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Archives 03-18-2009

Sports

City of Crossville to host Tennessee Women’s Open
LA Baseball off to rocky start
LA Soccer blanked by Cookeville Cavs

LA battles Gibson in championship game
Special Olympics team places in tournament
Wildcats take on Bolivar in first round

City of Crossville to host Tennessee Women’s Open

Tennessee Golf Association has announced that the 2009 Women’s Open will be played at Stonehenge Golf Course on July 15-18.

The tournament, officially known as The Golf Capital of Tennessee Women’s Open, has been held at Bear Trace at Cumberland Mountain since locating in Crossville in 2003. For the second straight year, The City of Crossville will serve as the sponsor of the event.

Crossville Mayor J.H. Graham III said, “We are extremely proud to partner with Fairfield Glade Community Club to bring this prestigious tournament to Stonehenge Golf Course, the flagship course in Cumberland County and one of the primary reasons we are known as the Golf Capital of Tennessee. We look forward to a long and successful tenure here.

This year’s tournament will kick-off with the traditional Pro-Am on Wednesday, July 15.

“This is an opportunity for local players and tournament supporters to get to play with some of the top up-and-coming pros in the country,” Graham said.

The 54-hole tournament gets underway on Thursday morning with a cut coming after the second day, with the top 60 players coming back for Saturday’s final round.

Up until this year, the Pro-Am took place on Monday, and the tournament was played on Tuesday and Wednesday. The move to a Saturday final is expected to boost attendance. This event has been turning out a Women’s Open Champion since 1999.

Stonehenge will present a challenge to the field as the 6,549 yard, par 72 layout, has a reputation not only as one of Tennessee’s most beautiful courses, but also as one of the toughest. Opened in 1986, Stonehenge Golf Club existed as a public golf course, located in the center of Fairfield Glade. Immediately after it opened, Golf Digest called it the top new resort golf course in the country, with its bent grass tees, fairways and greens making it different from any golf course in the world. Over the years, Stonehenge maintained it’s reputation, being named the state’s top public course year after year until it’s sale to Fairfield Glade Community Club last year.

Tennessee Women’s Open has grown over the years to the point where it is attracting players from all over the country. The 2008 tournament drew players from 15 states and two foreign countries. Marci Turner, two-time All-SEC, All-America golfer at University of Tennessee (2005-2007), shot a 220 (+4) to take home the first place money last year as the low professional. Turner is from Tompkinsville, KY.

The Bear Trace course played very long last year, due in part to the wet weather, but locals know that Stonehenge will present problems of its own. Players do walk in this tournament, even though some player shuttling will be required.

The tournament director will be Dori Webb of TGA and the tournament chairman will be Jean St. Charles. TGA will work with FGCC Golf Director Steve Kraft and Stonehenge Head Pro Warren Huddleston on the details as they relate to the championship including course set-up, recruitment of rules officials, pace of play, hole location sheet, starting times and groupings, results, acceptance of entry applications, course marking, tents, tables, starter boxes, scoreboard posters, and signage.

The 2009 Tennessee Women’s Open Championship is open to Tennessee female amateurs, female amateurs from bordering states, and female professionals.The championship takes place over three rounds, 54 holes of stroke play. The final round is cut to the lowest 60 players and any ties for 60th place.

The champion will have her name engraved on the Tennessee Open Trophy and receive a crystal award. The low professional receives a prize check from the title sponsor, The City of Crossville.

For more information about this tournament contact Tennessee Golf Association at (615) 790-7600.



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LA Baseball off to rocky start
By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports

Livingston Academy Baseball and head coach Pat Swallows opened up the regular season this past week, and the week did not go as planned for the Wildcats.

The Cats opened up on Monday, March 9 to rival Monterey and could not get anything going on the mound or with the sticks. Livingston Academy pitcher Shawn Walthall had a rough outing as Monterey jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.

The Wildcats from Monterey were not finished though, putting runs on the board in the third, fourth, and sixth inning to take a 7-0 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh; however, Livingston never gave up, scoring all 3 of their runs in the bottom of the seventh on timely hits from Tracy McDonald, Jacob Lee, Allen Bilbrey, and Seth Kilgore.

Although the last inning was a glimpse of what the Cats could be, it was not quite enough as the Wildcats fell short 7-3. Shawn Walthall pitched three innings giving up four runs on five hits and fanned three batters. Justin Savage was impressive in his three innings on the hill, fanning six and giving up only two hits. The final inning was pitched by sophomore Jonathan Melton who struck out all three batters he faced.

