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Archives 12-03-2008

Sports

Wildcats defeat Harpeth Indians in Thanksgiving Classic
Lady Cats defeat Pickett County, Harpeth High
Livingston continues their winning streak with Rickman

Wildcats defeat Harpeth Indians in Thanksgiving Classic


Mac McLeod photo
T.J. Smith drives in for a Livingston Academy score against Pickett County in last week’s home win.


Mac McLeod photo
Will Peterman shoots a free throw for Livingston Academy in last week’s home win against Pickett County’s Bobcats.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

During his sophomore season last year, Livingston’s Brad Jackson looked more like he was playing football than basketball, and LA gridiron coach Bruce Lamb probably wished he was. Jackson has the size, the strength, and the ability to play whatever he wants and play it well. Fortunately for Richard Melton, he chose basketball.

“Brad is a tremendous athlete,” Melton said before the season even started.

“When he polishes his game, he will fit in well and be a dominant factor for our team.”

Tuesday night, Nov. 25, Jackson hit his stride in ripping the chords for 15 points, probably more than he scored all last year, and led his teammates to a 72-25 rout of Pickett County.

Saturday night, Nov. 29, 20 miles on the other side of Nashville, Jackson didn’t score as many points, but his, especially in the third period, was a key factor in the Wildcats second win of the week, a 72-54 decision over Harpeth in the Harpeth Thanksgiving Classic.

“Brad, Adam Wilson, Deven (Ramsey) are all doing a good job inside, and when one isn’t having good night, its comfortable to put in any one of those three,” Melton went on to explain. “In the third period Saturday, Deven didn’t get off to a quick start so Brad came in and got us three quick points and it kinda settled things down. That’s how important a strong bench is to any team, and we have a very strong bench.”

“I am starting to feel comfortable playing with these guys,” Jackson beamed after Tuesday’s performance. “I know how good they are, so I’m excited to be on the floor with them. Tonight I wasn’t nervous and everything just kinda went my way. It was fun.”

It may have been fun for Jackson and his Wildcat teammates, now 4-0 on the season, but for the visiting Bobcats of Pickett County, it was a nightmare.

In the opening period, the Wildcats put a full court press on the visitors and the results were devastating. Livingston ran off the first 20 points of the night and led 20-2 at the start of the second frame. Pickett’s only points came from the foul line.

It was 41-9 with a minute to go in the first half and 56-16 at the start of the final period.

“We played well,” Melton said after the game. “Everyone got to play and did a good job. It was a good chance for us to use our younger players to get them some game experience, and that worked our well. “

“We played some bad defense,” Will Peterman added. “Playing that pressure defense really steps up the game and tonight I thought we played it quite well.”

Following Jackson in scoring was T.J. Smith with 10, all in the first half, Chase Dunn with seven, Dakota Key and Adam Wilson with six, Kailen Melton with five, and Clint West, Ramsey, Peterman, and Hayden Hill with four each.

Things were a little tougher Saturday in Harpeth, but as the ole saying goes, “the cream will always rise to the top”.

After falling behind by seven points to open the game, the Wildcats battled back with Ramsey, Dunn, and Smith all finding the hoop and the quarter ended in a tie, 14-14.

In the second frame, Livingston went on a 6-0 run early and led by eight, 33-35 at intermission.

But like they have become accustomed to doing lately, the Wildcats came on strong in the third period and opened the game up. After a four-point run by Harpeth, Ramsey found the cords and Smith nailed a three-pointer for a 38-31 lead. Dunn hit for two, Jackson was good for three, and Dunn was good for eight more, and it was 55-42 at the buzzer.

In the final frame, Smith and Dunn lit up the scoreboard and Peterman finally got comfortable and had a good quarter, mainly in the rebounding department.

“The second half was really good for us,” Melton continued. “I don’t know what it is, but we have been playing well in the second half of our first four games. We still have a long way to go. We’re playing well considering its only four games into the season, but we can’t be satisfied now. We have got to get better, and we will.

“Its good to see our younger players doing well. Brad (Jackson) and Adam (Wilson) did quite well during the week. As for our veterans, T.J. (Smith) may have played his best four quarters ever Saturday night. He was strong all night long, and once he found the range, he didn’t miss.

“And our crowd was outstanding. Our fans traveled to the other side of Nashville and there were a lot of them and they make a difference. Both Livingston teams, boys and girls, get great fan support and we certainly appreciate it. It’s very important in what we are trying to do here,“ the coach concluded.

Smith paced the Wildcats Saturday with 28 points, and Dunn followed with 25. Ramsey had eight, Peterman had four, Jackson three, and West and Kendall Melton each added two.

The Wildcats will have two games at home this week, hosting Cookeville Tuesday night and Macon County on Friday, Dec. 5.

The Wildcats will travel to Jamestown on Tuesday, Dec. 9 to take on the York Dragons.


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Lady Cats defeat Pickett County, Harpeth High


Mac McLeod photo
Alissa Sells fights for position against Pickett County in last week’s home win for the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats.


Mac McLeod photo
Tori Stocking, #20, and Shelby Taylor, #5, provide defensive pressure for LA in the win over Pickett County.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

After the first two games of the young basketball season, Livingston Academy girls coach Lesley Smith was not at all pleased with her team’s performances, despite one loss and one win.

