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Archives 12-17-2008

Sports

Livingston native runs in Richmond Marathon
Cats take season’s first loss at Ensworth
Lady Cats defeat Cannon, fall at York

Livingston native runs in Richmond Marathon

She said, “I could only imagine the support and camaraderie that one experiences while running a marathon until Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008. I have trouble explaining the most beautifully intense moments during my race.

“Seeing my friends as they passed me water, my training buddies meeting me, unexpectedly, at key points on the route to run with me, helping to pace me so that I would not go too fast – I was going too fast.

“But then, one particular period in time that was filled with even more elation was at mile 20. I noticed someone was running next to me in cowboy boots. I recall thinking how odd it was. I looked up to see my brother and his son who had driven 9 hours to support me.”

Oliver is the founder of The Hayes Hitzeman Foundation, which was started on June 15, 2002 in honor of her son, Hayes, who died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome on June 11, 2002.

“I have always been into fitness but have only dreamt of the level of fitness at which I am today,” she said. “It took me awhile before I would start exercising again after Hayes died. A couple of friends encouraged me. My business coach pushed me as she saw me tearing up every time we talked. I had a lot of anxiety. Every detail of my life seemed enormous.

“Another friend bought me a pedometer. I began to live and breathe by that thing. I wore it everywhere. That is when I started walking, and that quickly turned into running. I wanted more.

“What I found was the therapy that it provided. I run first thing in the morning so that 1). Nothing else gets in the way of this important activity for my health and 2). It can provide me with my own time to think. Just think. I solve a lot of problems during this time and then I am ready for my day.”

This then led into training for marathons.

“I was asked by a few other friends if I wanted to start running with them,” she said. “Next, they asked me if I wanted to start training with them. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I went with it. Seven months later, I ran a marathon and qualify for Boston.”

She is still grateful for the push her friends gave her.

“It truly amazes me how we can come together to help one another,” she said. “I am so incredibly grateful. I have had this same support since the death of my child, Hayes. The beauty is realizing the love that we have as human beings, a true statement to our ability to live.”

Oliver finished the Sunstrust Richmond Marathon in 3:39:16 on November 15. She is the daughter of Carson Oliver, of Livingston, and the late Vicki Oliver.

 

 


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Cats take season’s first loss at Ensworth


Mac McLeod photo
Kendall Melton fights for a shot against Ensworth.


Mac McLeod photo
T.J. Smith brings the ball around for Livingston Academy.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Despite a couple big district 7, 2A victories early in the week, the Livingston Wildcats were showing signs of not really getting down to the job at hand and last Saturday afternoon, it finally caught up with them at Ensworth Academy in west Nashville.

After cruising out to an impressive 8-0 record to start the 2008-09 season, the Wildcats were looking like sure repeaters of last year 30-5 record and a trip to Murfreesboro and the state championships. The loss to the Tigers Saturday will not derail that trip, but it did show that despite their talent and overall strength, if they don’t play hard all night, somebody will take their candy.

After an easy 64-42 romp over York on Tuesday night, Dec. 9, LA coach Richard Melton was still not overly pleased with his team’s performance and the 79-64 win over Cannon County on Friday didn’t really ease his fears that sloppy play, or at least play without intensity, would eventually get the Cats.

Saturday, it did. In a game that should have been victory number nine, the Wildcats blew several six-point leads, the last coming in the third period, then tumbled by two, 67-65. It was a heartbreaking loss.

“We had the lead and we let them come back,” Chase Dunn explained after the game. “We let down on defense at key points and their three shooting really kept them in the game.

“Fortunately, this wasn’t a district game, but you still hate to play poorly and let one get away.”

Earlier in the week, despite the two wins, head coach Richard Melton was not all that pleased with his chargers as well.

“We are still trying to fine tune the team,” Melton pointed out. “We start out strong, but then we kinda lose our intensity. I know it might be hard to stay focused when you’re ahead by 20, but we got to learn how to do that. We won’t always be ahead by 20 and at that point, we have to know how to regroup and react.”

