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Archives 02-11-2009

Sports

Cats gearing up for Upperman
L.M.S. cheerleaders win first in competition
Lady Cats defeat Lady Owls
Rickman girls finish season with two wins
Pat Summitt congratulated on 1,000th win

Cats gearing up for Upperman


Mac McLeod photo
LA’s Deven Ramsey reaches over the Owls for 2 points.


Mac McLeod photo
Kendall Melton fights for a position under the basket.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

On each locker in the Livingston Academy’s boy’s locker room is a note: 02-13-09. It’s a simple reminder to each player that on February 13, Upperman comes to town for a showdown that will determine who either wins District 7, 2A outright or the regular season ends in a tie.

“Coach put that on our lockers after we lost to them (81-69) at their place earlier,” pointed out Wildcat center, Deven Ramsey. “It’s a reminder of several things, like how badly we played at their place and this is the date we can get our revenge.”

When the two teams met in late January, Upperman came to play and Livingston left its “A” game at home. As a matter of fact, it might have left its “B” game there as well. The Bees were ready to knock off the high riding Wildcats and used a game plan that worked extremely well.

“We knew they could play good,” Ramsey continued, “but we didn’t expect us to play that badly. That night they shot extremely well and we played poorly on defense. They didn’t allow us any easy layups and they fouled us and made us make free throws, which we didn’t do.

“Now we’re chomping at the bit to get back at them. It will be a good game, but you can bet we’ll play better this time. We will have to play with more intensity than we did. It’s all we’ve thought of since they beat us and this week we will get our chance,“ the big man added.

While most of the focus last week was just getting to this week, several other big things happened to the Wildcats that proved important.

Using Jackson County and Smith County as warm-ups, the Wildcats rolled to a pair of easy wins, and in the process, established a milestone and an automatic berth in the regional playoffs.

Against Jackson County on Tuesday, Feb. 3, T.J. Smith‘s 19 points and Chase Dunn’s 20 were more than enough to pace the Wildcats to an 81-50 romp over the Blue Devils. Ramsey slammed in 12, Clint West and Brad Jackson each added five, while Will Peterman, Adam Wilson, Hayden Hill, Logan Ramsey, Jake Huitt, and Logan Beaty all hit for two.

Dunn got things off on the right foot with a pair of three pointers, then Jackson County settled down and trailed by only two, 14-12, at the end of the first frame.

In the second period, Ramsey, West, Jackson, and Wilson sparked a 10-0 LA run, and from that point on, the game was simply out of reach. Dunn and Smith each added three-pointers from the perimeter and Ramsey controlled the inside with authority. Livingston led 34-20 at intermission.

It was 66-38 at the end of the third period and LA Coach Richard Melton cleared his bench.

The victory was the 99th for Melton as well as the five seniors on the team.
Friday at Smith County, the Wildcats presented Melton with his 100th win (77-41 over the Owls) as well as the 100th for the seniors on the team.

“They (the players) get the credit for this,” Melton smiled after the game. “To win 100 games in their four years is quite an accomplishment and says an awful lot about them. This group of seniors have accomplished so much, and it’s going to be very hard to see them graduate. I have become attached to them and am so proud of what they’ve done.”

In their four seasons, the seniors, Justin Poston, Chase Dunn, Deven Ramsey, Clint West, and Will Peterman, have, so far, been a part of the single-game scoring record, the school’s boys individual scoring record, three regular season championships, three district tournament championships, one regional championship, and one trip to the state finals, and 100 victories. Those numbers will change as this season winds down.

In the win over Smith County, Smith led all scorers with 18 points while Ramsey showed his strength inside with 16, Dunn put in 13, and Peterman was good for 12. Jackson added six, Kendall Melton and Hayden Hill each added three, and Adam Wilson, Kailen Melton, Logan Ramsey, and Jake Huitt each got two.

In a week where other milestones were reached in basketball, namely Pat Summitt collecting her 1,000th as head coach of the University of Tennessee’s women’s team, Melton was a little humbled.

