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Archives 12-23-2009

Sports

LA Wildcats to play for Midsouth championship
Lady Cats win over DeKalb, fall to Lawrence
Wildcats post pair of wins in Midsouth Classic

LA Wildcats to play for Midsouth championship
By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

In order to reach the finals of the Midsouth Classic for the second straight year, the Livingston Academy boys had to take on East Literature of Nashville, a team that had overcome a 10-point deficit late in its Saturday game with Maryville. When it was all said and done, not only did the Wildcats put a stop to an Eagle late charge, but rolled to a convincing 23-point victory.

Livingston will face the winner of Monday’s Cookeville-William Blount game for the championship Tuesday night, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in Cookeville.

East Literature overcome Maryville in regulation on Saturday, then posted a 63-60 overtime victory. Meanwhile, Livingston Academy posted a fine 40-37 win over a strong Lebanon team.

In Monday’s game, the Wildcats fell behind, 5-0, early, but a basket by Kendall Melton put LA on the boards and a three-pointer by Jake Huitt seconds later knotted the game at five. T.J. Smith tied it once again with a bucket in the lane, then Kailen Melton took a feed from brother Kendall and LA was ahead by two and would never look back.

Livingston led at the end of the first period, 21-9.

Smith opened the second period with a three-point basket then added four more points to put the Wildcats up by 19, 28-9. A strong Livingston defense would hold the Eagles scoreless for the first three minutes of the period. By the four minute mark, Livingston had marked off a 23-2 scoring run and still applied the pressure. At intermission, the Wildcats were in command, 36-20.

In the first half alone, Livingston had ripped the cords with five three-pointers,
including hits by Mason Ramsey, Huitt, Kailen Melton, and two by Smith.

About the only thing that changed in the second half was who would score. Coach Richard Melton used several combinations and all seemed to work. Mason Ramsey hit a three to start the second half then Huitt added a bucket, Brad Jackson hit for two, and Kendall Melton and Mason Ramsey ended the period with a pair of threes. LA led heading into the final period, 51-30.

Jackson took over in the final frame, giving strong play on the boards and hitting the nets for eight points. The win was Livingston’s ninth against three losses.

Mason Ramsey led the Wildcat scoring with 18 points and Smith followed with 12 and Jackson with 10. Huitt had one of his best nights offensively, scoring nine while the Melton brothers, Kailen and Kendall each had five. Adam Wilson put in two as did Logan Beaty.

Livingston will be off for a few days over Christmas, but will return to action December 28 in the Beech Holiday Classic.


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Lady Cats win over DeKalb, fall to Lawrence


Mac McLeod photo
LA Coach Lesley Smith is not happy about what she sees in the Lawrence County game.


Mac McLeod photo
Abby Miller pulls up for a shot against Lawrence County.


Mac McLeod photo
Mackenzie Sells deflects the ball to teammate Amber Welch.


Mac McLeod photo
Livingston Academy’s Shelby Taylor takes control of the ball as a Lawrence County player falls by the wayside.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Sometimes it makes no difference how hard or well one plays, the outcome is going to be the same. There are good teams out there and then there are teams that are better. Livingston’s Lady Wildcats found that out Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the Midsouth Classic at Cookeville High School.

After blowing away district foe DeKalb County on Tuesday night, Dec. 15, 67-36, the Lady Cats ran into a fine team from Lawrence County Saturday and when it was over and Livingston found itself on the short end of a 56-44 score, everyone agreed Lawrence was one of the best teams around.

“They were probably the best team we have played this year,” Samantha Maya explained after the game. “They played very good as a team, shot the ball as good as any team we have faced, didn’t miss many, if any free throws and were big and quick enough to control the boards. They were good.”

If that wasn’t enough to make believers out of anyone, then ask Abby Miller.

“They were that good,” Miller said with a slight smile. “They were really good.”

Indeed, Lawrence County was as strong as any team LA has faced this young season and that includes a very strong Cannon County team who had the Lady Cats a 52-41 district loss two weeks ago.

Mackenzie Sells put LA on top, 3-0, to start the game. A three-pointer by Mallory
Mahaney gave Livingston a 7-3 advantage but from that point on, it was mostly Lawrence County. A basket by Miller at the buzzer cut the LC lead to three, 13-10.

