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Archives 02-17-2010

Sports

State Bass Championship set for April 10
Brannon McCoin plans to play football at TTU
Kat Nigro named Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of Year
LA Wildcats enter district tourney as No. 1 seed
One point gives Lady Cats loss at Cannon, win at Upperman

 

State Bass Championship set for April 10
Bass fishermen across Tennessee will compete Saturday, April 10 for the title of Tennessee State Bass Champion and more than $12,000 in prizes.

The Bank of Putnam County Tennessee State Bass Championship, scheduled for Saturday, April 10 on Center Hill Lake’s Ragland Bottom launch, will offer fishing competitors the title, bragging rights, a $4,000 guaranteed grand prize, and their name on the Governor’s Cup tournament trophy.

Tournament Chairman Tony Peek said, “This is among the largest prize packages for a fishing tournament in this area. After the success of last year’s event, the competitor field is already filling up fast.”

Cash prizes range from $4,000 for 1st place to $160 for 12th place.

Interested fishermen can register online at www.TNbassChampionship.com, by calling (931) 526-3672, or at the tournament site on the day of the event, though a late registration fee applies. Entry fee is $160 per boat for each 2-person team if paid or postmarked by mid-night Saturday, April 3. A $25 late fee will be applied to registrations after April 3.

The tournament, in its fifth year, is sponsored by Bank of Putnam County. It is organized and planned by Leadership Putnam, a personal development program that helps participants enhance the quality of their leadership in service to the community.

Other sponsors include Fast Lane Fun Carts, The Country Giant, Coca Cola, Charter Communications, Lamar Advertising, WCTE television, Carlen Chevrolet, and Streamliner Creative Group.

For more information on rules and tournament registration, visit www.TNbassChampionship.com.

The tournament has been designated as the official Tennessee State Bass Championship through a state resolution passed in 2006 by Tennessee House of Representatives.


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Brannon McCoin plans to play football at TTU

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Livingston Academy senior Brannon McCoin will attend Tennessee Tech next fall on a partial scholarship to play football for the Golden Eagles.

McCoin, the son of Rhonda and Danny McCoin of Livingston, was the starting quarterback for the Wildcats for four seasons, and in his senior year led his team to an 8-4 record and to the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. McCoin ran for over 1,000 yards and threw for over 800 yards his senior year.

“I’m excited about getting the chance to continue playing,” McCoin said. “Coach (Watson) Brown said I would be used as a slot receiver or wide receiver. That is challenging and I really am looking forward to going to college and also getting to play more football.”

LA head coach Bruce Lamb said, “Brannon is a tough young man and has the determination to make good on this opportunity. It’s always rewarding to have youngsters get the opportunity to continue playing after graduating from high school. We’re proud of Brannon and all the players that we get the chance to work with.”


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Kat Nigro named Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of Year

In its 25th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, announced Kat Nigro of Livingston Academy as its 2009-10 Gatorade Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of the Year.

Nigro is the first Gatorade Tennessee Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Livingston Academy.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Nigro as Tennessee’s best high school girls soccer player.

Now a finalist for the Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year award to be announced in May, Nigro joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including Abby Wambach (1997-98, Our Lady of Mercy, NY), Derek Jeter (1991-92, Kalamazoo HS, MI), Candace Parker (2001-02, Naperville Central HS, IL), Kevin Garnett (1992-93, Maudlin HS, SC), Alexi Lalas (1987-88, Cranbrook HS, MI), Heather O’Reilly (2001-02, East Brunswick HS, NJ) and Mark Sanchez (2004-05, Mission Viejo HS, CA).

The 5-foot-5 junior midfielder recorded 34 goals and 15 assists this past season, leading the Lady Wildcats (13-6) to the Division I A/AA regional semifinals. A member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Under-17 Women’s National Team and a former captain of the Under-15 Girls National Team, and Olympic Development Team, Nigro is a 2-time Adidas All-Region Team. Nigro is a 3-time First Team All-State selection and All-District Team.

She has already recorded 108 goals and 60 assists in her high school career.