“Now let’s see,” the coach laughed. “If my teams can win at least 25-30 games a year, by the time I’m 74 I might just catch her. That’s (the 1,000 wins) amazing.”

Melton can now start on his second hundred. After Cannon County comes to town Tuesday night, Feb. 10, he will then fire up his Wildcats for the big rematch with Upperman on Friday.

“Better get there early,” Ramsey said in his dry humor, “there’s going to be a crowd there.”


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L.M.S. cheerleaders win first in competition


Josh Scott photo
Livingston Middle School cheerleaders recently won first place in Tennessee Tech’s Golden Eagle cheerleading competition on Saturday, Jan. 31. They also participated earlier in the year in Nashville at CheerNation’s Volunteer Classic where they took fourth place.



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Lady Cats defeat Lady Owls


Mac McLeod photo
Adrian West reaches to maintain control of the ball in last week’s district win at Carthage.


Mac McLeod photo
Mallory Mahaney passes the ball over former Lady Wildcat Chelsea Carr in Friday’s district win over the Lady Owls.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

If there is a ‘big’ win for the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats so far this season it was Friday night at Smith County. In somewhat an up and down campaign this year, the Lady Cats appeared on the surface to have to play well in the district tournament to advance to regional action.

At least that’s the way it appeared , but a tremendous come-from-behind 67-55 win over the Lady Owls on the road suddenly opened the door to continued action following the District 7 2A tournament in two weeks at Cookeville High School.

“That was a big, big win for us,” senior Kendria Kilgore beamed moments after Friday’s win. “To come over here and beat Smith County, knowing a win will get us a bye to the regional tournament made it even more important. Smith has gotten better this year and they have learned how to use Kayci Ferris (6’-8”) more effectively. Tonight she was a big factor, but in the end, our team really played its heart out and the result was a win.”

During the past two seasons, Ferris has been an intimidating feature of the Lady Owls, but without a strong support team, she has not been about to take her team as far as it would have liked to have gone. This year former Lady Wildcat Chelsea Carr transferred to Smith County and that has added tremendous depth and talent to the team. No longer is it just Ferris, it’s Ferris and company.

“Tonight we simply wore them out physically,” LA head coach Lesley Smith commented after the win, her team’s 17th of the season against 10 losses overall and 8-2 in district play. “I told the team at the start of the fourth period that they (Smith) were getting tired and just keep the pressure on and we would win.

As it turned out, it was a tremendous fourth period effort by Livingston that produced the win.

Mackenzie Sells opened the scoring for Livingston with a pair of baskets, then added six more points to pull her team to a 17-9 lead midway through the opening frame. Kilgore had a basket as did Adrian West during the run, but Smith came right back and scored eight straight points to knot the game at 17 at the end of the first frame.

“Early in the game they were getting the ball inside to Ferris, and when they do that and all she has to do is flip it up on the board, there’s not much you can do to defend that,” Smith pointed out.
And the Lady Owls knew that as well.

Ferris scored the first four points of the second period doing just that then ran off more points in the early going to put her team out by six, 23-17.

Kilgore managed to keep the Lady Cats close though with a three-pointer, but the basket was countered by Carr who nailed a three-pointer of her own for the Lady Owls. That maintained the six-point Smith lead, but Kilgore added a pair of threes late in the half and Smith carried a 34-28 lead to the locker room at intermission.

In the third period, while Smith continued to put defensive pressure on Alissa Sells, Mackenzie Sells hit for four, West and Sells each added a basket as did Samantha Maya, and going into the final period, Livingston, who had trailed by at least six points and sometimes nine in the second and third periods, now was only three behind, 47-44, going to the final eight minutes.

Kilgore pulled the Lady Cats to within one with a basket to open the fourth quarter. She then followed with a pair of free throws and suddenly Livingston led 50-47, its first lead since the opening minutes of the game.

