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Archives 02-25-2009

Sports

Hilham girls win third straight championship
Lady Cats take runner-up
LA to play for district championship
LA defeat Lady Owls in district tourney
LA garners District 7-AA honors

Hilham girls win third straight championship


Hilham girls recently won their third straight TNT state championship. Players are front row, from left, Arah Riley, Keelie Lamb, Amber McDonald, Reygan Lamb, Bailey Robinson, Micayla Brown, Racheal Eldridge and Toni Cantrell, back row, from left, Cassidy Morgan, Chelsey Norris, Kriston Boles, Kendra Hundt, Emily Melton, Gabby Cantrell and Coach Williams. All state also honored Cassidy Morgan, Chelsey Norris, Kriston Boles and an honorable mention went to Emily Melton.



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Lady Cats take runner-up


Mac McLeod photo
Livingston Academy’s Lady Wildcats took the District 7-AA Tournament runner-up spot.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

After being held pretty much in check for the first half of Monday night’s District 7, 2A girls championship game at the Eblen Center on the campus of Tennessee Tech, Upperman’s Lashay Davis broke loose with 10 points in the third frame, broke open a close game and led the Lady Bees to a 63-56 win over the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats.

The victory gives the Lady Bees the number one seed in regional play that will start Friday. Livingston will be the number two seed and will host a first round game Friday night at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Greenbrier-Goodpasture game played Tuesday, Feb. 24.

In Monday’s title game, the two teams were facing each other for the third time this season, with Upperman winning the two previous games by two and seven points respectively.

Both teams started slowly and the game was knotted at 12 at the end of the first period. Upperman jumped ahead early in the second period, but Mackenzie Sells pulled the Lady Cats to within two at 19-17 and Shelby Taylor gave LA its first lead of the night with a three-point basket from the right side.

Upperman then took a 10-2 run down the final minute before Sells hit a pair of shots to pull the Lady Cats to within three at intermission, 30-27.

The game went back and forth through half of the third frame, then Davis hit a pair of three-pointers to put the Lady Bees up by seven. Livingston closed to within five then dropped back by seven at the end of the period. Davis had 10 points in the period for Upperman.

Mackenzie Sells hit for eight points in the final eight minutes for Livingston, but it would not be enough.

Sells had 22 points to lead the Lady Cats. Taylor put in nine, Alissa Sells had seven, Kendria Kilgore added five, Adrian West and Samantha Maya each added four, Alyssa Thompson had three, and Mallory Mahaney was good for two.

Livingston’s Taylor and Mackenzie Sells joined Jennifer Maynard, Alyson Roberts and Karissa Dyer from Upperman, Kayci Ferris from Smith County, Emily Sissoms from Cannon County, and one player from York Institute on the All-Tournament team.

In the consolation game, Cannon County came from behind to upend Smith County 54-49.

LA to play for district championship


Mac McLeod photo
T.J. Smith jumps for two points against DeKalb County.


Mac McLeod photo
Jake Huitt pulls up for a shot against DeKalb County.


By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

For the past four years, Chase Dunn has been making headlines scoring points and leading the Livingston Academy Wildcats to all kinds of wins and records. Just this year he set the school’s all time boys scoring record, and last year he set the single game school mark with a 49-point performance.

Saturday night at Tennessee Tech’s Eblen Center, the LA senior hit his lowest scoring output in three years with a four-point performance, but despite that startling fact, his teammates rolled over DeKalb County in the semi-finals of the District 7-AA tournament by 30 points, 77-47.

“That’s what I love about this team,” Dunn beamed after the game. “I haven’t scored less than nine points since my sophomore season, but this team didn’t slow down. This is not a one-man deal, it’s a team deal, and tonight the team got it done.”

In two previous regular season meetings, Livingston had collected two 15-point victories, and the outset of this playoff game appeared to be headed in the same direction. But when DeKalb may have thought the third time might be the charm, Deven Ramsey stepped in to bring reality back in play.

“And don’t forget those three straight three’s by Clint (West),” Ramsey added when congratulated on his performance on the night. “Chase didn’t score much tonight, but everybody kinda stepped in and filled that hole. It was a very good team effort.”

