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Archives 03-25-2009

Sports

Cats defeat Blue Devils
LA Wildcats play in State Tournament
Lady Cats take two losses on week

Two LA players tapped for TACA All-Star games

Cats defeat Blue Devils


Becca Savage photo
Justin Perdue, #8, gets a lead off first for LA against Macon.


Becca Savage photo
Andrew Maynord drives the ball for LA against Macon.

By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports

Livingston Academy Baseball started last week, and they started the season slow and with “dead bats”. But, the tables seemed to turn in the right direction by the week’s end.

After traveling to Macon County on Monday, March 16 and losing 8-2 and coming back to LA to play Macon again the following day and losing 12-4, the Cats looked to unleash their anger on a pretty well-balanced Jackson County team at home on Friday, March 20.

Jacob Lee took the mound for the Cats and set the tempo for the game, retiring the first three batters he faced. Then the scoring spree was on, started by Colby Reeder. Ethan McDonald hit a line drive RBI single to bring in Reeder. Three batters later, Andrew Maynord was hit by a pitch to bring in the second run.

Things looked to be going great up 2-0, but the Cats kept going. Seth Kilgore followed up Tracy McDonald with another RBI single and a Lee Gatts triple brought in Jim Officer, Maynord, and Justin Savage.

The Cats kept swinging with big hits by Jonathan Melton, one RBI, and a Bilbrey triple which also brought in one. Ethan McDonald would once again bring in a runner and Justin Savage would bring home McDonald boys to end the scoring spree, and after one the score was 11-0 Wildcats.

The basepaths remained relatively quiet until the third when the Cats would score with the subs in, as a Hayden Hill single would bring in Tracy McDonald. Josh Johnson would follow suit three batters later, bringing in Hill and Justin Schebel on a single to right field.

After a week and a half of low run production, the Cats couldn’t stop as after Johnson, Melton would bring one home and Shawn Walthall would crush one to center to bring in two. The final run in the inning would come on an Ethan McDonald hit that turned into a fielder’s choice that brought home Reeder.

After four innings, the Cats found themselves on top 18-1. Jackson County could not muster any more runs, while the only run they did muster came on a Livingston Academy fielder’s choice.

Jacob Lee went three innings giving up one run, zero earned, and young gun Jonathan Melton would finish up the fourth and fifth innings, retiring all six batters he faced to give the Cats their first win of the season, 18-1.

The Cats, (1-5), now turn their focus to rival Upperman for two games this week. After hosting the Bees on Monday, March 23 and traveling to Baxter on Tuesday, March 24, the boys in blue will then come home for a game with the Bobcats of Pickett County on Thursday, March 26. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

LA will travel to Jamestown on Monday, March 30 to play district rival York, and then host the Dragons the following day.


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LA Wildcats play in State Tournament


Mac McLeod photo
Senior Justin Poston moves into the paint for a shot.


Mac McLeod photo
Senior Chase Dunn attempts a basket against Bolivar.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

When Chase Dunn was a small boy he would go to Livingston Academy basketball games and dream of someday playing for the Wildcats and winning a state championship.

“That’s all I ever wanted to do,” Dunn confessed Wednesday night. “I got to play for LA, but didn’t win the championship, and that’s a big disappointment.”

For the second straight year, the Wildcats posted one of the best records in the state of Tennessee in 2A basketball only to lose out in the first round of the state tournament in Murfreesboro. This time it was a 75-55 defeat at the hands of Bolivar.

“We just don’t seem to be able to get past the first round,” Dunn added.

“As seniors (LA had five this year), we’re through, but maybe next year the team will come back and do better.”

It was a bitter defeat for the Wildcats, who entered Wednesday’s game with confidence. This year’s team was almost identical to last year’s squad with the exception of two players who graduated. A year older and another year’s experience seemed to be on the minds of all the players before the game.

