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Archives 01-28-2009

Sports

Lady Cats lose close at Upperman, win big against Macon County
Chase Dunn breaks LA boys career record
LA bowling team finishes 6th for year

Lady Cats lose close at Upperman, win big against Macon County


Mac McLeod photo
Kendria Kilgore goes after a loose ball in the Lady Wildcats’ victory over Macon County.


Mac McLeod photo
Shelby Taylor shoots over a stretched out Macon defender.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

In high school basketball, a good week would be two wins. Two losses would obviously be a bad week. So what would one win and one loss be?

“In our case, the loss and the win last week made for what we might consider a pretty good week,” explained Livingston Academy’s Alissa Sells. “I think we might have been expecting more than we actually got when we went to Upperman, and any time you can beat Macon County at their place, it’s a good win.”

And that’s the way the week went for the Lady Cats – a thrilling 57-55 loss to Upperman on the road and a good strong showing in Lafayette that resulted in a convincing 72-53 victory over the Macon Lady Tigers. Both were District 7, 2A games leaving the Lady Cats 5-2 in the league heading to the final six regular season games. They are 14-9 overall.

When Livingston arrived at Baxter Tuesday night, Jan. 20, several things had to be addressed. First, the Lady Bees, always a contender and one of the strongest teams year in and year out from the mid-state, were, at the time, ranked second in the state in double A basketball. Secondly, for the past several times at Upperman, Livingston has fallen behind severely in the opening quarter and never managed to dig out of their own hole. Finally, it was common knowledge that the Lady Bees had destroyed York earlier, a team that had upended Livingston.

With all that in mind, it appeared that the Lady Cats had little chance to win and could, at best, hope to play well and leave respectable.

“I don’t think we were intimidated by what they had already done,” senior post player Kendria Kilgore explained, “but we were well aware of the problems we have had down here in recent years, so we just made up our minds that we were going to play hard and see what happened.”

That they did and when it was over, Livingston made a point of letting the league know, this would be more than a one-team regular season chase and a tournament crown that would be up for grabs.

This time around, the Lady Cats didn’t get behind early. Livingston, playing strong on defense and deliberate on offense, took a 15-12 lead to the second period.

In the second period, both teams managed to take the lead at one point or the other. Upperman’s big player, Karrisa Dyer was strong inside and Lashay Davis connected on two three-point plays to help the Lady Bees’ effort while Kilgore had a three of her own and a pair of free throws at the buzzer put Livingston up by one, 29-28 ,at intermission.

LA scored the first seven points of the second half, then let the Lady Bees do likewise and the game stayed a see-saw battle all the way to the horn.
Livingston was again on top at the end of a period, this time 43-42 going to the final eight minutes.

“In the final period we had a couple mental lapses and that killed us,” Adrian West would later explain. “Up to that point, we were doing what we wanted to do and things were going well for us.”

Kilgore opened the period with a three-pointer and West added four to put LA up 50-47. The game was tied at 50, then a three-pointer gave Upperman a 53-52 lead. With 1:30 remaining, Davis put the home team up by three at 55-52 and the Lady Cats missed a chance to tie on a missed three-point attempt. Davis put the game out of reach with a pair of three throws, but Shelby Taylor cut the winning margin back to two with a half court three-point play at the buzzer.

“We felt like we had nothing to lose and we played very well,” a pleased , but somewhat disappointed LA coach, Lesley Smith, explained.

“Upperman is always good, and we knew that coming in here. I thought our team stuck to its plan, played very deliberate, and if nothing else, proved to themselves they are a good team when they play to their ability.
They removed a lot of doubt I think.”

Kilgore paced Livingston with 25 points while West added 10, Taylor nine, Mallory Mahaney and Sells with four, and Samantha Maya had two.

Before Friday’s game at Macon County, Smith showed a little concern mainly in the fact that her chargers have never played one of their better games at the Lady Tigers’ gym. It didn’t take long for the Lady Cats to put all those fears to rest.

“We just don’t play well here,” Smith pointed out. “I don’t know why, we just don’t.”

Well, to make things easy on the coach, the Lady Cats ran off the first eight points of the game on consecutive baskets by Kilgore, West, Taylor, and Sells, several of which were three-pointers, and Livingston led 15-8 at the end of the first period.

By the half, it was almost a done deal. Mahaney found the long range quickly and nailed a pair of three-pointers and Tori Stocking did likewise, and at the half, LA led 40-16.

On the night, the Lady Cats would slam home 10 three-point baskets and 10 of 11 free throws.

“That felt much better,” Sells admitted after the win. “I think the game with Upperman Tuesday gave us confidence, and tonight we just came out and got the job done.”

“I was pleased with the effort and it was good to see Tori and Mallory shooting well, and I thought Amber Welch played a very good game coming off the bench. It was a very good team effort,” Smith concluded.

Sells, Stocking, and Maya all had 11 points in the win while West added 10, Mahaney nine, and Kilgore finished with five.

With the regular season drawing to a close, the Lady Cats were scheduled to host York for Homecoming on Tuesday, Jan. 27 then be on the road to DeKalb County on Friday, Jan. 30 before at trip to Gainesboro on Tuesday, Feb. 3 to take on Jackson County’s Lady Blue Devils.



