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Archives 12-21-2010

Sports

Dunn makes triumphant return to LA gym
Cats win in OT in Christmas Tourney, Lady Cats walk over Columbia Central
LA Basketball rolls over DeKalb County on the road
Wrestling tracker offered to Tennessee high schools


Dunn makes triumphant return to LA gym

Mac McLeod photo
After the Tennessee Tech-Hiwassee game Thursday night at LA, former Wildcats star Chase Dunn, left, and teammate Bassey Inaneti sign Tech schedules for the fans. Dunn had 14 points and 6 assists in the easy 113-42 Golden Eagle victory.

Mac McLeod photo
When Chase Dunn played his high school ball at Livingston Academy, this three-point shot was one of his favorites. Thursday night he still liked it although now he plays for Tennessee Tech. Like in high school, Dunn nailed the basket for three of his 14 points on the night.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Here’s the question: Has a high school basketball player ever returned to his high school gym and played a college game?

Here’s the answer most given Thursday night at Livingston Academy: “I don’t know, but I don’t think so.”

Next time the question is asked, here’s the real answer: “Yes, and it was done at Livingston Academy in 2010 when Chase Dunn, now a red shirt freshman at Tennessee Tech, returned to his old school gym, and scored 14 points in a 113-42 Tech victory over outclassed Hiwassee College

“That was a blast,: Dunn said after the game. “I never, never thought I would ever play on that floor again. I’ve been back over here a lot watching Livingston Academy play, but had no reason to think I would get to play here again. This was great.”

Dunn, the leading scorer in LA boy’s basketball history, got the chance simply by luck. Last season, Tech traveled to Boone, NC, to play Appalachian State and this year, ASU was to return the favor. Rules were that when Tech played in Boone, they brought the officials and in return, Appalachian would do likewise. The Mountaineers came to Cookeville back in November, but forgot to bring the boys in striped shirts, so the game was canceled.

When it was discovered that there was a scheduling conflict at the Eblen Center at Tech, someone suggested moving the game to the “House that Chase Built” and the idea caught on. It took some doing by both Livingston Academy and Tennessee Tech, but the deal was pulled off.

“It was a wonderful experience,” proclaimed Tech coach Mike Sutton. “We are certainly grateful to principal Lesley Riddle and her staff here at Livingston Academy for letting this happen and it was just great getting back together with Gary Maxwell (official) and Drue Huffines (public address announcer). Chase did a pretty good job too.”

The crowd, mostly LA supporters coming out to watch Dunn once more on the old LA floor, got their money’s worth. The scrappy guard, probably the smallest player on the floor, played 29 minutes, scored 14 points, had one rebound, and was credited with six assists. It was a very good night for him.

In the game, Dunn missed his first shot from the right corner, but reminded LA fans of his famous three-point shot from the left side just outside the circle. On his second shot, he nailed it. Four minutes had passed in the game.

With 16 minutes showing on the clock, Dunn took a break. Later in the first half, Dunn missed on a lay-up but hit one of two free throws to end the half with three points. Not one of his best halfs on the LA court.

But in the second half, things started to look a lot more like the days of old. At the 16:30 mark, Dunn connected on a three-pointer then brought the crowd to its feet with a steal and lay-up. He was on his game.

“Chase played well tonight, but he is such a dedicated player, that’s nothing new,” Sutton continued. “We have a very young team (only three seniors) and Chase is a big part of the future at Tech. He’s talented and he works hard and he’s a player,” the coach added, then smiled and said, “but I’ve seen him play better here.”

“I love playing basketball as you know,” Dunn said. “Not getting to play last year was kinda hard, but it all works out. I want more playing time and that will come.

College ball is much faster and more physical than high school, but it’s still about putting the ball in the hole. Tonight was just a fun deal. Getting to come back to your high school and playing again, how cool was that. I will always remember this.”

Dunn confessed that he’s doing pretty good in school as well as on the ball court.

“I might make the ‘A’ honor roll,” he concluded as he autographed Tech schedules for a host of followers.

