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Archives 01-16-2008

Sports

Hilham Elementary holds Basketball 8th Grade Night
Wildcats pressure Pickett Co. Bobcats and Smith Co. Owls
Lady Cats fight for win at Pickett County, dissect Smith County
LMS Girls sweep Bantam tournament

Hilham Elementary holds Basketball 8th Grade Night

Hilham Elementary School held Basketball 8th Grade Night on January 7. Honored were HES cheerleaders, Taylor Rai Farmer, daughter of Keith Farmer, Jessica Simpson, daughter of Jackie and Cynthia Simpson, and HES basketball player Ashley Clark, daughter of Stewart and Vicky Swartz.

Hilham Elementary School held Basketball 8th Grade Night on January 7. HES basketball players honored were, Lucas Dailey, son of Eddie and Tammy Dailey, Cody Sullivan, son of Herman and Beverly Sullivan.

Hilham Elementary School held Basketball 8th Grade Night on January 7. HES basketball players honored were, Christian McDonald, son of Doug and Lisa McDonald, Logan Beaty, son of Donnie and Kathy Phillips.

Hilham Elementary School held Basketball 8th Grade Night on January 7. HES basketball players honored were, Kayla Ledbetter, daughter of Carmen Ledbetter, Jessica Conklin, daughter of Russell and Penni Conklin.

Hilham Elementary School held Basketball 8th Grade Night on January 7. Honored were HES basketball player, Heather Cravens Cantrell, daughter of Lucky and Lola Cantrell, and HES cheerleader Haley Reagan, daughter of Chris and Cindy Reagan.

Hilham Elementary School held Basketball 8th Grade Night on January 7. HES basketball players honored were, Hannah Hoover, daughter of Denny and Lisa Hoover, Melody Williams, daughter of Joey and Melody Williams.

 


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Wildcats pressure Pickett Co. Bobcats and Smith Co. Owls

Mac McLeod/OCN Sports
A Smith County Owl falls as Chase Dunn makes a bounce pass and sets the offense in Friday’s district win in Carthage.

Mac McLeod/OCN Sports
Jeremy McLearran gets a push from a Smith County Owl as the Livingston Academy defense turns up the pressure.

By MAC McLEOD,
OCN Sports

Through much of the first half of the current basketball season, Livingston Academy’s Chase Dunn averaged scoring almost 23 points per game and it looked as if he might go through the entire season maintaining that high mark.

Then as recently as a week ago Dunn slowed down. In two straight games he hit for only ten points and had a season low nine during Christmas tournament play. What was going on?

Before Friday’s game at Smith County, Dunn tried to explain the sudden drop off in point production.

“For one thing,” the hot shooting junior started out, “other players are scoring more and that has taken the pressure off me. My main goal is to do what it takes to win and other teams had started keying on me so I started passing the ball off more and T.J. (Smith) and Clint (West) and Todd (Smith) scored more. It was just fine with me. The main thing was we were winning.”

Opponents need to take notice: last week in two games, Dunn resumed his old ways, ripping Pickett County Tuesday night for 22 points then blasting district foe Smith County for a season high 37 on Friday. In both games, the Wildcats were easy winners.

“I don’t know,” Dunn confessed after Friday’s 73-56 win over the Owls. “I hit my first four shots and decided I would keep shooting until they stopped falling. They (the shots) didn’t and I didn’t. It got kinda funny. I mean it looked like just about everything I threw up fell in.”

All in all, it was a good week for the Wildcats who ran their season record to 15-4 overall and 5-0 in District 7, 2A play, but things really get tough this week when always tough Upperman comes to town on Tuesday and a repeat meeting with Macon County will take place at LA on Friday.

“We’re pleased with what we did last week,” LA head coach Richard Melton pointed out after Friday’s win, “but that’s all behind us and we have two big district games coming up this week. I think we played well enough to win last week, but think we will have to get sharper, especially in certain areas, to keep on winning.”

And Melton didn’t leave himself out of areas that need improvement.

“Tonight (Friday) I made a big mistake,” the coach confessed, “and it affected our play for the rest of the game. We got out to a big lead early against Smith County and I started subbing and we lost our rhythm and never did seem to get it back. I’ll work on that too.”

What Melton was referring to was a quick 15-3 outburst against the Owls early in Friday’s game. With over three minutes remaining in the first period, Melton went to his bench and for the remainder of the night, it was a struggle to build a comfortable lead.

