Cats undefeated in district, Lady Cats endure
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
top of page
Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570