The story of the second was Livingston couldn’t make a basket and Lawrence County controlled the boards. Sells and Maya scored enough to keep the game from getting out of hand, but for every basket Livingston made, LC would counter with several of their own. At intermission, the Lady Cats were down by eight, 26-18.

In the third frame, LC continued to add to its lead and in the final frame, managed to keep the ball out of Livingston’s hands.

“That was a very good team,” LA head coach Lesley Smith explained after the game. “Actually, they were better than we thought they would be by just watching the films. They shot 76% according to our stats and when an opponent shoots that well, you don’t get many rebounds. They were very strong from the foul line and they played outstanding defense. Sometimes you just get beat by a better team and tonight that was probably the case.”

Sells had 19 points to lead Livingston, now 9-2 overall , in scoring. Maya had nine and Mahaney put in eight. Miller added seven and Shelby Taylor rounded out the scoring with one.

It was a totally different story on Tuesday as the Lady Cats pounded DeKalb County for the “umteenth time”.

“We played much better than we have been playing,” assistant coach Lora Franklin pointed out just prior to LA ‘s game with Lawrence County on Saturday. “Today will be a much stronger test.”

Indeed it was.

On Tuesday, Livingston had little trouble rolling over DeKalb County. With three players hitting double figures and 11 scoring overall, it was no contest from the very outset.

Taylor opened for LA then Miller, Sells, Mahaney, Miller again and finally Sells again all scored to put LA out to a 19-9 first quarter advantage.

And it didn’t stop there. Tori Stocking got the Lady Cats rolling in the second period, then Alyssa Thompson joined in the scoring spree, and at intermission Livingston led 43-19.

DeKalb County could never mount a serious threat, and in the final period, Smith cleared her bench with Heather Cravens, Kayla Williams adding to the final margin.

Sells paced Livingston with 16 points while Miller added 15 and Mahaney put in 12.

Taylor was good for seven, Maya and Cravens picked up four, Stocking added three, and Amber Welch and Williams rounded out the scoring with two each.

The LA girls played Monday afternoon in the second round of the Classic, which ended Tuesday, Dec. 22 at Cookeville.


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Wildcats post pair of wins in Midsouth Classic


Mac McLeod photo
LA’s Jake Huitt bulls in for a shot against Lebanon.


Mac McLeod photo
Kendall Melton drives forward for LA against Lebanon.


Mac McLeod photo
Livingston Academy’s Logan Ramsey goes up for 2 points.


Mac McLeod photo
LA’s T.J. Smith, #23, pulls up for a shot as Logan Ramsey, #00, keeps the lane clear against Lebanon in the Midsouth Classic.



By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

There was a time when 30 seconds was only one half a minute. It wasn’t much and for the most part, was widely ignored as a substantial figure. It was simply 30 seconds and not much more.

Then along came sports and 30 seconds, that one half minute that rarely meant anything, suddenly became a lifetime. Sports took 30 seconds and made it into 30 minutes, not counting commercials, and during that once short period of time, two or three touchdowns could now be scored. In racing, four tires and a tank of gas took only half that time, and in basketball, there was no telling how many games could be won, or lost, in that once brief period of time.

So it was a little confusing Saturday afternoon in the opening round of the Midsouth Classic in Cookeville when Livingston Academy held a 3-point lead and Lebanon had the ball with 30 seconds remaining in the game and the Blue Devils held out for a final shot.

And that final shot had to be a three-pointer to send the game in overtime.

It didn’t fall and the LA Wildcats advanced to Monday’s second round with a 40-37 victory.

“I guess it was just real good defense,” smiled Livingston sophomore Logan Ramsey, actually making a little fun of the decision. “I really don’t know,” Ramsey added with a grin, “but that really put a lot of pressure on a freshman to make a three-pointer at that point.”

After the same question was asked around the victorious locker room, and none of the players had a better answer.

For Livingston, it was win number two for the week as the Wildcats slipped past district foe DeKalb County on Tuesday night, 59-54. It was the Wildcats’ fifth straight win and eighth overall against three losses.