Nigro has maintained a 4.0 GPA in the classroom. A member of multiple Livingston Academy academic clubs, she has volunteered locally on behalf of her church community and a blood-donation drive. Nigro has also donated her time at an area food bank and by participating in an initiative to send gift boxes to soldiers serving overseas.

Cristen Czubik, Nigro’s club coach with Brentwood Soccer Club, said, “Kat Nigro just has an extreme passion for the game of soccer. She lives it, she breathes it.

“What sets her apart is she just gets the game at a higher level than most girls at her age. She understands the game so much more technically and tactically. She gets the intricacies of the game so easily for a 17 year-old. It’s fun to watch her play.”

Nigro has verbally committed to play soccer at University of North Carolina beginning in the fall of 2011.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE and the Gatorade high school sports leadership team, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Nigro joins recent Gatorade Tennessee Girls Soccer Players of the Year Susannah Dennis (2008-09 and 2007-08, Battle Ground Academy) and Kelly Dyer (2006-07, St. Agnes Academy) among the state’s list of former award winners.

For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit playeroftheyear.gatorade.com.



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LA Wildcats enter district tourney as No. 1 seed


Mac McLeod photo
Mason Ramsey eyes another basket for LA against DeKalb.


Mac McLeod photo
Hayden Hill goes in for a score against Upperman.


Mac McLeod photo
Brad Jackson lays in a 2-point shot against DeKalb County.


Mac McLeod photo
Logan Ramsey fights for a basket against Upperman’s Bees.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

In most sporting contests, the most important mark is not the score, but the letter “W” or “L”. Winning and losing most of the time far outweigh the actual score, and that being the case, despite playing “a very ugly game” Friday night in Baxter, the outcome of that big District 8 2A contest will forever have a “W” beside Livingston’s name.

“On a scale of one to ten, that was definitely a ten,” senior Wildcater Adam Wilson said Saturday afternoon while waiting to play the final game of the regular season against DeKalb County. “It looked like the harder we tried, the worse we got.

Nothing went right except maybe the way we played defense in the second period. Other than that, it was just an ugly game.”

Wilson was right on the money. While the Wildcats held the Bees scoreless in the entire second period, they otherwise squandered more than a dozen opportunities to break open a game than finally was determined by last second free throws by Jake Huitt and a cool freshman, Brock McCoin.

Even with an “ugly” win, the week was a good one for the Wildcats. Wins over Cannon County on Tuesday night, Feb. 9 and DeKalb County on Saturday left Livingston with an undefeated 10-0 District 8 2A record, good for a fifth straight district regular season championship and the number one seed for this week’s tournament in Cookeville. The Wildcats finished the regular season with a 23-6 overall record.

“Everybody stepped up tonight,” LA coach Richard Melton said after the DeKalb win. “Obviously we didn’t play well Friday, but we’ll just try and get that behind us. That was one of those nights where nothing goes right and it gets worse. You have those every now and then, and despite playing badly, we still managed to win. That says something right there.”

In Tuesday’s game at Woodbury, Brad Jackson had one of his best efforts of the season scoring 24 points as LA rolled past the Lions 76-55. T.J. Smith, despite the five stitches over his right eye, added 12, and Kailen Melton nailed down 10 in the 21-point win.

But it was not quite as smooth as the final score might indicate. For three periods Livingston had things pretty much its own way, but Cannon scored the first five points of the fourth period and actually cut a 15-point lead to seven at 55-48 early in the final frame.

But the powerful Cats went back to work with Smith hitting a three-pointer, Logan Ramsey dropping in a critical bucket, and Colby Reeder adding a bucket that put the lead back to 10 with a little over two minutes remaining. Huitt and Jackson paraded to the foul line late in the game to set the final margin of victory.

Huitt had nine points in the win while Reeder put in 7, Kendall Melton 6, Mason Ramsey 5, and Logan Ramsey and Wilson 2.