As he packed his belongings and headed to the door to head home, he surely must have heard Huffines announce over the public address system: “Tonight’s player of the game is Chase Dunn.”

Couldn’t have happened any other way.



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Cats win in OT in Christmas Tourney,
Lady Cats walk over Columbia Central
By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Once they got things rolling Monday afternoon, it was a walk in the park for the Lady Wildcats of Livingston Academy as they cruised to a 65-27 romp over Columbia Central in the opening of the Ensworth Christmas Tournament played in Nashville. For the LA boys, it was an entirely different story and it took a shot by an unlikely shooter with only two seconds remaining in overtime to post a 66-64 win over Nashville Central Christian.

Both teams advanced to the semifinals and will play Tuesday.

In the boys game, it was not one of their finest games, that is, until the final seconds of regulation play and the final two seconds of the first overtime. Until those two points, Livingston trailed NCC almost all afternoon, leading early in the first period, 6-4, and not regaining the lead until Jake Huitt scored the first points of overtime to put the Wildcats up 60-58.

For most of the contest, shots would simply go halfway down, then come back out for Livingston while NCC played a steady game that kept the Tigers on top. NCC led 31-27 at the end of the first period and were on top 44-41 at the start of the third period.

At the outset of the final eight minutes, Huitt and Mason Ramsey kept the Cats close with baskets that let the Tigers lead by only two. Huitt tied the game at 49 with 1:45 remaining with a free throw but NCC then ran off 6 unanswered points to take what looked like a game-winning margin.

But the Wildcats never folded and in what appeared like new coach Jimmy Miller’s first real test under fire, his chargers came through with flying colors. Mason Ramsey hit with 1:45 showing then again 30 seconds later. With 30 seconds remaining in regulation, Ramsey hit again for a 58-56 LA lead.

But as had become the custom all afternoon, the officials awarded NCC a pair of free throws with 14 seconds remaining and the Tigers nailed them both for the 58-58 tie.

In overtime, Huitt hit first then Ramsey followed and suddenly LA had its biggest lead of the night, 62-58. Seconds later Huitt would foul out. NCC regained the lead with 19 seconds remaining and at the same time, Mason Ramsey fouled out. Then Logan Ramsey hit two free throws with 13 seconds showing to tie the game at 64.

On the inbound pass, the NCC player stepped on the line and the ball went over to Livingston.

Sophomore Brock McCoin took the inbound pass, raced to the top of the key then let fly with the shot. It sailed through the hoop with just 2 seconds left and the Wildcats had the victory.

It was McCoin’s only basket of the night.

Mason Ramsey paced the Cats, now 6-6 on the season, with 25 points. Huitt had 14, Logan Ramsey added 11, Kailen Melton and Colby Reeder each nailed 7, and McCoin had only 2, but at the time, the biggest 2 of the game.

In the girls contest, Livingston managed to go through the motions most of the first half and never seemed to get a rhythm going until midway through the third period.

When they did get going, it was another outstanding LA performance.

At the end of the first period, Livingston held a commanding 17-4 lead, but at the intermission, it had only moved to 28-16. Mackenzie Sells and Samantha Maya each had 8 points in the initial 16 minutes while Tori Stocking had 5.

Then, with the score 30-20 near the 4 minute mark of the third period, the Lady Cats took a close game and made it a rout. Abby Miller got things going with a basket then Kayla Williams followed with another. From that point on, it was all Lady Wildcats as they went on a 25-3 run that got the continuous clock rolling midway through the final period.

During the run, just about every player in a Livingston uniform scored. In the end, Sells would have 12 points, Maya 10, Miller 9, and Stocking 8. Others with points included Chazney Hammock 4, Marlee Sells 5, Rachel Reeder, Heather Cravens, and Allison Dailey 3, Williams, Jessika McAllister, and Taylor Meadows 2, and Sydney Staggs, 1.

The win now leaves LA with a 12-1 record.

The LA boys will play tonight, Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. and the girls player earlier at 5 p.m.