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Chase Dunn breaks LA boys career record


Mac McLeod photo
Chase Dunn shoots one of his many 3-pointers against Macon County last Friday night.


Mac McLeod photo
Deven Ramsey, #52, fights for a basket at Lafayette.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

In the locker room following last week’s District 7, 2A game at Macon County, Livingston Academy head coach asked senior guard Chase Dunn a tongue-in-cheek question. The answer he got was typical Dunn.

“You have the single game scoring record,” Melton started out, “and tonight you added the men’s school scoring record. You have signed to play at Tech next year, so what do you have to play for now?”

“A state championship,” Dunn responded without a blink or a smile. He was dead serious.

Going into Friday’s game, Dunn needed a mere seven points to break the record of 2,250 points, held by his coach, Melton. In the first period of play, he didn’t score a single point, but with four minutes remaining in the second frame, the gutsy senior, nailed a three-point shot from the left side. Added to a field goal and two free throws earlier in the period, Dunn now held the record.

“It was just great,” Melton added. “It was so special for me in that I held the record, then along comes a kid I’ve coached since grade school and he breaks it. That’s simply special. I never thought my record would stand for 16 years, and Chase told me after the game that he didn’t think his will last but four.

“If he’s right, we’ve got some super players headed our way.”

“It’s cool to set a record,” Dunn added, “but what I really want is a state championship. Championships are what teams do. Records are mostly individual. I’ve played on a team with great teammates all my career, and this group deserves that state title.”

While Dunn’s record was the big news last week, it wasn’t the only thing happening and earlier in the week, things took a bad turn for the high flying Wildcats.

On Tuesday, Jan. 20, Livingston brought a number two state ranking and a perfect 5-0 district mark to the gym at Baxter. That’s not to mention a 19-1 overall record. When the night was over, the Wildcats suddenly realized they just couldn’t walk into a place and the game was theirs.

Upperman also was flying kinda high, but also under the radar. The Bees were 5-0 in district play as well, but 15-5 overall.

When the final buzzer sounded, Upperman had given the Wildcats their worst beating since the state championships last winter, and suddenly let it be known that the race for District 7, 2A top spot was not a one-team show.

Upperman pounded the disarrayed Wildcats 81-69.

“I just don’t think we came ready to play,” LA’s Clint West would later point out. “It was one of those nights you are going to have over a long season and there’s nothing you can do about it. Thankfully, we had it and we had it when it really didn’t count for anything but pride. We’ll be okay.”

That was about all that could be said other than on the night, the Wildcats started off playing sloppy and never got better. At the end of the first period, the game was deadlocked at 14 but by intermission, Livingston trailed 41-29.

A basket by Justin Poston late in the third period pulled Livingston to
within six at 54-48, but that was as close as the Wildcats would get.

Dunn led the poor shooting Cats with 20 points while Will Peterman and T.J. Smith each added 11. On the night, LA shot only 38 percent from the field and 68 percent frm the charity stripe. Upperman ripped the chords for almost 60 percent.

“That was not a good night for us,” Melton added, “but it did wake us up. It may have been something we needed.”

The first time Macon and Livingston met back in early December, the Wildcats had little trouble disposing of the Tigers, 76-49 at home. Things are always tougher in Lafayette and this time it took a fine second half by the Wildcats to post a 75-55 win.

“It was a very physical game,” Melton continued, “ and we just didn’t come on the floor mad enough. We also have to realize that every team we play is going to bring its best effort, so we have to be ready for that every night.”

At the end of the first period, Livingston trailed, 17-14, but rebounded to a 34-28 lead at half time.

In the third frame, the Wildcats went to work, playing good defense and ripping the chords for 21 points while holding the home team to a mere nine. Dunn had three three-point baskets in the period and Deven Ramsey sparked an inside game with numerous rebounds and six points.

“When Deven plays like that, it really makes things easier for us,” Melton concluded. “It was good to see him get involved the way he did. I felt good about the third and fourth periods. It had been a tough week for us, and it ended in a good way.”

Dunn led the Wildcats with 25 points, Peterman added 11, Brad Jackson had 10, Ramsey 8. Smith put up six points while the Melton brothers of Kendall and Kailen added five, West three, and Adam Wilson was good for two.

The new LA men’s scoring record now stands at 2,269 and counting. With six more regular season games and a basket full of playoff contests, Dunn could end his career over 2,500 points.

After Homecoming on Tuesday, Jan. 27 against York then traveling to DeKalb County on Friday, Jan. 30, the Wildcats will travel to Gainesboro on Tuesday, Feb. 3 to take on Jackson County’s Blue Devils.



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LA bowling team finishes 6th for year


The first year of LA’s Bowling team finished strong, with both girls’ and boys’ teams finishing in 6th place.

Zack Ramsey, above, finished 4th in the District with an average of 190.7. He will be competing in the State High School bowling tournament.

The girls team made it to the second round of District games and the boys were defeated in a last frame 3 pin match.

LA had several bowlers on the All-District team. Zack Ramsey and Casey Beason rolled for the boys and Kelli Ledbetter, Meghan Smith, Brooke Jaynes, and Courtney Livingston made honorable mention.

The State High School bowling tournament will be held January 29 and 30.



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