“We knew coming in that there were no sloppy teams here,“ the Tennessee Tech bound senior added. “When you get to Murfreesboro, all the weak teams have been weeded out and those here are the best.”

With that said, Dunn’s playing days at Livingston Academy were over. He did play for LA and he turned out to be one of its best players ever. He set all kinds of records and made all kinds of All-Star teams, but like his teammates, he didn’t win a state championship.

Prior to the game, several observers felt the matchup between LA and Bolivar was a good one for the Wildcats, at least on paper. The Tigers brought a 26-3 record to the game, and size-wise, were in the same category as the Wildcats.

And that’s where it stopped.

Speed and defense are written down on paper and the Tigers were extremely strong in both departments.

“They were very quick, offensively and defensively,” pointed out Livingston’s Will Peterman. “Their speed helped them control the boards and also gave them an advantage of covering the ball extremely well. We didn’t get many open shots, and that was where we have been strongest.

They took away our three-point game and they got the ball down court really fast.”

That was about as close to summing up the game as it could have been. Bolivar’s speed forced Livingston out of its long range shooting, and inside, the Tigers got multiple attempts off the offensive boards.

“I can’t be very much positive out of this,” LA head coach Richard Melton remarked after the game. “They (Bolivar) had people step up and play and we didn’t. Our shooters didn’t hit the marks and our rebounding, especially in the first half, was horrible.

“Their quickness didn’t surprise us,” Melton continued, “but it sure hurt our shooting. They covered the ball so well that we didn’t have many clear shots. That’s not an excuse, it’s the way it was. Bolivar is well coached and they did the little things that killed us.

“Its hard to end the season like this, but when you get here, you know if you don’t get the job done, you go home, and that’s the way it was today.

We just didn’t get the job done. It was a great season for us with 32 wins and only three losses, but we had hoped to get further in the tournament. “

Peterman put the Wildcats ahead 2-0 with the first bucket of the game, then Bolivar ripped off the next seven points. Dunn made a pair of free throws and Peterman added a field goal to keep the Wildcats close. A basket by Brad Jackson and a three-pointer by Clint West , one of only 3 of 22 attempts by the Wildcats all day, pulled Livingston to within three, 19-16, at the end of the first period.

T.J. Smith opened the second period with the Wildcats’ second three-pointer of the night and added two free throws minutes later to finally put his team ahead, 20-19. That would be Livingston’s only lead of the game.

A pair of free throws later in the period tied the score at 22, but that early span of the second frame proved to be the high water mark of the Wildcats for the tournament.

Only trailing by five, 33-28, at intermission, Livingston had to feel luck may be on its side. Several times during the first half, the Tigers threatened to blow the game open, but the scrappy Wildcats hung close to make a game of it.

In the third frame, the Cats still managed to stay close, trailing by only eight, 49-41 , going to the final eight minutes. Baskets by Peterman, Dunn, and West aided the Wildcats, but just when it appeared that LA would close the gap, Bolivar would slam the door with a three-point basket. The Tigers made 7 of 16 for the game.

Dunn pulled his team to within six, 50-44, to open the final period, but as had been the case all afternoon, missed three-point attempts simply took the wind out of the Wildcats.West fouled out of the game midway through the period and Dunn, Peterman, and Ramsey were all playing with four fouls as the game moved to a conclusion.

Down the stretch, the Tigers simply broke the game open with free throws and easy layups.

Dunn ended the game as high scorer for LA with 21 points and ends his career at the school with 2,513, the men’s scoring record. Peterman had 10, Jackson added 8, West and Smith each put in 7, and Ramsey was good for 2.

For the graduating seniors, they posted a four-year record of 108 wins and only 28 losses.



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Lady Cats take two losses on week

Becca Savage photo
Rachael Kingery smashes a hit against Macon County.By Josh Scott,
OCN Sports


Becca Savage photo
First baseman Samantha Maya tags out a Macon Co. runner.