“We started out really good, both on offense and defense, then I subbed and we lost our defensive edge for whatever reason,” the coach continued.

“Early we put good pressure on the ball and Smith County had trouble just getting the ball to half court and we forced numerous turnovers that resulted in baskets on our end of the floor. I subbed and that went away. I won’t make that mistake again.”

Livingston led by ten, 20-10 at the end of the first quarter and was on top, 32-24 at intermission.

After another quick start in the third period on quick baskets by T.J. Smith and Adam Wilson and three straight threes, two by Dunn and one by Smith, the Owls came alive and cut a 45-29 lead to a 45-36 advantage. A three by Dunn stopped the skid and another three pointer by Clint West rebuilt the lead back to 14, 54-40 going into the final period.

In the final frame, Dunn continued to be on fire nailing eleven points to produce the final 17 point margin of victory.

Dunn’s 37 led all scorers while T. J. Smith added nine, Todd Smith had six, West added five and Jeremy McLearran was good for four.

“There were some bright spots other than Chase’s points,” Melton added.

“Jeremy (McLearran) is playing a lot harder inside and that’s something we need badly and Kendall (Melton) played very good defense. I know he’s wondering why his shots aren’t falling, but right now, his defensive play is very good. His shooting will come back. And Clint continues to be outstanding on defense and just overall ‘hustle’. He gets loose balls, grabs rebounds, hits a critical shot when he needs it. It’s the kind of play a coach really appreciates.”

In Tuesday’s 75-59 win over Pickett County Dunn and T.J. Smith had the hot hands from the floor scoring 22 and 21 points respectively while Todd Smith also hit in double figures with 12.

The game stayed close in the first period with LA leading 16-14 at the buzzer and it was tied at 26 at intermission.

T.J. Smith took care of that problem at the outset of the third frame when he hit three straight three point shots. Dunn put in eleven in the period and a three point basket late by Todd Smith gave the Wildcats a 10 point lead going into the final period. Baskets by T.J. Smith, Todd Smith, Dunn, McLearran and Deven Ramsey put the game out of reach midway through the final quarter.

“Pickett County always plays a scrappy game,” T. J. Smith pointed out.

“They stayed close through the first half, but I think our depth finally wore them out. We got good inside play from Adam (Wilson) , Jeremy and Deven and our shooting was balanced. Overall, it was a pretty good game.”

Looking down the road, the Wildcats will face eight straight district opponents before ending the regular season against Cookeville. The district is probably stronger this year than in recent season so there won’t be many ‘easy’ wins and Kendall Melton pointed it out best after Friday’s game.

“Tonight we did enough to win, but that won’t be good enough from here on out. We have got to be totally focused on every minute of every game and I think this team can do that.”

 

 


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Lady Cats fight for win at Pickett County, dissect Smith County

Mac McLeod/OCN Sports
Alissa Sells, #22, fights for the ball during Friday’s game.

Mac McLeod/OCN Sports
LA’s Adrian West attempts a shot past 6-8 Kayci Ferriss in Friday’s Lady Wildcats’ district road win at Carthage.

By MAC McLEOD,
OCN Sports

Its not at all unusual for a 6-8 player to be on the floor in a boys’ high school basketball game. As a matter of fact, its almost uncommon for there not to be several at that height , but in girls’ play, a 6-8 player stands out like a tree in the middle of a desert and in District 7, 2A there’s a “tree” and every team in the conference knows who she is and where she is.

“You know when you look at the schedule that when you play Smith County you will have to deal with Kayci Ferriss,” points out Livingston girls coach Lesley Smith. At 6-8, she can’t be ignored and another thing is you know she’s going to get her 35-40 points so you just have to deal with it and find a way to overcome it.”

And in the case of the Lady Wildcats, it didn’t prove to be a problem at all.

“No one person is going to guard her, one on one,” explained Smith.

“She’s just too tall, but if you keep the ball away from her, then she doesn’t become a factor. We just kept her from getting the ball by putting pressure on the two guards and that worked and worked well. Stopping Kayci is not a one person job, it’s a total team effort.”

That’s exactly what the Livingston Lady Cats did in Friday’s convincing 64-45 win and by keeping the ball away from the big center she only managed 13 points through three periods and 19 for the game.

“Our defense simply overwhelmed the guards trying to bring the ball up court and in doing so, they couldn’t seem to get the ball inside and it forced them to shoot instead of letting Kayci shoot.”