Where Ramsey left his biggest impression was under the boards as the big center pulled down no less than 15 rebounds while the entire DeKalb team only got 27 on the night. And he didn’t stop there, the LA senior led the scoring attack with 16 points that included a three-pointer from outside the top of the key.

“I don’t know where that came from,” he smiled. “Just thought I would give it a try and it went in. I did have fun tonight and I’m looking forward to facing Upperman Tuesday night in the championship game. We’ve each won once this season. They embarrassed us at their place and we beat them at our place. We kinda feel we need to make sure they know who’s the best team.”

Dunn got two of his four points at the outset of the first period, then Will Peterman added a basket and LA led by four. West hit the first of four threes on the night followed by two field goals by T.J. Smith, and at the end of the first period, LA was on top 18-12.

Ramsey opened the second period with a basket inside, then DeKalb decided if they were to stay in the game, they had better slow things down. That only delayed the verdict. West hit a basket and Ramsey nailed his three, then went inside to post a field goal and Smith rounded out the period with a three-pointer, and at intermission LA led 34-25.

DeKalb closed to within seven early in the third period at 34-27, then West hit three straight threes and the game was suddenly out of reach. After Peterman added two field goals, the Wildcats were racing away, 52-29.

“Clint can do that if he just pulls up and shoots,” LA head coach Richard Melton explained after the game. “He just can’t think about it.”

In the fourth period, the bench got its chance and did a good job. Kailen Melton collected a couple baskets, Jake Huitt slammed home a three, Logan Ramsey was good four four points, and Hayden Hill connected for a pair of free throws.

“Ramsey stepped up and played big for us tonight,” Melton concluded. “And Clint just keeps controlling what we do so well. Chase only scored four points, and that in itself is big news, but he had 10 assists, which shows what kind of player he is. Now it’s Upperman again and we look forward to it. They are a good team, and you like to play good teams.”

Peterman had 10 points on the night in addition to Ramsey’s 16 and West’s 14. Smith put in nine.Justin Poston hit for five, Adam Wilson was good for three, Brad Jackson had three, and Logan Beaty added four.

Following the Tuesday, Feb. 24 district tournament championship game, LA will return home on Saturday night for the opening round of the regional tournament. Game time will be 7 p.m.



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LA defeat Lady Owls in district tourney


Mac McLeod photo
LA’s Amber Welch and Shelby Taylor cause difficulty for the Smith County offensive game.


Mac McLeod photo
Adrian West finds herself in a headlock during tough inside play in the district tournament win over Smith County
.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

During the regular season, Livingston Academy’s girls eased to a pair of wins over Smith County, first by eight points at home and 12 points on the road. Saturday morning in Cookeville, in their opening game in the District 7 2A tournament, with a home berth in the regional tournament at stake, the Lady Wildcats rose to the occasion once more, this time it was by 13.

“It was a huge win,” explained LA senior Adrian West. “This means we get to play at home at least one more time.”

From that point of view, it was a ”huge” 56-43 win for the Lady Cats, but it had other aspects as well. For one thing, the Livingston seniors have never lost to Smith County, despite the fact the Lady Owls have one of the state’s top players in 6-8 Kacyi Ferris.

For another: “Its just good to beat them because they are a good team,” explains senior Kendria Kilgore. “Tonight we played well, things fell into place and despite a little lax period there in the third quarter, we did what was necessary to win. Now we get to face Upperman one more time.”
Ah, Upperman. Like Livingston over Smith, Upperman has had a spell on the Lady Cats over the years, though not as tight, tighter than most want to remember.

“There’s no question, Upperman is a very good team,” Kilgore continued, “but this year we have played them close both times (losing by two and five points) and felt like we could have or should have won at least one of those games. If there’s a team in the district that can beat them, it’s us.”

The two were scheduled to tangle for the third time this season in the tournament final Monday night, Feb. 23 at Eblen Center at Tennessee Tech.

“We played well today,” LA head coach Lesley Smith smiled after the game. “Smith is a tough team and to beat them three times is an accomplishment.