Against York on Tuesday, getting ahead by 20 wasn’t all that hard as the Wildcats, led by Will Peterman’s six points in the first frame, raced out to a 24-8 margin. In the second period, the Cats’ defense held the Dragons to a mere seven points while the offense, paced by just about anybody that got the ball and included a beautiful reverse layup by Deven Ramsey, roared ahead, 43-15 at the intermission.

Things got a little out of hand in the third frame and the Cats only outscored the home team by one, 13-12, and in the final eight minutes, Melton cleared his bench.

Dunn led Livingston with 18 points while T.J. Smith added 15, Peterman 13, Brad Jackson 10, and Ramsey six. Ramsey had seven rebounds and Peterman six.

Moving down to Cannon County on Friday night was somewhat a repeat of Tuesday’s effort. Livingston , paced by Smith’s seven points in the opening frame, a soft touch three by Ramsey behind the key, and a fast break by Dunn that ended with a fine pass to Clint West and the Wildcats were on a roll, 27-10.

Cannon closed the gap to 12 at intermission, 42-30, and that’s kinda where the game stayed for the next 16 minutes. Cannon would try to make a run on the Cats, but just weren’t strong enough to maintain the charge. The Lions got to within eight at 46-38 midway through the third frame, but a three-pointer by West and a strong effort by Peterman brought the margin back to 14, 57-43, at the end of the frame.

Late in the game, Jackson injured his right ankle going for a rebound, and before the week was over, that might have been bigger than it first appeared.

On the night, Ramsey would drop in 21 points followed by Dunn with 17, Smith 11, Peterman and Jackson with seven, West and Kendall Melton with five each, and Adam Wilson with two. Ramsey and Peterman each had seven rebounds.

When the team got to Ensworth on Saturday afternoon, it became apparent that Jackson’s injury was much bigger than it first appeared. Not that it was swollen or black and blue, it was simply a fact that his inside strength would be sorely missed. Late in the game when Ramsey would foul out with almost four minutes remaining, Jackson’s inside abilities left the Wildcats on the short end of the stick.

Livingston trailed by five at the end of the first period, but went ahead by nine, 34-25, at intermission. In the third period, Ensworth came back with several back to back three-pointers and actually went ahead, 48-47, to start the final frame.

Smith nailed a three in the opening second of the final period to knot the game at 50, but when the Tigers scored the next four points, Livingston would never retake the lead. Ensworth spread the floor with three minutes to play and Dunn fouled out with just under a minute remaining.

In the meantime, Smith pulled the Cats to within one with a smooth three-pointer and almost tied the game at 65 when his three-point attempt came up just inches short.

Smith had 24 points to pace Livingston and Dunn added 19, Ramsey and West each added seven, and Justin Poston hit for four.

After a home game on Tuesday, Dec. 16 against district opponent DeKalb County, Livingston will enter the MidSouth Classic at Cookeville High School on Friday, facing Clarksville at 5:30 p.m.





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Lady Cats defeat Cannon, fall at York


Mac McLeod photo
Tori Stocking makes a determined move toward the basket in Saturday’s game at Ensworth.


Mac McLeod photo
Kendria Kilgore, #54, is hacked by an Ensworth defender.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Just looking at last week’s schedule for the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats didn’t appear that much out of the ordinary. There were three games, two in the district and one a non-district encounter. What might have easily been overlooked was the fact that all three were on the road and the second and third games were almost two hours away from home.

At least that could explain part of the reason the Lady Cats dropped their second game of the week in Nashville Saturday night, Dec. 13 at the hands of independent Ensworth, 48-43. It might not get much credit against rival York Tuesday, Dec. 9 when the Lady Cats fell 53-49.Friday’s victory over an up and coming Cannon County team, 67-53, has to be the highlight of the week.

