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Archives 12-26-2007

Sports

Cats advance in Battle for the State
Lady Cats defeat Heritage, lose close to Jackson Co.
LMS girls basketball teams defeat Hilham
Marathon savings end with the year

Cats advance in Battle for the State

Mac McLeod/OCN Sports
Chase Dunn scored 30 points against Brentwood Academy.

By MAC McLEOD,
OCN Sports

Just when it looked like they didn’t have a chance in the opening round of the Battle For The State tournament Thursday night against powerful Brentwood Academy, the Livingston Academy Wildcats ran up 10 straight points midway through the final period to take a 59-58 lead. Then Clint West nailed a huge three -point basket with only two seconds remaining on a feed from Chase Dunn for a big 70-67 victory.

The win advanced Livingston in the tournament to face Independence High of Franklin in the second round. The Wildcats defeated Franklin by 16 points in an earlier tournament.

Livingston trailed by as many as seven points at several points during the game and led by only three on two occasions, but it was the final score that counted and the Wildcats made the most of the opportunity.

For the first four minutes of the game, it appeared both teams would top the 100-point mark. But defense took over, and despite the fact Brentwood was a much taller squad, the Wildcats surrendered nothing, getting almost as many rebounds as did the Eagles.

At the end of the first period, LA led by one , 18-17 and were on top at intermission, 35-32. After a parade to the foul line in the third frame by both teams, the Wildcats held a slim 43-42 lead going to the final period.

It was the final eight minutes that kept the crowd on its feet and the outcome appeared to be in control of the Eagles who took a 53-46 lead with a little over six minutes remaining. Brentwood outscored the cold shooting Wildcats 11-3 in the span of two minutes but LA refused to fold.

Deven Ramsey finally got the Wildcats back on a scoring run with a pair of free throws then Dunn nailed a three-pointer to narrow the gap to four at 55-51. Following a three-point run by the Eagles, T.J. Smith slammed home a three-pointer, and Dunn followed with another three to pull LA to within one at 58-57. A pair of free throws by Dunn and a basket by Smith completed a ten-point LA run and gave the Wildcats a 59-58 lead.

A basket by Smith with 1:33 remaining gave LA a five-point lead at 64-59, but the Eagles then ran off five straight to knot the game at 64. A turnover by Livingston and a three-pointer by Brentwood handed the lead back to the Eagles at 67-64.

With only 40 seconds showing on the clock, Dunn nailed his sixth three-pointer of the quarter and his 30th point of the night to tie the game at 67 .

On the final trip down court, Dunn appeared to drive in for the bucket but instead passed to West in the corner and the junior guard brought down the lights with his three-point basket. Only two seconds remained and Brentwood turned the ball over on the inbound pass.

On the night, Dunn had 16 points in the first half and none in the third quarter. His 14 in the final period put him on top as the game’s leading scorer with 30. T.J. Smith added 13 points and Todd Smith and West each hit for seven. Ramsey was good for six on the night, while Jeremy McLearran put in four, Kendall Melton, two and Will Peterman, one.

The win moved the Wildcats to 9-2 on the season while Brentwood fell to 8-2.




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Lady Cats defeat Heritage, lose close to Jackson Co.

Mac McLeod/OCN Sports
Alissa Sells is mugged as she attempts a shot against Heritage.

Mac McLeod/OCN Sports
Kendria Kilgore is clotheslined on her way to the basket.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Even though Livingston Academy’s head coach Lesley Smith is for the most part cool, collected and very knowledgeable, it doesn’t mean she can’t get emotionally charged up. Case in point would have been Tuesday night at Jackson County High School in the opening round of the Midsouth Classic basketball tournament.

Smith’s Lady Wildcats at 9-1 on the season were taking on the perfect 10-0 Lady Mountaineers of Heritage High School from Marysville and for the first time in a long time she spent much of the 32 minutes on her feet urging her team on and pointing out small mistakes to the officials. It was a show of emotion that’s seldom seen in the LA coach.

“That was an exciting game,” Smith laughed when it was over. “Heritage was one of the best shooting teams you’ll find anywhere and our kids played one of the best games of their careers. It was hard to stay in my seat.”

Smith was dead accurate on both accounts. With the Lady Mountaineers ripping the nets apart from the three-point range, the Lady Cats had to scrap for everything they got, but like the old commercial use to say, they “got it the hard way, they earned it”.

On the night, Heritage connected on 13 three-point attempts that accounted for 39 points of their 51 points. Problem was, when it wasn’t a three-pointer, it seldom went in and to compound the problem most of the missed shots ended up in the hands of Kendra Kilgore. While Heritage hit 13 long-range shots, Kilgore pulled down 18 rebounds and her teammates used hard nose, fundamental basketball to pull away in the second half to a 60-51 victory.

“I guess I would have to say it was my best game yet,” Kilgore admitted after the contest. “It was a really good game and I think those earlier games this season against strong opponents really paid off tonight. The team just played steady ball all night and never got frustrated, even when they were nailing those long shots. We got a lot of rebounds and on the other end of the floor we got rolling.”

In the opening quarter, Heritage came out shooting and hit three quick three-pointers and played some pretty tough defense. Livingston on the other hand, remained cool under the pressure and when the first eight minutes were over, the Lady Cats trailed by only three, 11-8.

