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Archives 11-26-2008

Sports

Cats win first two games of season
Lady Wildcats rebound after opening loss
LMS keeps their Winning Ways
Predators visit with children at Vanderbilt

Cats win first two games of season

Mac McLeod photo
T.J. Smith fires a long shot for Livingston Academy in Friday’s 78-56 win over Clarksville Northeast.


Mac McLeod photo
Deven Ramsey, #52, maneuvers toward the paint in Friday’s home win for the Livingston Academy Wildcats.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

“I usually go home after the girls game,” a loyal Livingston Academy basketball fan admitted Friday night as the Wildcats opened the 2008-09 season, “but now I stay for the boys game too. These guys are good and really fun to watch.”

Over the past several years, that was a normal case. Girls basketball in this part of the country is such a strong tradition that in many cases, the only game was the girls game. Now that has changed. Over the past three seasons, the LA boys have won 76 games against only 30 defeats and, as they did last year, appear headed for a strong shot of returning to the state playoffs in Murfreesboro in early March.

“We have a lot of confidence and we just really enjoy playing the game,” senior Will Peterman explained Friday night after the season opening blowout of Clarksville Northeast, 78-56. “We got things rolling early tonight and kept it rolling. When this team stays focused, there are few if any limits.”

After the easy win on Friday, the Wildcats traveled to Nashville to take on CPA, and after a struggle between two of the midstate’s strongest teams, Livingston managed to pull off a 10-point, 63-53 win.

“CPA is a very good team and they didn’t have several of their players back from football,” LA coach Richard Melton pointed out. “Both of these teams were in Murfreesboro last year and I expect both to be back this year.”

Friday’s opener was almost a practice extension for Livingston as the Wildcats used a very strong inside game by Deven Ramsey and some smooth outside shooting from Chase Dunn and T.J. Smith to race out to a 16-8 margin and never looked back.

A 20-point run in the second period and a 10-point run in the third frame put the home team out front by 33 points, 64-31, heading into the final period. In the final eight minutes, Melton cleared his bench and Hayden Hill nailed down the evening with a three-point shot at the buzzer.

“I was well pleased,” Melton stated after the game. “We got a very good game out of our starters, and our bench really did a fine job. Dakota (Key) and Brad (Jackson) each went out there a little nervous, but settled down quickly, and that was a good sign.

“I wasn’t surprised at the way we played. I would have been disappointed if we had not played well. This is a veteran team with a lot of talent and we expect to play well.”

“We kinda got the impression before the game that they (Clarksville) were a little over confident, “ Ramsey pointed out after the game. “We just went out, took charge early, and took it to them all night. This was a really good team effort tonight.”

And for Dunn, it was a 30-point night that moves him that much closer to the school’s scoring record.

“I really didn’t think I scored that many tonight,” the Tennessee Tech-bound standout stated. “Peterman took charge out there and Deven was playing really good inside, so all I did was shoot a few times. They went in.

It was a good team effort.

“T.J. (Smith) was so smooth you didn’t hardly notice he was there, but he was (Smith had four three-pointers and a game total of 15 points) and the bench played well, and Hill sealed the deal with that three at the end. It was a fun game.”

If Friday was fun, Saturday was serious. CPA went to the state finals last year only to be cheated out of its first round game, and most of the players from that team were back. This time out, nothing would be easy.

Dunn put LA out front 2-0 early and Ramsey added the next four points for a 6-2 Wildcat lead. A pair of threes from Clint West and Smith managed to keep CPA at bay, and at the end of the first period, LA held a 27-15 advantage.

It was West and Dunn shooting free throws to open the second period as the officials called every foul possible, then it was Smith and Peterman stepping up to rip the chords. At the intermission, Livingston led 42-35.

CPA refused to go away though, and early in the final period, closed to within two at 48-46. Brad Jackson then nailed a bucket and Peterman added another and Livingston upped the lead to six at 52-46. Jackson hit his second attempt seconds later to give LA a 10-point lead, 56-46, and for all purposes, the game was out of reach for the home squad.

In the 63-53 win, Dunn had 20 points, followed by Smith with 17, West with 16, Ramsey and Peterman each with nine and Kendall Melton and Jackson each with four.