“We’re not playing hard all the time,” Smith would say, “and this team is mature enough to know that’s the key to winning.”

Following the next two outings, things have vastly improved and the coach is once again a “happy camper”.

“I thought we played very well against Pickett County on Tuesday night,” the coach pointed out. “I know Pickett is down a little this year, but from our standpoint, we got after it hard and that’s what we’ve been looking for.”

Smith went on to confess and it was backed up by her players that, “practice was a little intense early in the week.”

“We were off to a sluggish start and we needed coach to come down on us,” sophomore Mallory Mahaney explained. “I guess we thought we were doing as good as we could, but coach Smith can see us a lot better than we can see ourselves. That practice session on Monday has made a big difference in the way we play.”

And you don’t have to take Mahaney’s word for it, check with anyone on the Pickett County team. The 70-29 blowout was a total team effort on the part of the Lady Wildcats as seven players put points on the boards and the defense was so intense as times, the Lady Bobcats were pressed just to get the ball across the time line.

“It was a much better effort tonight,” Tori Stocking pointed out. “Tonight (November 25) we were more intense and I think it showed. Our defense really played hard, and that’s a point we have to be good at if we expect to do well this season.”

Despite missing more offensive shots than they would have liked, the Lady Cats nailed 14 points in the first quarter of the game with Pickett County and held the visitors to only six. At the intermission it was a 36-17 contest, but it was the third period that really pointed out just how strong the LA game can be when played correctly.

In the third frame, Alissa Sells opened with a layup then followed with a three-point basket. Shelby Taylor then connected for two and Adrian West poured in five. Sells slammed home another three, Taylor hit for two, Samantha Maya put in a nice layup, Alyssa Thompson then hit a three and an inside two, and with a minute to go, Livingston had outscored the Lady Bobcats 27-4.

By midway the final frame, Smith had cleared her bench.

“That was a much better effort,” Smith said after the game. “The intensity was there tonight that hasn’t been there in the previous two games. I thought Shelby (Taylor) ran the show well and we took care of a lot of little details tonight. And I thought our bench played extremely well. “

Taylor and Kendria Kilgore each had 15 points to pace the Lady Cats in scoring. Sells added eight, West had seven as did Stocking, and Mahaney and Thompson each had five. Taylor Eldridge rounded out the scoring with two.

While it was good to roll over Pickett County, the big test of the week came Saturday night in Kingston Springs when the Lady Cats went up against a very talented team from Harpeth High. After a fine effort on the part of both teams, Livingston came away with a hard fought 52-49 victory.

“Now that’s the way we need to play every time,” a happy LA coach Smith responded. “Tonight we stepped up against a very good team, did the things we needed to do, and won. I thought we played great.”

When Smith is that excited about a win, it’s a good effort.

With Mackenzie Sells still on the mend and Adrian West out with an ankle injury, the Lady Cats were not at full strength, but as become their trademark, the Livingston bench showed it can make a difference.

“I was a little nervous going into tonight’s game because of those injuries plus Shelby wasn’t feeling all that good, but any combination of five we put on the floor played well. Taylor (Eldridge) came off the bench and nailed a huge three in the second period that stopped a run by Harpeth, and Mallory did the very same thing in the fourth. Thompson filled in for Adrian and pulled down eight rebounds, and Kendria (Kilgore) was really impressive. “

Mahaney opened the contest with a three-pointer and Kilgore hit a pair for a 7-3 LA lead. Strong defense and baskets by Taylor (2) and Thompson built a 13-5 Livingston lead. Stocking ripped a three with less than a minute to go and the Lady Cats led 16-10 at the end of the frame.

Harpeth made a strong run early in the second period, closing to within one at 18-17 before Stocking nailed another three followed by Eldridge’s three.

Livingston now led by seven, 24-17, and Kilgore closed out the quarter with six straight points, giving the visitors a 31-22 halftime lead.

The Lady Cats held a 40-37 lead going into the final period. In the final period, the game was tied at 40, and for the first time in the contest, Harpeth had a chance to take the lead. Taylor hit one of two free throws, Thompson took a feed from Mahaney for an easy layup then Mahaney hit the big three with three minutes to play. LA led 47-42.

“That was a huge basket,” Smith said of Mahaney’s three pointer. “The one Eldridge made in the second period and that one were key. Tonight we made eight three pointers and that’s critical for us. Being a small team, we have to make opponents get out from under the basket, and the three’s are a good way of doing that. “

In the victory, Kilgore again led the scoring with 17 points. Stocking had nine, while Mahaney and Sells were credited with seven. Thompson had four, Taylor five, and Eldridge three.

Livingston Academy hosted Cookeville on Tuesday, Dec. 2, and will play host to Macon County on Friday night, Dec. 5, with a 6 p.m. start.
The Lady Cats will travel to Jamestown on Tuesday, Dec. 9 to take on York.




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Livingston continues their winning streak with Rickman


The Livingston Middle School boys continued their winning streak on Tuesday, Nov. 18 by beating Rickman in a 50 - 24 win. Livingston’s “Bubba” Jolley #20 shoots for two against Rickman during the game.


Livingston Middle School’s Lady tigers fought hard against Rickman for a 48 - 44 loss. L.M.S’s Taylor Meadows goes for a layup against Rickman on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

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