Sells hit for two then Mackenzie Sells went inside for a couple. Mallory Mahaney slammed down the biggest three of her young career with a little over two minutes left to maintain a five-point LA lead at 57-52 followed by a pair of free throws by Mackenzie Sells. Kilgore and Shelby Taylor each had free throws down to the final minute stretch to seal the win.

On the night, Mackenzie Sells led the LA scoring with 27 points whole Kilgore added 17. West was good for nine points, Alissa Sells dropped in six, Taylor and Mahaney each had three, and Maya collected two.

“Our play in the fourth period was the difference,” Mackenzie Sells pointed out. “It was a good game by both teams, but coach told us to keep the pressure on, move the ball up and down the court, and we would outlast them. She was right. You could tell they were getting tired late in the game.”

Such was not the case Tuesday night, Feb. 3, in Gainesboro when the Lady Cats faced the always tough Lady Blue Devils of Jackson County. In an earlier meeting in Livingston in early January, Jackson County walked away with an impressive 82-65 win and the Lady Cats were looking for revenge.

Gainesboro is not the place for that.

The Lady Devils raced out to an 18-7 first period lead and led by 15, 35-20 at intermission. In the third period, Livingston managed to pull back to within six points midway through the frame, but that was about as close as they could get.

In the end, Jackson County, led by the 28 points of Laken Leonard, prevailed 64-51.

West, Kilgore, and Taylor each had 12 points for Livingston while Alissa Sells hit for nine and Mackenzie Sells added six.

With home games this week with Cannon County on Tuesday, Feb. 10, and a big season-ending rematch with Upperman on Friday, Feb. 13, the Lady Wildcats will close out the 2008-09 regular season. Both games this week start at 6 p.m.




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Rickman girls finish season with two wins


photo courtesy of Valerie Jolley
The Lady Bulldogs present their tournament trophy to the crowd after their win at the James C. Haile state tournament.

The Rickman Lady Bulldogs wrapped up their season with two hard fought battles. The first of which happened in the James C. Haile State Tournament, with wins over Collinwood, Pine Haven and finally Westwood out of Coffee County on Monday, Jan. 26.

Lady Bulldogs named to the All Tournament team include Sydney Staggs, Jessica McAllister, and Marlee Sells.

Overall, the tournament win was a team effort led by the outstanding 8th grade leadership of Rachel Jolley, Mikayla Thompson, Morgan Kennedy, Amber Stonecipher, and Sydney Staggs. Coach Ashley Fisher was named girl’s Coach of the Tournament.

The second win came that same week on Saturday, January 31, with a win over Livingston Middle School in the Overton County Tournament.

Both county teams played hard and with a lot of heart and determination, but the Lady Bulldogs came out on top thanks again to their eighth grade leadership.


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Pat Summitt congratulated on 1,000th win


Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker greet UT Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt during a Tennessee Congressional delegation luncheon in Washington honoring the Lady Vols 2008 National Championship team.

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker joined Tennesseans Friday, Feb. 6 in congratulating UT Lady Vols basketball coach Pat Summitt on her 1,000th career victory, making Summitt the winningest head coach in Division I basketball history, men’s or women’s.

The previous night in Knoxville, the Lady Vols defeated Georgia by a score of 73 to 43.

Sen. Alexander said, “Pat Summitt is so good at winning, she’s made it look easy. But her success goes further than the court.

“When I was the president of the University of Tennessee, I would tell everyone that Pat Summitt and her teams not only won games but their players graduated. She not only requires players to go to class, she makes them sit in the front row. Coach Summitt and her team are the best possible advertisement for the University of Tennessee They make all of us very proud.”

Sen. Corker added, “After 35 years and 8 national titles, Pat Summitt now has her 1,000th win, and with it a record that is unsurpassed in Division 1 college basketball. We are all tremendously proud of the contributions she has made to the University of Tennessee, to the game of basketball, and, most importantly, to the young women she has coached over the years, preparing them for success both on the court and in life. I join Tennesseans today in celebrating Pat’s historic career and look forward to the many more achievements yet to come.”





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