With two wins in two tries, the Wildcats returned home Tuesday night to host Pickett County. LA will play in the Harpeth Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday, Nov. 29, then will host Cookeville on Tuesday, Dec. 2.

 


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Lady Wildcats rebound after opening loss


Mac McLeod photo
Kendria Kilgore, #54, goes up for 2 of her 29 points scored against Clarksville Northeast in Friday night’s home game.


Mac McLeod photo
Mallory Mahaney looks to pass to a Lady Wildcats teammate in Friday’s game against Clarksville Northeast.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

It had been a long time since the Livingston Academy girls basketball team lost its first two season opening games, but it looked like that might just be the case Saturday evening before some clutch shooting and defense down the stretch provided a win to match a loss Friday night.

“The 2004 team lost its opener and went on to win the state championship,” junior guard Shelby Taylor pointed out after Friday’s 60-56 season opening setback at the hands of Clarksville Northeast. “Maybe this is a good omen.”

That it could be, but nowhere is there a state title after two straight opening losses and that’s what the Lady Cats were looking at late in the fourth period of Saturday’s game with Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville.

A clutch three-point shot from Tori Stocking and a couple free throws from Alyssa Sells and Mallory Mahaney in the final minute helped the Lady Cats pull away from a stubborn CPA bunch and nailed down a 46-40 win.

“We simply didn’t play well tonight,” LA head coach Lesley Smith explained after the season opening setback. “We didn’t play attention to details and we showed first game jitters. I thought the jitters would eventually go away, and they finally did, but it was too late.

“We came back twice in the game to take the lead, but Clarksville’s pressure got to us and we turned the ball over at critical points that really hurt. And we didn’t shoot well either as a team.”

That point carried over to Saturday’s game as well. Shots went everywhere but in the basket, but in the end, determination overcame a weak shooting eye.

Clarksville jumped out to a quick 16-7 first period lead and held a 10-point, 30-20 margin at intermission. Kendria Kilgore’s 11 first half points was one of the few bright spots in the LA attack.

With a minute and twelve seconds gone in the third period, Kilgore connected on LA’s first three-point basket of the night. Another sign of first game jitters.

“We were a bit nervous,” Kilgore admitted after the game. “We dug ourselves a hole early and struggled all night to get out of it.”

After closing the gap to eight, 48-40, heading into the final period, the game took on a different look. With about three minutes remaining, the two teams slugged it out on almost even terms. Adrain West hit two free throws at the three minute mark that brought the Cats to within two, 51-49, and a few seconds later Kilgore hit another three-pointer and LA was on top for the first time in the contest, 52-51.

After Taylor hit two more free throws to give LA the lead at 54-53, West went back to the line and nailed a pair of charity throws to put Livingston
up by three, 56-53, with only two minutes remaining.

But down the stretch, Clarksville retook the lead, then kept the ball out of the hands of the home team for the final margin of victory.

Kilgore led the LA attack with 29 points. West added 12 and Taylor was good for nine.

Saturday’s game with CPA was almost a repeat of the Friday outing.

Livingston again got off to a slow start, missing most of its shots, but turnovers by both teams kept the score close, and at the end of the first period, CPA led by two, 12-10.

Four points separated the two teams at the intermission, with CPA being up 21-17. The second eight minutes was much like the first, with both teams simply not being able to find the hoop.

Livingston trailed by seven to start the final period, and after Kilgore hit one of two free throws to close the gap to 30-24, Sells and Stocking hit back-to-back threes to knot the game at 30. From that point on, it was nip and tuck. Two points usually separated the teams as free throws proved to be critical.

Mahaney hit a field goal with two minutes remaining in regulation play and Sells followed with a pair of free throws and LA was finally on top, 36-34.
A turnover by LA and a basket by the Lady Eagles with only seconds remaining sent to game into overtime.

In the overtime, LA never trailed. Stocking hit a three-pointer to give her team a 43-40 lead, and Mahaney used free throws to seal the win at 46-40.

A more balanced scoring attack helped the Lady Cats this time around. Sells led the way with 12 while Stocking and Kilgore each had nine, West put in eight, and Taylor and Mahaney both were good for four.