Back in January, Livingston rolled over Upperman by 20 points, 65-45, and it appeared there should be no doubting this time around. Actually, Smith, the sparkplug of the LA attack, was sitting on the sidelines nursing a bad ankle, and that was perhaps the first indication that things might just not go according to plan.

After trailing 10-9 at the end of the first period, LA held the home team scoreless in the second period to take a 19-10 lead into the dressing room at intermission.

Then in the third period, things went from bad to just plain sloppy. Missed shots, bad passes, turnover after turnover, missed lay ups, etc., etc. If it could be done wrong, the Wildcats did it, and at the start of the final period, the once nine-point lead was now down to one, 24-23.

Throughout the final eight minutes, the Cats managed to stay on top, but sometimes by the slimmest of margins. Then with two minutes remaining, Upperman tied the score at 33 on a pair of free throws.

With one minute remaining, Mason Ramsey put a little life in the LA attack with a three-pointer at the top of the key. LA was on top by three, 38-35. Thirty seconds later McCoin calmly walked to the line and hit a pair of free throws for a 40-45 lead.

But Upperman wasn’t folding and a three-pointer brought the spread back to two, 40-38.

Now it was time for Huitt to be calm and the steady shooting junior walked to the line and nailed a pair for a four-point lead. Upperman again closed to within two with less than one second remaining, but with one half of one second showing on the clock, McCoin again toed the line and hit two more for the 44-40 win.

“I really wasn’t nervous,” McCoin said with a big grin. “I just put everything out of my mind and shot. Most of the time I shoot free throws pretty good anyway”
Huitt was the only Wildcat in double figures with 10. Mason Ramsey had 9, Kailen Melton, Jackson, and McCoin each had 6, Hayden Hill 3, and Logan Ramsey 2.

In Saturday’s season finale, Kailen Melton dropped in 16, Jackson added 14, and Mason Ramsey was good for 12 as the Cats rolled over DeKalb by 20. But it was Wilson’s best performance of the season that got most of the talk. The senior had nix points offensively, but his rebounding was outstanding.

“Adam played extremely well tonight,” Melton said about his senior post players.

“Really, everybody did much better tonight.”

Huitt had 9 points, Reeder 7, Kendall Melton 5, McCoin 4, and Hill 3.

Livingston will next be in action Friday night at 8 pm. at the District 8 2A tournament at Tennessee Tech.


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One point gives Lady Cats loss at Cannon, win at Upperman


Mac McLeod photo
Tori Stocking shoots for 2 in the win over Upperman.


Mac McLeod photo
Mackenzie Sells fires out of a crowd against Upperman.


Mac McLeod photo
Mallory Mahaney drives past an Upperman Lady Bee.


Mac McLeod photo
Shelby Taylor defends against DeKalb in Saturday’s game.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Three wins last week could have earned the Livingston Academy Lady Wildcats a District 8, 2A title or at worst , a two way tie. Two wins and one loss could have produced a tie for the title or a run for second or third place. One win and it was a battle for somewhere else.

Upperman defeated Cannon County 49-41 Monday night to create a three-way tie for first place in District 8-AA. Livingston Academy, Upperman, and Cannon County all finish with a 7-2 league record. A coin toss Tuesday morning determined seedings for ths week’s district tournament. Results of the coin toss were not available at press time.

It was one of those weeks, and it still isn’t over.

Livingston faced three district foes last week, the final seven days of the regular season. Cannon County was the top team at the time with only one loss in league play. Upperman and the Lady Wildcats were also sitting pretty with only one loss in the district, which made the final week the most important of the season. All three teams at the top played each other last week.

Three wins by either three brought home the title.

If Cannon County beat Upperman Monday, the Lady Lions are the regular season champs outright. If Upperman won, it would leave the Lady Bees, the Lady Lions and the Lady Wildcats with three losses each and require a coin toss with odd man out being seeded in the number one spot for the tournament. Livingston can finish no worse than second by virtue of two wins over Upperman.

In any case, it appears the Lady Wildcats will see their first tournament action either Friday at 3:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m.

