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Lady Cats go to 6-0, Wildcats roughed up on the road

Lady Cats go to 6-0, Wildcats roughed up on the road


Mac McLeod photo
Mackenzie Sells fires from long range for the Lady Cats.


Mac McLeod photo
Shelby Taylor struggles for control of the ball with teammate Allison Dailey, #21, nearby to help out against Pickett County.


Mac McLeod photo
Livingston Academy’s Abby Miller, #14, goes up for 2 points in last week’s win over Pickett County’s Lady Bobcats.


Mac McLeod photo
Jake Huitt drives in for a 2-point shot at Pickett County.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

For the Livingston Academy girls basketball team, the Thanksgiving holidays proved to be a time to really be thankful as the Lady Cats played three games and won all three. For the boys, it was entirely a different story as the Wildcats hit the road three times and came away with only one victory.

“We were very pleased with the outcome of our games,” LA coach Lesley Smith explained at the end of the week. “We played several teams who we knew nothing about and won, and took a hard fought win up at Pickett County. Being 6-0 after our first six games makes it a little hard to point out mistakes to the players,” the coach added. “’Hey, we won all six so we must be doing everything right’, could be the attitude. We have to guard against that and keep working on things that need to be worked on.”

Livingston opened the week with a 56-35 win over Oakland on Monday, Nov. 23 and went on to Byrdstown on Tuesday, Nov. 24 and clawed out a 57-49 victory. After taking a break for Thanksgiving day, the Lady Cats hammered Hunters Lane 71-28.

Mackenzie Sells paced the winners in the win over Oakland with 14 points while Abby Miller added 12. Mallory Mahaney put in nine points and Shelby Taylor ended the night with eight.

In the battle with Pickett County, Livingston’s girls trailed by two, 15-13, at the end of the first period, but were on top by seven, 32-15, at intermission. A strong run in the second half preserved the win.

Mahaney paced the winners with 14 points with Sells adding 12. Taylor, Tori Stocking, and Amber Welch each put in eight, Miller was good for five, and Alyssa Thompson rounded out the scoring with two.

Mahaney again had the hot hand on Friday as the Lady Cats crushed Hunters Lane. The sharp shooting junior poured in 15 points while Sells was good for 13 and Miller hit for 10. Welch had eight points in the game.

“That was a hard part of our schedule,” Smith added. “Winning every game was a little unexpected, but we have a very good team that will scrap with the best of them.

It won’t get any easier, but starting 6-0 is a step in the right direction.”

For the boys, it wasn’t quite the same story. After beating Pickett County in a hard fought game that only opened up in the final frame, the Wildcats took two poundings on the road in Dyer County, losing first to Dyer County by 18 then falling to Jackson Central Merry by 17 to round out the week.

“That was the worst performance by a team of mine that I can remember,” LA coach Richard Melton said of his Wildcats after losing to Dyer, 88-70, on Friday. “There just was no effort there at all.”

Following a 63-47 whipping at the hands of JC-M , Melton was almost lost for words.

“Right now, I just can’t put my finger on it,” the coach explained. “We aren’t boxing out, we’re getting beat on the boards, we can’t bring the ball up the floor, and the list can go on and on. We aren’t playing at all like we did in summer camp, and we have a tough schedule ahead of us. I expected to lose some games early, but not like this.

It’s not the score, it’s the way we are playing.”

Livingston went to Byrdstown on Tuesday, Nov. 24 and used T.J. Smith’s 22 points to defeat the Bobcats, 73-54. In a game that was marred by 48 personal fouls, the Wildcats got double figure scoring from three players. Mason Ramsey had 15 points in the win and Logan Ramsey was good for 11. Colby Reeder added nine, Adam Wilson put in six, Kendall Melton had four, and Logan Beaty, Brock Mccoin, and Jake Huitt each hit for two.

Livingston made 25 of 32 foul shots.

Then things turned south for the Wildcats. After winning two of their first three games, the Wildcats dropped a pair to even their record at 3-3.

With eight points in the final period, Smith had 10 points in the loss to JC-M. He was the only Wildcat in double figures. Mason Ramsey put in nine, Kendall Melton added seven, Wilson was good for six, McCoin hit for five, Jake Huitt and Kailen Melton each had three, and Reeder added two.

Livingston started the game, taking a 5-0 lead on a three-pointer by Kendall Melton followed by a basket by Mason Ramsey. From then on, it was mostly JC-M. The Cougars led by four, 17-13, at the end of the first period and were on top by nine, 37-28, at the half.

McCoin hit a three-point shot at the buzzer ending the third period to pull LA to within nine, 47-36, but in the final frame, the Cougars controlled just about everything.

Up to this point, every game the LA teams have played have been on the road and the Tuesday, Dec. 1 game at Cookeville was also away from the friendly confines of the LA gym. Things will change in early December though as both York and Cannon County come to Livingston.

The regularly scheduled game with Ensworth that was set for December 3 has been moved to January 23. York will arrive on Tuesday, Dec. 8 and Cannon will be in Livingston on December 11.


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