“Our defense really stepped up and did a great job. On offense and defense we used a five-guard system, keeping the ball moving and trying to do what we could to defend Ferris. I thought we did a good job doing both.”

But where Smith had her biggest praise was on the free throwing of her Lady Cats.

“Had this been early in the season, the outcome may have been different,” the coach pointed out. “Early, we were having trouble at the foul line, but the players committed themselves to shooting better from the line, and they have practiced really hard on that aspect of our game. Tonight it was the difference in the final score.”

Things got off to a relatively slow start. Ferris hit a couple for the Owls early and West did likewise for the Lady Cats. With two minutes remaining in the period, Samantha Maya scored in the lane to give LA a two-point, 10-8, lead but the Lady Owls tied the score at the end of the period.

In the second period, it was much the same, but Kilgore hit one of two free throws, added a field goal, then got a three-point basket from Alissa Sells, and finally, the Lady Cats were out of the close game and ready to roll.

Kilgore ended the period with a field goal, and Livingston led 24-20 at intermission.

Midway through the third period, LA went on a 10-0 run and moved ahead by 11, 35-24, but with 2:30 left in the frame, Smith rolled to a 5-0 run and cut the lead to five, 35-30 going into the final period.

In the final eight minutes, Smith County cut the lead to two, 36-34, on a basket by Ferris, and it looked as if the game would go either way. Then Kilgore went inside for a basket and added a free throw to up the lead to five, 39-34.

With the game still well within their reach, the Lady Owls decided that every time LA got the ball, it would be time to see if they could make a free throw. With 3:50 remaining in the game, Kilgore was the first to go to the line, and she made both shots. Shelby Taylor was next and she made both attempts. Then it was Mackenzie Sells, then Taylor two more times, then West and finally Mallory Mahaney. During the stretch, the Lady Cats hit 13 of 14 attempts while Smith County only managed four points.

“Tonight we were hitting just about all of them” Taylor smiled. “It’s fun when you can do that.It was a good win, and I think tonight we convinced ourselves we could shoot free throws.”

Kilgore paced the winning Lady Cats with 19 points. West was good for 12 while Taylor added nine, Mahaney five, Alissa Sells and Maya each with four, and Mackenzie Sells rounded out the scoring with three.

Following Monday’s district championship contest with Upperman, LA will return home Friday night for the first round of the regional tournament starting at 7 p.m.


LA garners District 7-AA honors


Mac McLeod photo
LA’s Chase Dunn, #24, was named District 7-AA Most Valuable Player. Ironically, he missed this 3-point attempt in the District Tournament win over DeKalb, and had only 4 points.


BY Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Basketball coaches from District 7, 2A met last week in Cookeville to set final plans for this year’s district tournament, currently going on at Tennessee Tech, and to release the 2008-09 all-district teams.

In a coin toss between Livingston Academy boys and Upperman’s boys to decide who would be the number one seed team, Livingston won. Both teams finished the regular season with identical 11-1 records and were named co-champions.

Livingston’s Chase Dunn was named the district Player of the Year as well as the Defensive Player of the Year.

On the boy’s All-District team, T.J. Smith was named to the first team while Will Peterman nailed down a spot on the second team and Deven Ramsey and Clint West took honors on the third team.

Brad Jackson from LA received honorable mention.

On the district’s All-Defensive Team, West was named to the first team and was the only LA player to make the list.

Bobby McWilliams from Upperman edged out Livingston’s Richard Melton for Coach of the Year honors.

On the girl’s side, LA’s Kendria Kilgore was named to the first team while Mackenzie Sells and Alissa Sells took spots on the second team and Adrian West was placed on the third team. Shelby Taylor received honorable mention.

On the district All-Defensive team, West and Alissa Sells nailed down first team spots.

Livingston’s Kayla Williams took a spot on the freshman squad.

Upperman’s Dana McWilliams and Livingston’s Lesley Smith shared Coach of the Year honors. Upperman went undefeated in the region while the Lady Wildcats took the second spot with a 9-3 league mark.




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