The Lady Cats started off the week in Woodbury and suffered a heart-breaking one-point, 41-40 loss to the Lady Lions in a game that went to the final half second before a foul was called that allowed Cannon County to go to the line and hit one of two throws.

On Friday, Livingston traveled to always tough Baxter to take on the Lady Bees of Upperman. In an earlier meeting back in January, LA claimed a 46-39 win and it has been rare that either team has swept the regular season games. This time the Lady Cats played tremendous defense and held on for a 48-47 win that was quite as close as the score indicated.

Then, to top off the week, Livingston came home to make up a game with DeKalb County that was never in doubt. A 63-32 win left the Lady Wildcats with a 23-7 overall mark and 7-2 in the district.

“It was a good week except for one game,” explained LA coach Lesley Smith. “The loss at Cannon was close and we certainly would have liked to have got to overtime.

But we had our chances and did convert during regulation. The call at the last second was a little tough to take, but like I said, we had our chance. We only shot 33% at Cannon and when you’re as small as we are, you have to shoot well in order to win.”

At Woodbury on Tuesday, Samantha Maya and Abby Miller got the Lady Cats off to a good start but by the end of the frame, despite five points by Mackenzie Sells, LA trailed by three, 16-13.

In the second frame, Maya took charge of the LA scoring, ripped off eight straight points, then Miller added two more as the Lady Cats ran off 10 in a row and led by one, 23-22, at intermission.

Cannon got back on top at the end of the third frame, 32-30, then in the opening minutes of the final period, LA went cold. Maya got things rolling again and a basket by Shelby Taylor pulled the Lady Cats to within two, 37-35. With seconds remaining, Sells hit a basket and a free throw to knot the game at 40, then with less than a second showing on the clock, a foul was called while chasing a wild ball.

Cannon went to the line and hit one of two shots for the win.

Maya led LA with 13 points, Sells had 11, Miller 9, Taylor 6, and Mallory Mahaney 1.

As is always the case when LA and Upperman get together, the game went down to the wire before the outcome was decided. Since the game was at Baxter and LA had won the first meeting, odds were Upperman would pull out the win.

Somebody forgot to tell Livingston.

Playing outstanding defense all night and scoring when it was critical, the Lady Cats played one of their finest games of the season.

Sells opened the game with six straight points to push LA out to a 16-12 first period lead. At intermission, the lead was only two, 26-24.

Then the Lady Cats appeared to be taking complete charge and rolling away.

Mahaney opened the second half with a basket, and points by Sells and Maya pushed LA to a 38-30 advantage that went up by one more, 42-33, at the end of the period.

In the final eight minutes, Upperman chipped away at the lead. A three-point basket with 2:01 left pulled the Lady Bees to within four, 45-41. Twenty seconds later, Taylor moved it back out by six with a drive in the lane. Then with less than one minute remaining, Taylor went to the free throw line with a chance to ice the win.

“I wasn’t nervous, but somehow, I just missed the shots,” Taylor would admit later.

“When I missed the first one, okay, but when I missed the second, then the third I was devastated. I usually don’t miss many from the free throw line, and certainly not three straight.”

With five seconds left, Mahaney went to the line and hit one of two for a four point, 48-44, lead. Upperman needed four points and could only get three on a half court desperation throw that somehow went in. It was one point short.

Sells had 19 points to lead LA, with Mahaney adding 10, Taylor 9, Maya 6 and Miller and Amber Welch 2.

“That was just a fluke,” Smith said after the game, referring to Taylor’s three missed free throws. “I would send her back up there ten more times and she wouldn’t miss a one.”

In Saturday’s make-up contest, LA jumped to a 13-9 early lead then raced away to a 31-point win with little effort. The best part of the contest was every body played and just about everybody scored.

Tori Stocking was hot shooter in the game, nailing four three-pointers for a game high 16 points. Sidney Staggs wasn’t far behind as the freshman hit two three-pointers and had eight points on the night as did Maya. Sells was good for 9, Allison Dailey hit for 5, Mahaney 7, Taylor 6, and Alyssa Thompson had two.


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Overton County News
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Livingston, Tennessee 38570
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