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Archives 01-24-2007


Sports

Ashley Matthews joins LA's 1,000-Point Club
LA Wildcats defeat Macon County Tigers
Lady Cats suffer tough road losses
Senior Katie Vaughn signs with Vol State

 

Ashley Matthews joins LA's 1,000Point Club

Kassie Hunley/OCN Sports
Ashley Matthews is congratulated by Lady Wildcats Basketball Coach Lesley Smith on becoming the 25th player to enter the Livingston Academy 1,000-Point Club. Matthews is currently ranked 15th in career points at LA.

 

 

 

LA Wildcats defeat Macon County Tigers

Kassie Hunley/OCN Sports
Livingston Academy's Jordan Everley, #22, grabs a rebound against Upperman.

By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
Early in the season, it appeared, on paper at least, the chase for the District 7-AA championship would come down to Livingston Academy and Upperman. By the end of the first week in December, the Wildcats posted a 7-2 record and looked as if defending their crown from a year ago would not be a problem.

Since that time though, Livingston has hit some bumpy roads, first losing to league foe DeKalb County for their first division loss in two years, and a three-game losing streak in early January showed cracks in the offense and defense.

Then came the showdown last week with Upperman, a game that would go a long way to determine the regular season champion.

"We knew Upperman was a good, solid team before we went over there," LA guard Todd Smith said. "After the game, we were still not convinced they were that much better than us, but they did win so you have to give them credit.

"Now we have to win our remaining games and play a perfect game when they come to our place later this season to defend the title."

Upperman shot the lights out Tuesday night, Jan. 16, in the first of two meetings between the two district powers, and came away with a 67-62 victory. The win kept the Bees perfect in league play at 6-0, while the Wildcats dropped to 4-2 in district action.

Then on Friday, Jan. 19, in an almost do or die situation, the Wildcats traveled to Macon County and held on for a 66-64 overtime victory.

Before the Upperman contest, LA head coach Richard Melton showed concern for the play he was getting from his post players, and as a result, too much pressure was being put on the guards.

"When our post players don't score, it forces our guards to shoot more," Melton said, "and we just aren't able to get inside. We are missing a lot of easy shots from the post position, so we might have to make some changes there."

Against Upperman, the Wildcats tried several different combinations, but in the end, none seemed to work out. Yet even with the loss, Melton saw progress.

"Believe it or not, I'm not disappointed at all," the coach said. "Upperman is a good team and they shot extremely well, and we only lost by five.

"We're making progress."

Against the Bees, the Wildcats jumped out to a 16-9 lead in the first period, but managed only a 2-point, 27-25 lead at intermission.

In the third period, the Bees found the range, and when it was over, the home team was on top 46-42. In the final period, the Bees turned up the heat on both ends of the floor, and the Wildcats couldn't buy the baskets they needed to get momentum going their way.

Chase Dunn led the Wildcat scoring attack with 26 points, while Smith added 9 and Tyson Stover had 8. Inside, Deven Ramsey and Jeremy McLearran each scored 6.

With the big game apparently behind them, the Wildcats moved on to Macon County on Friday night, and despite a 1-6 district record, the Tigers were waiting.

If they could have hit even half their free throws, they would have sent the Wildcats back to Livingston with their second loss of the week. As it turned out, Macon County went stone cold from the foul line, hitting only 7 of 23 attempts in the first half and 5 of 11 in the second half.

From the tip off, the Wildcats knew it was going to be harder than they may have anticipated. Macon County jumped out to a 19-18 first period lead, and only trailed by a point, 32-31, at intermission, despite missing so many chances at the charity stripe.

Then in the third period, Livingston was held to a mere 6 points while the home team ripped the cords for 15. Going into the final frame, the Tigers held a 46-38 advantage and appeared headed for the upset.

But the Wildcats had other ideas. Clint West opened the period with a basket and a foul shot, then Chase Dunn made a steal and a basket followed by another 2-pointer, and a 3-point shot by Jordan Everley, and suddenly the visitors were back in the game with a 12-4 run.

With a little less than 4 minutes to play, Dunn made another steal and bucket to tie the game at 50.

While the scoring run was in progress, the unseen factor was the inside play of Deven Ramsey. The big center took over the boards, allowing the running game to get into full swing.

With 11 seconds remaining in regulation, Smith made one of two free shots to give the Wildcats a 62-60 lead. But at the buzzer, Macon scored to send the game into overtime.

In the overtime period, Ramsey scored all four LA points and the defense held on for the win.

"Deven really stepped up in the fourth period and in overtime," West later pointed out. "It was good to see him do that. Macon County came to play, there's no doubt, and it was all we could do to win.

"This district is so balanced this year that on any given night just about any team can win.

"I think we are as good or better than any team in the district," West added, "but we are going to have to play our best ball to be the top seed when the tournament comes around. It looks like there are no sure wins in the district."

Again, it was Dunn leading the scoring attack with 26 points, and Everley added 13. Smith had 9, and Ramsey, with his 4 big points in overtime, had 6 for the night.

