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Archives 12-06-2006

Sports

Special Olympics athletes take 2nd in state
Lady Cats take district win over Macon County
LA Wildcats defeat Cavaliers, Tigers


Special Olympics athletes take 2nd in state

photo courtesy of Livingston Academy
Livingston Academy's Special Olympics soccer team advanced to the Division 3 state championship in Goodlettsville recently, after winning the tournament in Area 9. The team won 5 out of 6 games, falling to Manchester in the final game to take the runner-up trophy. The event was topped off by a victory dance to celebrate the success of every athlete. Representing LA were, front row from left, Kevin Carr, Kelly Scantland, Barbara Bowles, Matthew Barlow, back row, Coach Billy Barnes, Jessie Ledbetter, Nathan Miller - MVP, Wesley McBride - VIP, Steven Ogle, Luke Neeley, and Coach Keith Allen.

photo courtesy of Livingston Academy
After the state runners-up in the Special Olympics Soccer Tournament returned to Livingston Academy, each student was congratulated with a certificate of recognition and achievement. On hand are, front row from left, Kelly Scantland, Barbara Bowles, Kevin Carr, Matthew Barlow, back row from left, Coach Billy Barnes, Jessie Ledbetter, Steven Ogle, Wesley McBride, Nathan Miller, Luke Neeley, Coach Keith Allen, and Principal Gary Ledbetter.

 

 

 

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Lady Cats take district win over Macon County

Kassie Hunley/OCN Sports
Kendria Kilgore moves under the basket for a 2-point attempt against Cookeville.

By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
It's a well know fact that the Lady Wildcats of Livingston Academy can shoot the lights out when they find the shooting range. Usually it's just a question of who will find the hot hand between Alison West, Ashley Matthews, or Mallie Stephens.

But when it comes to the hard job of controlling the inside, Jada Ledbetter and Kendria Kilgore have to make their presence known.

"We have to get a good job inside to be consistent," Lady Wildcats Coach Lesley Smith pointed out. "Against Cookeville Tuesday night, we lost Jada to foul trouble and it really hurt, although I'm not sure that made a lot of difference. Tonight (Friday), Jada came on really strong in the fourth period, and you can see what can happen when she really gets her game going."

On Tuesday, Nov. 28, the Lady Cats hosted a big, powerful team in the Lady Cavaliers of Cookeville, and despite everything they tried, nothing appeared to work. The result was a 54-43 setback.

With three players standing over 6-2, it was almost impossible for Livingston Academy to work inside or even have a fair shot at a rebound. Coupled with the fact that the Lady Cavaliers forced the Lady Cats to shoot from far beyond their normal range, it was no surprise when the final buzzer went off.

Ledbetter said of the loss, "They were just so big inside, and although I thought we fought hard for rebounds, there just wasn't much we could do.

"We tried hard, but it was one of those nights when it just wasn't to be. Tonight (Friday), things went better. Ashley did well shooting and rebounding, and Alison really picked up in the fourth period when it looked like Macon was going to make a run and we won."

Against 3A power Cookeville, Stephens led the scoring for LA with 12 points, while Matthews added 10. Kilgore added 8, and Brittany McCoin dropped in 7.

Cookeville led 8-4 at the end of the first period, and were ahead by 8 for a score of 24-16 at intermission. Early in the second period, the Lady Cats made a short run to close within a point, but the Lady Cavaliers took control of the inside game and Livingston could never mount a serious threat after that.

Coach Smith added, "I'm glad we played them. It was good for us to play a team of that size, but the good news is there are no 3A teams for us on the road to Murfreesboro."

On Friday, Dec. 1, the Lady Cats started their "new" season as they hosted Macon County in the first game of District 7-AA play. This time, Ledbetter stayed for the entire game and her play in the fourth period proved critical in the 63-51 victory.

West started play with a pair of free throws early, followed by baskets from Stephens and a pair of free throws by McCoin. Stephens then nailed a 3-pointer and that inspired McCoin to add a long range bucket. By the end of the first period, LA led 16-11.

By halftime, the Livingston lead was 9 at 37-28, but in the third period, the Tigerettes had clawed back and finally taken the lead with 3:20 remaining in the frame, 40-39. The two teams traded the lead until the buzzer, with the visitors clinging to a 44-42 advantage.

Then Ledbetter got hot. She opened the final period with a basket inside, then two more from close range to put her team on top. On the other end of the court, the senior took a big charge foul then continued to control the inside after Macon's two big inside players fouled out.

And while Ledbetter was putting in the points, West got aggressive on defense. The end result was a convincing win.

"Tonight we played as a team," West said after the game. "Ashley kept us in it early, Kendria started making baskets, and when Jada got hot in the fourth period, we started to feel good about our chances.

"It's good to start district play with a win."

For Ledbetter, 13 of her team-leading 16 points came in the final period.

"It helped when their big players fouled out," the soft spoken senior pointed out. "I felt comfortable going strong inside at that point, so I did. In some games, I get a lot of fouls being aggressive, but tonight it just felt good, so I tried it and it worked."

The victory brought the Lady Cats' record to 5-2 overall and 1-0 in the district.

Matthews ended the game with 14 points, with Kilgore adding 10.

Coach Smith said, "I thought it was a good week for us. It was good to see Jada playing strong inside, because we need that. And although we split the two games, the one that counted we won, and in the process, I think we made improvement. That's what you always want to do."