Livingston Academy’s Lady Wildcats softball program hit the field last week for their first two official games of the young season. Unfortunately for LA, the Lady Cats fell victim to a loss twice last week.

In the first game on Tuesday, March 17, against Macon County, hitting proved to be a harder task than they thought, as the Lady Cats were struck out a total of 12 times in seven innings played. The Lady Cats managed 5 hits throughout the entire contest.

Rachael Kingery got the run rally going in the bottom of the seventh, down 6-0. Her single was followed by a Kendria Kilgore single that gave Samantha Maya her first RBI on a single and Katelyn Webb followed her on a sacrifice fly, to put the score at 6-2. But the Cats would not get anything else and fell to the visitors from Macon County, 6-2.

Next up for the girls were the Cannon County Lionettes on Friday. Once again, hitting proved to be problematic as the Lady Cats would only manage two hits through seven innings as well as eight strikeouts, while the visitors would light up the hit column with 13 total, but only managed to bring 4 runs across due to timely defense from the Lady Cats, who would fall victim yet again, this time to the Lionettes 4-0.

“We need to improve our hitting,” said senior Kendria Kilgore after the two losses. “Twenty strikeouts in two games will not get it done.”

On the defensive side, the Lady Wildcat seemed to be in great spirits.

“I do not think anyone stole a base on us unless it was a wild pitch,” she said. “We will be very hard to steal on, and our defense is great; we just have to hit the ball better.”

When asked about turning the early struggles around, Kilgore seemed very confident in her squad.

“It should not be hard at all. We have got everyone back now and when we all start hitting off live pitching more, we will be good to go,” she said.

The Lady Cats (0-2) opened this week with Celina on Tuesday, March 24 at home before traveling to DeKalb County on Thursday and heading to Brentwood for a tournament during the weekend. The first pitch for the Thursday game will be at 5 p.m.

The Lady Cats will travel to Crossville to play Stone Memorial on Monday, March 30. LA will then host Smith County in a district matchup at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 31.

Two LA players tapped for TACA All-Star games
Tennessee Athletic Coaches Association’s East-West basketball all-star games will be played Saturday, March 28 at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, and the boys team will include a Livingston Academy player, and the girls team will also include an LA player.

TACA Executive Director Bill Marbet said, “A couple of years ago, we moved the games from summer play to the weekend after the state tournament and the change has been very well received. “Basketball is still fresh in everyone’s minds, the players are still in great shape and, with the format we’ve put together, they only have to miss one day of school in anticipation of the event.

“We had a great crowd last year and are very excited about the possibilities involving this year’s players.”

Players will report to Trevecca on Thursday afternoon. Practice sessions for both boys and girls teams will take place throughout the day on Friday.

Additional activities include a dunking contest for members of both boys teams and a 3-point shooting contest featuring players from both boys and girls teams involved in Saturday’s games.

An FCA breakfast will also be held Saturday morning.

Tipoff for the girls’ game is 1 p.m. with boys action to follow at 3 p.m.
Livingston Academy Lady Wildcat Kendria Kilgore will play on the girls East Team, which will also include Upperman’s LaShay Davis and Clarkrange’s Tasha Phillips.

Livingston Academy Wildcat Chase Dunn will play on the boys East Team, which will also include Fulton’s James Gallman and White County’s Stewart Mitchell.

White County High School Coach Eric Mitchell will be the team’s head coach, and Maryville High School Coach Mark Eldridge, an Overton County native, will be the assistant coach.

Dunn was a finalist for Class AA Mr. Basketball. His friend John Jenkins of Station Camp won the award. A 6’5”, senior, guard, Jenkins is a three-year starter who averaged 42.6 points, 8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. He shot 62% from the field, 49% from 3-point range, and 89% from the free-throw line. He has scored over 3,000 points in his career and scored over 1,000 points this season. He scored 60 points in a game once and has scored over 50 points four times. He leads the nation in scoring average and was the winner of the 2008 Class AA Mr. Basketball Award.






 



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