“This was not a good week for us,” senior Adrian West pointed out Saturday afternoon. “We should have won today , but we just made too many mental and physical mistakes. I guess some of us might just be tired.”

“Tired” could have well described the team by late Saturday afternoon, but earlier in the week walks and turnovers, commonly referred to as
“mistakes”, were on top of the list.

“We’re still making far too many mistakes,” head coach Lesley Smith pointed out after the loss to York, but was in a better frame of mind with the win over Cannon County.

“We played two of our best quarters, the second and third, tonight,” Smith would say after the win in Woodbury.

By Saturday, things weren’t going too well once again and this time Smith simply, “Don’t want to talk about it.”

Heading to York on Tuesday, the Lady Cats were 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the district. The Lady Dragons were similar but had lost their only league game, an 11-point upset by Cannon.

Against York, Livingston never got things clicking. The game was tied at nine at the end of the first period, and the Lady Cats trailed by four, 25-21, at intermission. A three-point basket by Tori Stocking late in the period tied the score at 19, but that was as close as the visitors would get in the first 16 minutes.

In the third period, Alissa Sells drove home a three-pointer to actually put Livingston in the lead, 30-29, but mental mistakes, mainly on defense, that allowed the Lady Dragons to score several unanswered baskets would keep the home team on top.

The final eight minutes were back and forth and a pair of free throws by Kendria Kilgore late in the game knotted the action at 49. York then hit four unanswered free throws to seal the win.

Sells led Livingston with 22 points while Kilgore added 13.

With the loss, it became apparent that District 7, 2A was going to be a wide open race this year with York, Cannon , Livingston, and Upperman all contenders.

A new wrinkle appeared in Woodbury on Friday night as the officials decided that any movement that did not produce a dribble of the ball was considered a traveling violation and in the first period alone, eight were called on the Lady Cats.

In the process of turning the ball over just about every time down the court, Livingston suddenly found itself down 0-9 in the opening minutes and 15-9 at the intermission.

“We had to make some serious adjustments,” Kilgore admitted after the game. “The walks they were calling were unfamiliar to us.”

In the second period, West opened with a three, then Mallory Mahaney added another, Kilgore drove in a lay up, West hit a pair of free throws, Kilgore hit another three as did Mahaney, and Amber Welch rounded out the second period scoring with a field goal and Livingston had erased the deficit and added to the lead, 36-24.

The third period was much of the same with Shelby Taylor opening the scoring, then West and Mahaney added points and when Kilgore hit a pair of free throws late in the frame. The Lady Cats were ahead by 20, 52-32.

A strong final frame by the Lady Lions managed to narrow the gap and gave indication that Cannon County would have to be dealt with this year.

“We’re coming along,” Cannon coach Michael Dodgen pointed out. “I’m real pleased with the way this team has come together. No longer are we a doormat in the district.”

Kilgore paced the winning Cats with 21 points while West added 17, Taylor had eight, Mahaney nine, Sells six, and Welch four.

Not long after the team got into bed Friday night they were up and on the road again, this time to the far side of Nashville for a 3 p.m. contest at private academy Ensworth.

“I’m not making excuses,” West said after the game. “They beat us or maybe we beat ourselves, but whatever, I was tired and I’m sure some of the others were too.”

Fatigue didn’t show early in the game as Livingston raced out to a 15-10 lead and was on top by four, 26-22, at intermission. It was a 15-5 Ensworth showing in the third period that spelled the difference and in the final period, try as they may, the Lady Cats could never regain the lead. Kilgore cut the lead to three, West hit with six minutes remaining then she and Sells each connected to close the gap to one, 41-40. Ensworth then nailed a three and held on for the win.

With a 6-3 record, Livingston was scheduled to host DeKalb County on Tuesday, Dec. 16, then head for Cookeville Thursday through Saturday for the MidSouth Classic The first game will be against Columbia at 4 p.m. on Thursday.



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