After travelling to Jamestown on Tuesday, Dec. 5 to take on York Institute in a district game, the Lady Cats will travel to Woodbury to take on Cannon County in another district contest on Friday, Dec. 8. LA will host DeKalb County on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

 

 

LA Wildcats defeat Cavaliers, Tigers

Kassie Hunley/OCN Sports
Todd Smith grabs some air to score 2 points for LA in the home win over Cookeville.

By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
When team bus driver Dale King pulls away from Livingston Academy this week for two district road games, rest assured head coach Richard Melton will walk through the bus to make sure his two guards, Todd Smith and Chase Dunn, are on board.

"I'm sure glad Chase showed up tonight," Coach Melton smiled after his sophomore guard had ripped the nets for a career high 35 points last Friday to lead the Wildcats to a 74-51 District 7-AA victory over Macon County. "And I'm glad Todd did as well.

It was the second win of the week for Livingston Academy, as the Wildcats held off Class AAA rival Cookeville on Tuesday night, 67-59.

But despite the two wins, Melton wasn't all that pleased with his chargers. In both games last week, and even going back to the week before against Pickett County, the Cats have managed to get out to a big lead only to have to fight back late to pull off the victory.

"Friday's win was the worst win in my coaching career," Coach Melton continued. "Our guards played well, and we got a good game from Clint (West) Tuesday, but inside, our big men have got to improve. We have to get better performances from our big men."

The week wasn't a total disaster for LA's inside game as center Deven Ramsey dominated the inside game on Tuesday, Nov. 30 against Cookeville, scoring 18 points and pulling down numerous rebounds on both ends of the court. His mere presence inside posed problems for the Cavaliers, and his soft touch made him appear more mature than his sophomore status.

Against Cookeville, West opened the game with a big 3-point basket and ended the frame with his second 3-pointer of the night. In between, the Wildcats went on an 8-2 run and raced out to an 18-6 lead at the buzzer.

After a sloppy start to the second frame, where the Cavaliers cut the lead to 5, the Cats went on another strong run, paced by Jordan Everley, West, and Ramsey, hitting 10 unanswered points, and led 32-23 at intermission.

But in the third period everything came together for Livingston. Dunn opened with a basket, followed by Smith, then a Tyson Stover rebound led to another Dunn score. West nailed his third 3-pointer at that point, and suddenly the Cats were off to an 11-2 run and up 45-25.

During the 8 minutes, just about everything Livingston threw at the basket fell through. At the end of the period, LA was on top 55-38 and appeared to be rolling off to an easy win.

Then the fog rolled in. In the first 3 minutes of the final period, Cookeville cut the lead to 9 at 57-48, and what had been a runaway had turned into a real fight.

Ramsey finally stopped the bleeding with a pair of baskets to put the Cats back out by 12 at 61-48, then the Cats managed to hang on for the win.

Dunn said, "I really can't explain what happened there. Maybe we got lazy or something, but we sure didn't play like we did in the third period."

Melton pulled his ace guard from the lineup in the fourth frame, but by then it was almost impossible for the Cavaliers to make up the difference.

Coach Melton later said, "I thought West and Ramsey both played well, but I was not happy at all with what went on in the third period. We can't allow that to happen.

"To be a good team you have to stay focused, and I think we lost our focus late in the game.

"We'll work on that in practice."

Apparently whatever went on in practice on Wednesday and Thursday worked, at least for Dunn.

Stover started Friday's game against Macon County with his typical 3-pointer from the left side and the race was on. Smith answered with another LA three, and before the fans could find their seats, the Cats were on top 9-4.

Midway through the period Dunn nailed a 3-pointer, and at the buzzer LA was on top 23-7 due to fine shooting and a torrid defense that frustrated the Tigers most of the period.

Ramsey drew his third foul seconds into the second period and had to sit down the remainder of the frame. Jeremy McLearran replaced the big man, but it was Dunn and Smith who had taken over by then. Stover hit his second three at the end of the half to give the Cats a 40-26 lead at intermission. At one point in the period, Livingston led by 19 at 31-13.

But like in the previous two games, the opposition just wouldn't go away. The Tigers came out in the third period hitting most of their shots and taking control of the boards, and midway through the period had cut the once mammoth lead down to 9 at 44-35.

Then at the start of the final period, Macon County went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead again, this time to 11.

But Dunn, Smith, and West weren't about to let this one get away. In the fourth period, the trio went on a scoring run of their own. Dunn nailed a three and West did likewise. Stover took a charge and Dunn responded on the other end of the floor with a big basket, and suddenly what was a 9-point lead was now 12.

Smith later stated, "I just enjoy seeing him (Dunn) make all those shots. My job is to get the ball down the floor and set up the play. Tonight Chase took it from there. He was everywhere and hit just about everything he threw in the direction of the net.

"I know we made mistakes tonight, and we still have a lot of work to do, but we're getting better."

As for Dunn and his 35 points, the young guard didn't really know how to explain it.

"You always start out hoping to have a good game, but tonight it seemed like every shot I took just went in. It was kinda neat.

"But I wasn't the only player out there. Todd and Clint both had a good game. Deven plays inside and he's going to get a lot of fouls. He will learn though. We just have to keep helping him get over the fact that the big men are the ones that draw most of the fouls.

"We'll work on everything and we'll get better."

Of Dunn's 35 markers, 12 came from 3-point range. Stover and West each had two long range baskets, and Smith added one for a total of 9, a season high at this point.

After travelling to Jamestown on Tuesday, Dec. 5 to take on York Institute in a district game, the Cats will travel to Woodbury to take on Cannon County in another district contest on Friday, Dec. 8. Livingston Academy will host DeKalb County on Tuesday, Dec. 12.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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