The Wildcats ran into a tough White County opponent on Tuesday, March 10, and once again, nothing seemed to go right as they fell to the Warriors 7-1. But in their lone game on Friday in Etowah, the Cats found a few bats, but once again fell to Walker Valley Mustangs 7-5. The manufacturing of runs could be what the Cats need to get momentum going into this week.

The Wildcats (0-3) looked to rebound from last week as they traveled to Macon County on Monday, March 16 and came home the following evening to play Macon, and then close the week with rival Jackson County. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. every night.

LA will open next week by hosting Upperman on Monday, March 23, then will travel to Baxter to take on the Upperman Bees again the following night.





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LA Soccer blanked by Cookeville Cavs
By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports

After a success filled pre-season, Livingston Academy Wildcats Boys Soccer opened up the season on Monday, March 9 on a bad note, taking a 5-0 loss to rival Cookeville High School.

The tone of the game was set very early, as within the first few minutes of the game, when Cookeville struck first blood on a header by Max Magura.

Although the Cats tried to adjust quickly, the Cavs continued to attack, taking three more shots from about 20 yards, but the Wildcat defense stood strong and would not allow anything past them.

After playing well defensively, the Wildcats looked to get the ball past the speedy Cavaliers, and after many attempts, finally got a clear shot off, only to see it fly wide and back into the Cavaliers possesion. The Cavaliers continued to take shots at the Wildcats defense, and at the 20-minute mark, David Jiang found a hole and netted a shot from 15 yards out to put the Cavaliers up 2-0.

The Cats struggled getting past the Cavalier defense, and the Cavs could not be contained, and a few short moments after the second goal, the Cavs netted another header on a Roger Uncles to Stephen Sherfy corner kick, thus making the score 3-0 heading into the intermission.

The Cavalier attack continued in the second half as two more shots found the back of the net, putting the Cats down 5-0. Although the Wildcats broke through at times, they never found a significant groove and never really got a great look at the net.

The Cats (0-1) were scheduled to play Cannon County on March 12 but canceled the game due to inclement weather, and have not announced a day for the make-up. The team will now take a week off during spring break, but will return to the pitch on Tuesday, March 24 for the start of the Bison Cup Tournament, which will last through March 28. The time for the tournament has not been announced at this time.

 

LA battles Gibson in championship game


Dewain E. Peek photo
Livingston Academy’s Lady Wildcats walk out to receive the TSSAA silver basketball trophy.


Dewain E. Peek photo
Mackenzie Sells tosses a layup against the Lady Pioneers.


Dewain E. Peek photo
Coach Lesley Smith and the LA bench show concern.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

That old saying ”Never judge a book by its cover” could , with a word changed here and there, also apply to the outcome of many sporting events: Never judge the game by the final score.

Such was the case of the Livingston Academy girls’ attempt Saturday night to win the state 2A girls basketball championship. When the final buzzer went off, the Lady Wildcats were on the short end of a 54-34 defeat at the hands of Gibson County. That 20-point deficit was nowhere close to the intensity and closeness of the actual game.

Through three and a half quarters, the Lady Cats and the Lady Pioneers went at it tooth and nail, each sharing or taking the lead and each playing a brand of defense that is rarely seen in high school basketball. The game was played like Dr. Naismith had originally meant it to be played – low scoring and strong defense.

Livingston trailed 11-6 at the end of the first period, but trailed by only two, 19-17 at the half. At the start of the third period, the Lady Pioneers had pulled out to a six-point advantage, 32-26, but with 4 minutes remaining in the game, Livingston had clawed back to within two, 35-33.

At that point, either team had a chance to take home the Golden Basketball, but for some reason, Livingston came unraveled.

“I think we were nervous and maybe we were a little tired,” senior Kendria Kilgore tried to explain. “Up until that point, both teams were in it. They got a couple baskets then made a bunch of free throws while we simply couldn’t buy a basket.”

During those final four minutes, Kilgore, who had been the mainstay of the team all season long, fouled out (2:00) and the team seemed to collapse with its leader gone.

“When I fouled out, it did seem to have an effect on our play for one reason or another,” Kilgore said, searching for reasons the game had been so close only to end up so distant. “We hadn’t been making long shots and I think we were afraid to take them, and inside, we just couldn’t get in or make anything fall when we did. They (Gibson County) played good defense, but not so good that we shouldn’t have been able to figure it out.”

Perhaps it wasn’t that Livingston couldn’t figure out the defense, maybe it was the fact that they turned the ball over 26 times in the game, 14 in the first half.

