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Archives 02-10-2010

Sports

Lady Wildcats down state’s top 1A team
Wildcats roll over Blue Devils, Owls, and Bobcats
Middle school soccer to begin soon

Lady Wildcats down state’s top 1A team


Mac McLeod photo
Samantha Maya is focused on going in for a basket.


Mac McLeod photo
Shelby Taylor elevates for a basket against Jackson County.


Mac McLeod photo
Mallory Mahaney charges around a Lady Owl in LA’s win.


Mac McLeod photo
Tori Stocking reaches for 2 points against Pickett County.


Mac McLeod photo
Mackenzie Sells adds 2 points on her way to 1,000.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Several times this season, the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats have taken to the hardwoods at least three times and on two occasions they dropped two and won one – the one that counted. Last week, just to take no chances, they played three – and won all three.

And this time around, none of the games were region affairs, but a big 50-43 victory over the state’s number one single A team, Jackson County, was about as big as it gets in these parts.

“It was huge,” an excited Shelby Taylor pointed out after the win on Tuesday night.

“We played them close at their place last week and came up a little short. Tonight, we played the entire 32 minutes and won. It is one of our biggest wins of the season.”

“We took care of business, tonight,” Mackenzie Sells added. “Tonight we played very good defense, kept their good shooters from shooting, and really worked hard all night.”

After getting by Jackson County, the LA girls rolled over Smith County on Friday night, 66-34, and defeated Pickett County, 52-33. All three games were played at home.

“It was a good week for us,” Livingston coach Lesley Smith explained. “I thought we were extremely good on defense and we got the points we needed to win. The game with Jackson County showed we were a top team. I told the players before the game that if we expected to be a top team we had to beat a top team, and they did just that.

“In the other two games, defense was what we wanted to show, and we did. I think defense has become our identity and we played it well all week. Sometimes a good defensive game gets a little boring, probably to the fans, but we know our game is defense, so that’s what we emphasize.”

On the week, Livingston put 168 points on the boards while holding the opposition to only 110. Sells was the top offensive player for the Lady Wildcats with 48 points on the week while Taylor was good for 29, Tori Stocking and Samantha Maya each had 23, and Mallory Mahaney added 17.

And while the three wins were important, two other events took place during the week that were noteworthy: On Saturday night, Sells, a junior, topped the 1,000th point mark in her career so far at Livingston Academy, and also on Saturday, the seniors posted their 100th win during their stint at the school.

“Both of those marks are outstanding,” Smith added. “This is the second straight year the senior class has won 100 or more games, and Mackenzie has been so important to that record. Her 1,000th point just shows her ability as a scorer. “

“I didn’t know I was that close to the mark,” Sells said after the game, “but I found out before the game I needed only 16 points. During the game, I just forgot about it, but when coach Smith called time-out late in the game, she told me I only need two more. At that point I was so nervous I almost threw up. “

Sells’ reached the mark with a pair of free throws with 32 seconds remaining in the game.

In Tuesday’s big win over Jackson County, Livingston used Abby Miller’s first six points to ease out to a 6-5 lead and never looked back. Baskets by Maya, Sells, Alyssa Thompson, and Stocking gave LA a 17-9 first quarter lead.

Mahaney and Taylor led the scoring charge in the second frame, and at intermission, the Lady Cats were on top 26-17, much like they had been in Gainesboro, only three days before. In that game, the Lady Blue Devils came back to win, 44-40, on a late charge in the final frame.

This time around, LA was determined to not let that happen.

Sells hit her first shot of the second half to give LA its biggest lead of the night, 28-17, then quickly added another for a 13-point, 30-17, advantage. Going into the final period, the Lady Cats were up by eight, 34-26.

But the always tough Lady Devils weren’t through. With 1:07 remaining in the game, they had cut the lead to three, 46-43, but were forced to foul in hopes of getting the ball back. In the final 42 seconds of the game, Mahaney hit three free throws and Amber Welch added one for the final seven-point win.

Sells had 21 points in the game while Miller was good for 8, Mahaney 7, Maya 4, Stocking 3, and Welch and Thompson with one each.

Against Smith County on Friday, Livingston took a 14-5 lead early in the game and was never challenged. Maya was the big news in the game as she broke out of scoring slump and nailed the nets for 18 points.

“Coach Smith got on me for not being aggressive enough,” Maya pointed out after the game. I really don’t know, but tonight I just felt good and played hard. Coach was right, it paid off.”

Taylor and Stocking each had 9 points in the win, Mahaney was good for 8 while Sidney Staggs, Heather Cravens, and Alison Dailey all added 2. Sells led all scorers with 11.

Saturday’s make-up game with Pickett County was almost a repeat of Friday’s game. Livingston took the lead early in the first frame and never looked back.

Sells paced the Lady Cats with 16 points followed closely by Taylor with 15 and Stocking with 11. Thompson dropped in 5, Mahaney and Welch 2, and Maya rounded out the scoring with 1.

Livingston, now 21-5, has three big games this week with Cannon County and Upperman on the road and a makeup contest with DeKalb. All three are district games and it marks the final games of the regular season. The district tournament will get underway next Wednesday at Tennessee Tech in Cookeville.



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Wildcats roll over Blue Devils, Owls, and Bobcats


Mac McLeod photo
Kailen Melton goes in for 2 against Jackson County.


Mac McLeod photo
T.J. Smith splits the defenders for a score against the Devils.


