when we did, we just couldn't make the shots.

"The good news, I guess, is it wasn't a district game, but we did lose and we'll have to rebound next week. Some nights it just goes that way, and tonight was one of them."

Reeder was the only Wildcat in double figures with 16. Brad West had 8, and Cates added 7.

After travelling to Baxter to play Upperman in District 7-AA games on Tuesday, Jan. 18, Livingston Academy will host York Institute in another district match-up on Friday, Jan. 21. The LA teams will then travel to Byrdstown on Tuesday, Jan. 25 to take on Pickett County.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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