“The turnovers killed us,” head LA coach Lesley Smith pointed out after the game. “I don’t know why we did that because it hasn’t been a trait all season. Maybe we were fatigued or maybe it was because of Gibson’s very aggressive defense. I thought we would handle the pressure a little better than we did, and when Kendria (Kilgore) fouled out, you could see the difference in the team.

“I am extremely proud of this team, and despite losing tonight, we came a long, long way this season. Only two teams in the entire state of Tennessee got to this point, and our team was one of them.

“Our seniors showed so much heart all season and throughout the tournament run, and that was one reason we managed to achieve so much with the talent we had. This team gave all it had and it was a great, great run,” the coach added.

Livingston, with the worst record of any of the eight teams making it to Murfreesboro at 23-12, reached the finals by being runners up in the District 7-AA tournament. Wins over Greenbrier, Station Camp, and Upperman secured the Region 4 championship, and a sectional victory over Polk County got them a trip to the state tournament. At the state event, the Lady Wildcats upset then undefeated McMinn Central and advanced to the finals with a win over Westview.

Gibson entered the tournament undefeated after taking the District 13 title and the Region 7 championship. The Lady Pioneers showed little trouble in reaching Murfreesboro with 70-37, 68-35, and 72-38 wins. Only once, a 74-71 win over Obion County, were they actually put to a strong test.

Mackenzie Sells scored first for LA on a steal and lay up that knotted the score at 2. Sells would hit a field goal moments later to give the Lady Cats a 4-2 lead and would end up with all 6 LA points for the quarter. Gibson, meanwhile, hit three straight shots, one as the buzzer sounded, to take the five-point lead.

In the second period, Sells hit her first shot and Alissa Sells closed the gap to three with a field goal. Shelby Taylor nailed Livingston’s first three-pointer of the night with 1:20 remaining to pull her team to within two again, 15-13. Taylor connected with 17 seconds showing, to close the gap to 19-17 to end the first half.

Despite the close score, Livingston missed opportunities that would later prove fatal. The Lady Cats turned the ball over 8 times in the first period and six in the second. One other flaw that perhaps went unnoticed was the fact that Kilgore did not score in the first half.

Mackenzie Sells did as she had in the previous two quarters by opening the third with a basket for the Lady Cats and tied the game at 19. Alissa Sells scored later and Samantha Maya hit a pair of free throws with 1:45 showing to pull LA back to within four, 27-23. With 1:17 left in the quarter, Kilgore finally got on the scoreboard with a big three-pointer that left the Lady Cats only one point back at 27-26.

Gibson rebounded quickly though, scoring a field goal and a huge three-point basket at the buzzer to take a 32-26 lead into the final eight minutes.

“At that point, we were still in it,” Alissa Sells explained, “but maybe our nerves got to us or something, because we were never the same.”

A three by Sells to open the quarter pulled LA back to within 3, 32-29. Kilgore got her fourth personal foul with six minutes remaining, then hit a field goal to get LA back to 34-31. Mackenzie Sells would hit LA’s final field goal at 4 minutes showing to get the Lady Cats to within two at 35-33, and Alissa Sells would hit one of two free throws at the 3:10 mark for Livingston’s final point of the night.

From then on it was all Gibson as the Lady Pioneers were either making easy lay ups or marching to the free throw line, where they rarely missed.

Livingston Academy ended its season as state runner-up with a 25-13 record. Following the game, Alissa Sells, Mackenzie Sells, and Kendria Kilgore were all named to the All-State Tournament Team.

 

Special Olympics team places in tournament


Recently Livingston Academy's Special Olympics volleyball team took second in the Area 9 Volleyball tournament at TTU. Team members are from left, Jauquise Fuller, Traci Hensley, Barbara Murphy, Steven Dulworth, Coach Christie Jenkins, Jessie Ledbetter, Nathan Miller, and Chris Corbin.

Wildcats take on Bolivar in first round
By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

With the strongest record of the eight teams in this year’s TSSAA 2A high school championships, the Livingston Academy Wildcats (32-2) will see first round action Wednesday, March 18 at 5 pm. at the sport’s area on the campus of MTSU facing Bolivar Central (26-3).

Following the opening game, Sheffield (19-14) will go against last year’s state champions, Fulton in a 6:45 p.m. game.

Thursday action will resume with Booker T. Washington (27-2) facing Carter (21-11) in a 10 a.m. game, followed by David Lipscomb (26-6) meeting Brainerd (29-6) at 11.45 a.m.

Second round action will get underway Friday at 1:30 p.m. with the winner of the Livingston/Bolivar game going against the winner of the Sheffield/ Fulton contest. The other two winners will meet at 3:15 pm.
Saturday’s championship game will be at 4 p.m.

 



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