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LA Basketball rolls over DeKalb County on the road
By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

It’s almost like pulling teeth to get a coach to admit his or her team is actually “good”. It’s just one of those things and perhaps correct – say too much and it might come back to bite you.

But in the case of the two Livingston Academy basketball teams, it’s a known fact both are very good and right now both are playing at championship levels.

“We are playing really good right now,” girls coach Lesley Riddle confessed Thursday night while waiting on the Tennessee Tech game to start at the LA gym.

“Our players have really stepped up, both our starters and our bench. Our bench players want to play so badly they are pushing our starters and that’s good. Mack (Mackenzie Sells) takes charge and forces other teams to focus on her and then Sam (Samantha Maya) and Abby (Miller) get rolling and Tori starts shooting and making those threes. Right now they are fun to coach and watch.”

In the boys’ camp, things appear to be running smoothly after last week’s coaching change and a slow, struggling start to the season. New coach Jimmy Miller knows he has the talent and right now is letting it do its thing.

Both teams rolled through York two weeks ago and last week whipped their only opponent, DeKalb, on the road in a game that actually took five days to play.

Saturday evening in Smithville, the LA girls had no trouble rolling over the Lady Tigers, 76-27, and the boys broke loose from a close game midway through the third frame to race off to a solid 83-56 win. With the victories, both LA teams improved their district record to 3-0. The Lady Wildcats are now 12-1 on the season and the Cats, with two straight wins, now post a 5-6 mark.

Before Saturday’s contest, Riddle pointed out that DeKalb was struggling somewhat, after being much improved last season. “Struggling” would almost be an
understatement as the Lady Cats threw a press on the home team early in the game and after a 2-2 tie in the first minute of play, the game simply got out of hand.

Actually, Riddle put a little anticipation in the game by holding out several of her starters at the outset. Seems they had a little trouble making practice one day last week.

But it made little difference. Sells hit an 8-footer to start the scoring and the Lady Tigers answered on the other end of the court and that was it. Taylor Meadows, having perhaps her best game so far, nailed a three-pointer that started a 16-0 LA run that included baskets and free throws from Maya, Heather Cravens , Miller, Kayla Williams, and Stocking. By the end of the period, every LA player that made it on the floor had scored and when the second period started, it was a 26-7 runaway.

At intermission, LA led 46-15 and with a little over three minutes remaining in the third frame, the continuous clock rule went into effect. The Lady Cats held a 52-17 lead at the time.

Unfortunately for the Lady Tigers, not only did the Lady Cats bring their “A” game on defense to the game, they pushed along their offensive “A” game as well. Eleven Livingston players scored on the night, led by Sells with 14. Maya had 11, Sydney Staggs ripped in 9, all from the three-point line, Meadows added 8, Miller, Williams, and Cravens 7, Stocking 5, and Kendall Robbins and Jessika McAllister put in 3.

Mallory Mahaney also returned for some playing time for the first time in several weeks. The senior guard has been plagued with muscle problems since the outset of the season.

On Thursday night, most of the LA boys teams packed the student end of the Livingston Academy gym to watch one of their former teammates, Chase Dunn, play for Tennessee Tech. All night they had fun cheering for Dunn and also raising the roof on slam dunks by the Golden Eagles.

“We can do that,” Logan Ramsey would laugh when one of the Eagles would take an inside pass then slam home an impressive two-pointer. At 6-9 Ramsey can.

But it wasn’t slam dunks that the Wildcats were nailing Saturday night. It was a well balanced scoring attack that would see four players rack up double figure scores and an outburst in the second half that included both scoring and defense.

“We need to work on our defense,” Miller would say before the game. “We have size and speed and a very strong inside game with both Ramsey boys, Mason and Logan. We need to force more turnovers and play strong defense. If we do, we’ll be all right.”

They did on both accounts.