After hosting Pickett County on Tuesday, Nov. 25, LA will play in the Harpeth Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday, Nov. 29, then host Cookeville on Tuesday, Dec. 2.




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LMS keeps their Winning Ways


Brock McCoin lays out for a steal during the game with Pickett County.


Lauren Shell shoots for 3 against Pickett County.

The LMS Tigers kept their winning ways last week as they brought home three wins against Pickett Co., Rickman, and Allons. In the first game LMS out rebounded a big Pickett Co. team 31-23 and made 6-13 from the three point line.
The contest remained close the entire game but the fouth quarter was the difference as the Tigers pulled away for the win by a score of 55-46. In the second game against Rickman, the LMS boys team jumped out to a 21-5 first quarter lead and never looked back.
During the second period Rickman made a run bringing the score to 27-14. But, the third period was the difference as the Tigers went on an 18-2 run in the period and won 50-24.
The final game of the week came against a good Allons squad. In front of a packed gym, these two teams needed an extra period of play to determine the winner.
After the first quarter the score was tied 14-14. But, in the second the LMS boys team pulled away with a lead at half 34-18 only giving up 4 points in the period.
The second half action began and Allons went to work and chipped away at the lead of the Tigers to 44-34 after three periods and eventually tying the score at 52-52 at the end of regulation. LMS outmanned the Hawks in overtime pulling out the win 65-58. With the wins last week, the Tigers improve to 12-0.
The Lady Tigers action began with Pickett Co. and won 50-9. The LMS team out rebounded Pickett Co. 44-11 and gave up no offensive rebounds to the Bobcat team. Eleven different players scored and recorded 14 assists on the 21 made buckets.
The second game saw LMS travel to Rickman to face the Lady Bulldogs. In a game of two halves, the LMS Lady Tigers won the first half 25-20 and the Lady Bulldogs won the second half outscoring LMS 17-11 in the fourth quarter to go on and win 48-44. After the loss, the Lady Tigers hosted the Lady Hawks from Allons.
The girls got back on track with a 54-30 win. The Lady Tigers had nine different players to score with again 14 assists of 21 made fieldgoals. LMS was 11-16 from the free throw line and made four old fashioned three point plays. LMS record now moves to 9-3 overall.


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Predators visit with children at Vanderbilt

The Nashville Predators may be fierce on the ice, but when it comes to the patients at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, they are all heart.

The National Hockey League team has selected two games this season to dedicate as fundraisers for Children’s Hospital. For the games on Saturday, Dec. 6 and Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009, 25 percent of all single-ticket sales will be donated to Children’s Hospital.

Kevin Churchwell, M.D., CEO of Children’s Hospital said, “The Predators have always been great supporters of our patients and families, with regular visits to the hospital and special passes for many of our patients. This generous gift means a lot and will support many of our programs.”

It is expected that proceeds from the ticket sales will net $100,000 for the hospital. Predators’ managers say they plan to make this an annual effort.

Ed Lang, president of business operations for the Predators said, “These benefit nights are a natural fit for our partnership with Vanderbilt Medical Center.”

“Our entire organization — especially the players — sees the value in and enjoys working with the Children’s Hospital. Because of this, we want to do our part to ensure the resources are available for the finest care of these young patients.”

The team brings top players and mascot Gnash to the hospital several times a year, but individual players take things a step further. J.P. Dumont, for example, reserves a suite for every home game to be used by up to 16 patients from the hospital, and their families, who might not otherwise have an opportunity to see a live hockey game.

Dumont of the Predators said, “As a professional athlete I feel it is important to give back to the community that supports us, and this is one
way I can bring a little joy to some kids going through a difficult time in their lives. There is nothing better than seeing one of those kids smile.”

You can see the Nashville Predators players on the Medical Center campus during the first week of December to help promote ticket sales for the benefit games. For more information, go to http://www.nashvillepredators.com/vanderbilt.


John Russell photo
Nashville Predators players J.P. Dumont, left, and Jason Arnott sign autographs for patient Christian Magdalena during a recent visit to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt.


Frederick Breedon photo
Patient El-jhari Denning and his mother, Claudeen Bryant, got a visit recently from Nashville Predators mascot Gnash.


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