“We don’t seem to be able to put anybody away,” a pleased LA head coach, Richard Melton, pointed out after Saturday’s win. “ We did play well though, especially today. It was a good win and our play in the third quarter was probably our best quarter of the season so far. Logan (Ramsey) was outstanding in the quarter and that really put a spark in us.

“Our second half was very intense,” Melton added, “and everybody played very hard. A good win no doubt.”

In Tuesday’s win over DeKalb, the Wildcats led at the end of every quarter, but could never build an advantage to fall back on. In the first period, Mason Ramsey opened with a field goal and a three-pointer for Livingston’s first five points, but DeKalb responded every time. LA led by 2, 19-17, at the end of the first eight minutes.

It took almost two minutes for either team to score in the second period, but LA’s Jake Huitt finally found the nets for a pair. Kendall Melton put in a basket for a 23-19 Livingston advantage, but DeKalb refused to go away.

Midway through the frame, Logan Ramsey came alive with a pair of lay-ups and a free throw and T.J. Smith nailed a three-pointer to give the Wildcats their biggest lead of the night, 31-24. At the half, Livingston led 34-26.

In the third period, LA took its first and only double figure lead at 31-21 when Smith scored from the lane, but then DeKalb went on a 6-0 run and closed the gap to three, 48-45, heading into the final period.

A three-pointer early in the final frame put DeKalb ahead by one, 49-48, and the game went back and forth for the next three minutes. Then Mason Ramsey hit a pair of free throws to put LA up by three. Huitt added two seconds later to give Livingston a 57-52 lead with one minute remaining. With 16 seconds left, Brock McCoin could have iced the game but missed the front end of a one and one. With 16 seconds remaining the freshman would step to the line with the determination of a seasoned veteran and nail a pair of charity throws for the five-point win.

Mason Ramsey paced the winners with 17 points, followed by Huitt with 13, Smith with 11, Kendall Melton added seven, Logan Ramsey put in six, McCoin had three, and Colby Reeder rounded out the scoring with two.

In Saturday’s contest, it was a nail biter from the first tip. Smith hit the Wildcats’ first bucket, then added a pair of three-pointers and made a beautiful assist to Mason Ramsey to put Livingston on top at the buzzer, 14-12.

Lebanon bounced back in the second period and took a 27-20 lead to the dressing room at intermission and it looked as if LA might stumble again to a more physical 3-A school.

But such was not the case. Lebanon opened the second half with a three-pointer and a 10-point, 30-20, lead, but the Cats were just getting started. Smith hit for a pair and Mason Ramsey put in four and suddenly LA trailed by only four, 30-26. Huitt then hit from the top of the key and the margin was only two and a steal and lay-up by Kalian Melton knotted the game at 30.

All the while, Logan Ramsey was controlling the defensive boards and making some outstanding passes. His free throw at the 2:50 mark put the Cats ahead 31-30, and his inside basket at the buzzer put Livingston on top 33-30 going to the final eight minutes.

“I was just having fun,” the big inside player smiled after being reminded he had a block shot, several key rebounds, and two great assist plays in the period.

Livingston set up a strong zone defense in the final period and for almost two minutes, neither team could score. Mason Ramsey finally found Smith breaking toward the basket at the 5:46 mark to put the Cats up by five, 35-30. From then on it was a game played mainly on the Lebanon end of the floor.

Smith hit a smooth shot from the left corner at the 3:30 mark to give LA its biggest lead of the period, 37-31, but Lebanon came back to tie the score at 37 with 3:30 remaining.

With 1:07 left in the game, Mason Ramsey set up in the left corner and nailed a big
three-pointer to give Livingston a 40-37 lead. It would be the final basket of the game.

Lebanon took the ball to the far end of the floor, passed it around like a street yards game of catch, then in the final 30 seconds, tried to get inside. Livingston’s zone was played to perfection and with only one second left, Lebanon made a desperation shot that didn’t come close.

Smith paced LA with 17 points while Mason Ramsey added 10. Huitt had four, Logan Ramsey had three, and Kendall and Kalian Melton each added two as did Reeder.


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