Mac McLeod photo
Mason Ramsey is determined to add points on the board.


Mac McLeod photo
Brad Jackson, #32, snags a rebound in the win over Pickett.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

While the Lady Wildcats were using strong defense to win three games last week, the LA boys simply rolled over its three opponents, using both offense and defense, and headed into the final week of the regular season with a 20-6 overall mark and a perfect 7-0 mark.

“It was a slow week,” LA head coach Richard Melton explained. “We had three fairly easy games and that actually made it hard. The good news is we are automatically in the regionals, and also the seniors on this team have now won over 100 games. That’s something to be very proud of.”

It was indeed a slow week for the Cats and they played two non-district opponents as well as one district foe, and all three games, it was a matter of how many they wanted to win by. To make it even worse, Tuesday’s opponent Jackson County, that had been last week’s foe, was well and after thrashing the Devils 78-41 just 72 hours earlier, it was kinda hard to get any emotions flowing. LA rolled, 83-38.

Friday against Smith County, it was a 79-51 encounter, and the Cats rounded out the week on Saturday with a 62-43 win over Pickett County. All three games were at home.

After Friday’s “walk in the park”, Livingston’s Jake Huitt was anything but excited with the two wins thus far.

“We didn’t play good at all,” the junior point guard pointed out. “It’s not good to win when you don’t play well, and we just didn’t play well. Maybe it was too easy, I don’t know, but next week we face Cannon and Upperman and we’ll have to play much better if we want to win and go undefeated again in the district.”

Huitt was right on the money. Beating opponents by 30 plus points is not always a good thing and the highly-talented Wildcats need more competition to keep a sharp edge. On the week, LA posted 224 points on the boards while allowing opponents only 132.

T.J. Smith led the way with 41 points on the week despite only getting two in the Smith County game. Along with his two points, he got five stitches over his left eye due to a collision with an SC player. Kailen Melton hit for 33 points for the Wildcats while Brad Jackson had 32, Huitt 24, and Mason Ramsey 24. All starters saw limited action all week as Melton had plenty of opportunity to go to his bench.

Following his 17-point performance Saturday night against Pickett County, Smith admitted the eye had a little problem focusing.

“Coach saw I was having a little trouble from long range early,” Smith laughed, “and told me to go inside. That seemed to work much better. The stitches come out next week and it should be just fine.”

Kailen Melton started the week for Livingston with a quick basket against Jackson County. Smith and Mason Ramsey followed with three-pointers and the Wildcats were off and running. LA led 24-10 at the end of the initial quarter and pulled away to a 30-point, 49-19, advantage at intermission. In the fourth period, Smith nailed three straight three-pointers and the “mercy clock” went into effect.

Smith had five threes on the night and led the LA scoring with 22 points. Melton added 12, Huitt 10, Logan Ramsey 8, Mason Ramsey 7, Colby Reeder and Kendall Melton 6, Bubba Jolly 4, Adam Wilson 3, and Creed Hayes 1.

Every player on the team saw considerable playing time as they did all week.

Smith County was victim number two on Friday night. Mason Ramsey got things rolling with a three-pointer. Brad Jackson slammed in the first of his 12 first quarter points seconds later and the Cats were again on a roll. Huitt hit five points early in the second frame including a three-pointer, and at intermission, Livingston was on top 46-28.

Melton cleared his bench at the opening of the fourth period, and like the previous game, just about everybody got in on the scoring. Logan Ramsey and Jackson each had 14 points, and Kailen Melton was good for 12. Mason Ramsey had 9, Huitt 6, Hayden Hill 5, Kendall Melton and Hayes 4, Logan Beaty 3, and Wilson, Brock McCoin, Heath Thompson, and Smith 2.

Former LA assistant coach Gregg Bibb brought perhaps the best prepared team of the week to town on Saturday in a makeup game, but the results were still the same. LA pounded out a 19-point, 62-43, victory

It was Senior Night at the Academy.

“We didn’t play horrible,” Melton explained after the game, “but this was probably our worst game of the week. Pickett County could have had something to do with that. It’s tough to win when you’re supposed to win, and that was what happened this week. We should have won all three games, and we did, we just didn’t look all that good doing it.

“There were some good things as well,” Melton went on. “We got to play a lot of people a lot of minutes, and that’s always a good thing. Also, tonight (Saturday) marks the 105th win for our seniors and that’s always very big. When you figure we lost 5 seniors last year (Chase Dunn, Deven Ramsey, Clint West, Justin Poston, and Will Peterman) and we still won 20 plus games this year. That says a lot about this young team. And we are assured a spot in the regionals. “

In the win over Pickett, Smith returned to form despite the injured eye and nailed 17 markers. Jackson used inside strength to put in 14 while Kailen Melton hammered home three three-pointers for nine points. Huitt was good for 8, Mason Ramsey 7, Reeder 3, Logan Ramsey 2, and Wilson and McCoin 1.

After a road game Tuesday, Feb. 9 at Cannon County and Friday, Feb. 12 at Baxter., the Wildcats will return home Saturday night to make up a game against DeKalb County. It will be the final regular season game as tournament play starts Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Tennessee Tech.


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Middle school soccer to begin soon
Coach David Ridings has announced tryouts for middle school soccer will be held as soon as the field at Livingston Academy recovers from the snow and rain.

Boys interested in playing soccer are asked to visit the website at www.overtoncountysoccer.com for updates.

For more information call Coach Ridings at (931) 319-4916.



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