The Lady Mountaineers started the second quarter just like they did the first with three quick threes. To make matters worse, LA’s floor general, Chelsea Carr, picked up her third foul of the night. None the less, when Adrian West roared in the lane with a layup with only seconds left in the half, Livingston managed to knot the score at 22. It had been an uphill battle, but Livingston had refused to crumble under the pressure of the long range shooting.

“I told Kendra at the half that she was going to have to step up and take control of the boards and she did exactly that,” Smith pointed out. “She just dominated inside and they only got one shot at the basket. If it didn’t go in, it was ours.”

With five minutes remaining in the third period, West, who had missed the previous game because of sickness, connected from inside and for the first time on the night, LA was on top at 28-26. Before the second half would end, West would get 12 of her night ‘s total of 18 points.

“I felt much better tonight,” West confessed after the game. “I thought the entire team played so well. We had to fight for this one, but it was worth it. Heritage was a very good shooting team from outside, but I think our basic form of basketball overcame that tonight.”

Mackenzie Sells also played a big hand in the come-from-behind win. The 5-10 freshman collected six points in the third frame and completed the night with 11.

In the third period, Livingston scored 14 points while holding Heritage to only seven and when the fourth period started, it was the Lady Cats’s turn to put on a scoring exhibition. Livingston hit the first nine points of the period to take a commanding 45-29 lead in the first three minutes of play.

Heritage caught fire again, hitting the next three straight three-pointers then adding three more before the period ended. At one point, LA’s lead was down to seven after being as many as 16 at one point. West then hit Livingston’s only three-pointer of the night and it couldn’t have come at a more critical time midway through the period. It stopped Heritage’s run on the scoreboard and put the Lady Cats up by 10 at 45-35 with time running out.

With 1:50 showing on the clock and the Lady Mountaineers down by only eight, Alissa Sell hit two free throws, Kilgore followed with a basket inside and West added another two pointer and the outcome was never in doubt.

West and Kilgore ended the night with 18 points each while Carr had five, Shelby Taylor was good for four and Alissa Sells and Alyssa Thompson each hit for two.

“I just thought our kids did a terrific job out there tonight,” Smith concluded. “Shelby (Taylor) did a fine job getting the ball past their defense and Mackenzie (Sells) had another strong game. When you win a game like this you know you have done something special. I like games like that.”

The win moved Livingston to 10-1 on the season, as they took on undefeated Jackson County Thursday evening in the second round of the tournament.

Laken Leonard ripped the cords for 26 points in leading the undefeated Jackson County Lady Blue Devils to a hard fought 77-70 win over Livingston Academy in the semi finals of the Midsouth Classic tournament.
With the win, Jackson County extended its record to 13-0 while the Lady Wildcats fell to 10-2 on the season.

As anticipated, the game was nip and tuck from the very outset. Jackson County jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period, but Alissa Sells hit a basket and a free throw to close the gap to 4-3. The period went back and forth until the Lady Devils managed to get out front by three at the buzzer, 15-11.

Adrian West then came alive for the Lady Wildcats scoring the first 10 points of the period. When Chelsea Carr hit from in close, Livingston got its first lead of the night , 27-26. The Lady Cats managed a four-point lead at 37-33 midway through the frame, but Jackson County battled back and trailed by only two, 39-37 at intermission.

The Lady Blue Devils finally took charge early in the third period with six straight points. After Sells hit a pair of free throws, Jackson ran off four more unanswered points to take a 47-46 lead. At the end of the period, LA trailed by six, 60-54.

Once the Lady Devils took the lead, they built on it, and several missed shots by Livingston down the stretch sent the Lady Cats down to defeat.
Alissa Sells paced the Lady Cats with 15 points while West and Mackenzie Sells each added 14, Carr had 12 and Kendria added 11. Shelby Taylor rounded out the Livingston scoring with two points.

The Lady Cats will play for third place in the tournament against Dryer County.


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LMS girls basketball teams defeat Hilham

photo courtesy of Michelle Meadows
LMS player Aspen Smith attempts a 3-pointer as the team travelled to Hilham on Monday, Dec. 17. LMS girls bantam tallied a 12-8 victory over the Tigers, with girls varsity following suit in a 40-34 win over Hilham.



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Marathon savings end with the year

Early registration fees for the 9th annual Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon end on New Year’s Eve, Monday, Dec. 31.

Registration for the marathon is currently set at $85 and will go to $95 on January 1. Registration for the half-marathon is now $75 and the price moves to $90 in the New Year. A cap for the half-marathon has been set at 22,500 participants and the 13.1-mile race is expected to sell out before race week. No cap has been set on registration for the marathon.

Organizers of the Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon expect to
attract 35,000 runners, walkers, and junior racers. Both the marathon and half-marathon courses start in Centennial Park on West End Avenue and finish outside of LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. Runners tour Nashville’s Music Row, Belmont University, and Bicentennial Mall. Marathoners also run along the Cumberland River and through Shelby Park.

The event features 50 live bands playing along both courses, 25 high school cheer squads to keep energy pumping, a free 2-day Health & Fitness Expo, an expansive finish line festival, and a post-race concert at Sommet Center.

For more information, or to register for the Country Music Marathon & Half-Marathon, visit www.CMMarathon.com or contact the Country Music Marathon office at (615) 742-1660.

 

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