After hosting rival York on Tuesday, Jan. 23, Livingston Academy will try to get revenge for the Cats' first district loss when they travel to Smithville to take on DeKalb County on Friday, Jan. 26, then the Cats will head to Gainesboro to take on Jackson County on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

 

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Lady Cats suffer tough road losses

Kassie Hunley/OCN Sports
Livingston Academy's Devin Thompson, Alison West, and Brittany McCoin swarm around an Upperman Lady Bee in last week's road loss at Upperman High School.

By MAC McLEOD, OCN Sports
At the start of last week, the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats were sporting a fine 17-4 overall record, but more importantly, were tied with arch rival Upperman for the top spot in District 7-AA with identical 5-0 marks.

By late Friday night, Jan. 19, something had gone severely wrong, and not only were the Lady Cats out of first place in the league, but struggling to hold on to a second place spot.

LA head coach Lesley Smith said, "The kids admitted they didn't play hard Friday night, and that's frustrating from a coaching standpoint. This is a veteran team that is much better than the two losses we suffered this week, and they just say they didn't play hard."

For the week, Livingston went to Upperman on Tuesday night, Jan. 16 and dropped a 70-56 decision to the top-running Lady Bees. Then on Friday night, again on the road, LA was upended by the league's fifth place team, Macon County, 56-46.

"We knew going to Upperman we had our work cut out," Coach Smith continued. "They are a good team, and you have to play your best game if you expect to have any chance to win. They did and we didn't.

"We had that cold spell in the second period and again in the third period, and when you get down to Upperman, seldom do you ever come back."

With four and a half minutes remaining in the first period, Livingston went on top with a basket by Brittany McCoin, 10-9, but the Lady Bees scored the final eight points of the quarter, including a 3-point basket at the buzzer to lead 17-10. From that point on, the Lady Cats were never in the game.

The Lady Bees went on a 22-0 run to open the second frame, and with four minutes remaining, Upperman was on top 31-10. Kendria Kilgore scored for the Lady Cats to end a five minute drought.

At intermission, Livingston trailed 35-22.

Alison West and Britany Smith scored the first two buckets of the third period, and it appeared the Lady Cats might stage a comeback, but Upperman then went on another run, this time 13-0, and for all purposes, the game was over.

West explained after the game, "We couldn't make a shot when we needed one. It seems we have cold spells every time we come to Upperman. We did the very same thing last year, but only lost by five.

"Upperman is a good, solid team, and they forced us to take outside shots that just weren't falling."

On the night, West did her part in the shooting department, hitting the cords for 20 points, while Ashley Matthews and Kilgore each added 13. Mallie Stephens had 7.

With their first district loss behind them, the Lady Cats were expecting to go to Macon County and get back on track. It didn't happen.

In their first meeting of the season back in early December, Livingston struggled a while, but came on strong to take an impressive 63-51 decision. This time around, the Tigerettes had something waiting for the Lady Cats when they got to town.

After racing out to a 10-2 first period lead, headed by Stephens who had 5 of the first 10 points, the Lady Cats let Macon back in the game, and at the end of the period, trailed by a point at 15-14.

And things didn't get any better. Macon County scored the first 10 points of the second period and led by 6 at 26-20 at intermission. At one point in the period, Livingston made a run on baskets by Kilgore, West, Alissa Sells, and Stephens, who hit a 3-pointer, but on the other end of the floor, Macon answered just about every Livingston basket with a bucket of its own.

And even an extended halftime break didn't seem to perk up the Lady Cats.

Macon County scored the first 4 points of the period, and again responded well on the other end of the floor every time LA scored. At the end of the period, the Tigerettes were on top by 11 at 42-31.

Macon moved out to a 13-point lead early in the final quarter, their biggest lead of the night, then held on for the win. It was Macon County's fourth district win of the season against three losses, while Livingston saw its district mark fall to 5-2 and 17-6 overall.

Coach Smith said, "I don't know if we thought we could just go over there and they would roll over or what. Should we have won? I think perhaps so, but when you don't score well and don't play good defense, you aren't going to win, and we didn't do either of those things Friday night.

"Mallie played well both nights, I thought, and Alison had a good game with Upperman. But we have got to have good performances from all our players every night if we expect to make a run for the district title.

"Right now we just aren't playing like we should be, and I really can't put a finger on it," the coach added. "If we were a bunch of freshmen or sophomores I could understand it better, but we aren't, and that's puzzling.

"This is a veteran team, but if they expect to go anywhere in the playoffs, they had better get it together or we'll be home after the district tournament."

Stephens and Kilgore each had 11 points in the loss, while West had 9 and Matthews added 7.

After hosting York Institute on Tuesday, Jan. 23, Livingston Academy will take on DeKalb County in Smithville on Friday, Jan. 26, then the Lady Cats will travel to Gainesboro on Tuesday, Jan. 30 to take on Jackson County.

 

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Senior Katie Vaughn signs with Vol State

Beth Underwood/OCN staff
LA senior softball player and Rickman resident Katie Vaughn signed with Volunteer State Community College, located in Gallatin, on Monday, Jan. 22 after receiving an academic and softball scholarship. On hand to congratulate Vaughn are her parents, Marilyn and Steve Vaughn, seated with her, and, back row, Vol State assistant softball coach Jimmy Buckner, head coach Johnny Lynn, former LA softball coach Mike Johnson, current LA coach Elizabeth Maxwell, and LA Principal Gary Ledbetter.

 

 

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