But Friday’s performance, outstanding to say the least, was a far cry from Tuesday’s showing against Pickett County. Against the Lady Bobcats, it was as much luck as anything that produced the 49-38 win. When the week ended, the two victories brought the Lady Wildcats’s record to 17-2 and 5-0 in the district.

As LA’s freshman guard Mallory Mahaney later pointed out, “luck plays a part in a lot of things and against Pickett County, we were just lucky to be good.”

“Good” as in good enough to win, with a little luck.

“I don’t know,” Alissa Sells later explained, “it just seemed like nothing we put up went in and I mean nothing. We missed lay ups, we missed field goals and we missed three point shots. We missed everything, but like Mallory said, we were lucky enough to be good. Tonight (Friday) it all came back together and we kinda figured it would sooner or later.”

In the first meeting of the season against Pickett County, it wasn’t quite as hard with the Lady Cats rolling to a 75-52 victory. This time, Livingston was not in top form, the Lady Bobcats sensed it and simply wouldn’t go away. As it turned out, Sells finally hit a three point basket in the final period and Adrian West followed with a similar shot that put some light between the two teams and brought home the win.

“It was one of those nights,” Kendria Kilgore said, “but when it was over, we forgot about it. I don’t know if we were still floating high after breaking Jackson County’s 17-0 streak on Friday or what. I really just think it was one of those night you can plan on having during the course of a season.

“Tonight (Friday) we played much, much better.”

What little scoring there was Tuesday night was spread around with West topping the LA effort with 12 pints and Kilgore adding ten. Shelby Taylor was good for six and Mackenzie Sells and Alyssa Thompson each added five.

With non-district foe Pickett County behind them, the Lady Cats set out face Smith County and the Lady Owls’ big center.

“Coach told us what we had to do,” junior guard Chelsea Carr later explained, “and as usual, she was right. We picked up the inbound pass as soon as they threw it in then pressured the ball handler all the way up the court. They were so concerned about losing the ball they never looked to see where Kayci was. That was about all it took.”

Although the Lady Wildcats trailed, 11-13 at the end of the first period, it was only a matter of time before things started in a better direction. Sells found the range early in the second period and hit a pair of three pointers and a field goal to quickly put LA on top 19-13 and from that point, it was fairly smooth sailing. Livingston outscored the home team, 24 12 in the second period and led 35-25 at the half.

Only two of the Lady Owls’ 12 points came from the big insider.
With Taylor, Carr and Mackenzie applying the pressure, what had been a close game early, suddenly became a rout.

“They did exactly what they knew to do and that kinda explains it all,” Smith went on. “And not only did we play good defense, we got good well rounded shooting. As good as she played defense, Mackenzie (Sells) got 14 points and Kendria who had to go inside with Ferriss, got eleven. If you think about it, this was the first time most of our players had faced Ferriss.
Kendria did a little last year, but none of the others had so for a while, I’m sure they were a little intimidated. Once they saw what was happening, they just took it anywhere they wanted to.

“I’m not sure I want to say this team has come a long way because we felt they would be good right out of the box, but if you had told me back in November we would be 17-2 at this point, especially with our schedule, I don’t think I would have believed you,“ Smith continued. “This group is the most coachable group of players I think I’ve ever had. This group can change in the middle of a game and that’s a very good thing. Alissa (Sells) is one of the reasons for that. She has so much determination not to lose that she will do whatever it takes. That has really helped the other players.

“We have another tough week this week with Upperman and Macon County, “ Smith concluded. “We only beat Macon by two points at their place earlier so you know that will be a tough game and nothing has to be said about Upperman. They are always tough. It will be an interesting week and a challenging one.”

Both Upperman and Macon County come to Livingston and both games will start at 6 p.m.



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LMS Girls sweep Bantam tournament

Photo courtesy of Michelle Meadows
Taylor Meadows goes for a layup in the championship game of the Overton County Bantam tournament held at Rickman Elementary School. In the first game of the tournament, LMS girls defeated Rickman, 36-22, with the boys following suit, defeating the Bulldogs, 44-22. The championship game pitted LMS girls against Allons. The girls squeezed by Allons, 35-34 to take the championship for the second year in a row. LMS boys then took on Hilham in that championship game, but were defeated, 35-40.

Earlier in the week, LMS boys and girls basketball teams travelled to Warren County on Monday, Jan. 7, where both teams defeated their hosts. On Thursday, Jan. 10, LMS was at home, where both teams were victorious over visiting Pickett County.

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