Kailen Melton opened the scoring for LA with a three-pointer and Mason Ramsey added a field goal for a 5-0 lead. Mason banked in a field goal moments later and Logan took a pass from Jake Huitt after a steal and went coast to coast basket. It was a dunk, just an old fashion fast break that was impressive. At the end of the period, LA held a 24-13 lead.

DeKalb opened the second period scoring, then Melton drove the lane to answer the basket and the lead was still 11, 25-15. From that point on, it was a see-saw affair with the Tigers refusing to go away and the Wildcats not being able to land the knockout punch. At intermission, LA led 41-33.

Early in the third frame the Wildcats seemed to be just going through the motions then Logan Ramsey slammed home two straight baskets and Mason added another and suddenly the Cats were rolling. Down the stretch, Melton nailed a three and Logan Beaty put in another and all the while the defense, led by Huitt, created problems for the home team. After leading by only 8 at halftime, at the end of the third period, the Livingston margin had grown to 20, 62-42, heading into the final 8 minutes.

In that final frame, Miller went to the bench and got a good response. Hayden Hill, Creed Hayes, Paxton Eldridge, Bubba Jolly, Trent Niven, Heath Thompson, Davis Robinson all played well and maintained the 20-plus margin. Hayes had a three-pointer during the run.

Melton led the LA scoring with 20 points while the Ramsey brothers, Logan and Mason, each added 16. Huitt put in 13, Reeder 8, Brock McCoin 4, and Beaty and Hayes each had 3.

Both Livingston Academy teams will be on the road for the next two weeks starting this week in Nashville at the Ensworth Christmas Tournament then travel to Daytona Beech, FL, for the Sunshine Classic.




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Wrestling tracker offered to Tennessee high schools
High school wrestling programs in Tennessee will have free access to a nationwide online statistical data tracker through a partnership between Check Into Cash and National Wrestling Coaches Association.

Check Into Cash founder Allan Jones, who was a high school wrestler, has agreed to underwrite the program for all 180 schools in the state to allow Tennessee high school wrestlers to be a part of the sport’s first ever comprehensive statistics database.

The program will allow wrestling fans and media to have statistical information at their fingertips by logging onto www.nwcaonline.com. The online program also gives wrestling coaches software to broadcast their matches online through streamcasting technology.

Collegiate programs will also use the online database. All but nine NCAA colleges are using the stat tracker.

Mike Moyer, executive director of National Wrestling Coaches Association, said the online statistical data tracker will make it easier for the media to cover wrestling and increase national exposure for the sport while also making scorekeeping easier for coaches. Just as fans and reporters can quickly go online to keep up with touchdowns and home runs, they will now be able to quickly browse data for wrestling takedowns and pins.

“Right now a scorekeeper uses a pencil and a paper, but the problem with that is the history of our sport is in someone’s filing cabinet,” Moyer said. “With this program a scorekeeper can use a laptop and the statistical information can immediately be accessed by media and fans.

“Allan Jones is a visionary for the sport of wrestling and we believe coaches will understand the importance of this program and its ability to bring wrestling into greater national prominence.”

Tennessee wrestling coaches interested in the underwriting provided by Check Into Cash should contact Jordon Griffith at National Wrestling Coaches Association by calling (717) 653-8009 or emailing jgriffith@nwca.cc.

Mark Reeves, assistant executive director of Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association, said the new technology will help schools with mandatory record keeping and improve the sport’s history books.

“Access to the NWCA Live Scoring System will increase the visibility of high school wrestling in Tennessee,” Reeves said. “Coaches will be able to instantly track and share statistics with their athletes. This is a tremendous opportunity for our member schools.”

This is the second partnership between Check Into Cash and the National Wrestling Coaches Association. Check Into Cash earlier provided underwriting for a web-based weight management program for wrestlers that allows trainers to use body fat percentage and hydration data to identify the ideal weight class for a wrestler and build a specialized nutrition program to reach that weight.

Moyer said the sport lost 130,000 wrestlers in the years prior to the weight loss program, but has gained 40,000 athletes since the structured weight management program began.

The wrestling stat tracker is available online at www.tssaa.org.


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