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Archives 01-11-2011

Sports

Jake Huitt named All-State
Cats win close against Stone Memorial, fall to Bees
Williams’ last-minute shot gives Lady Cats win over Lady Bees
Baseball, softball sign-ups set

 

Jake Huitt named All-State


Josh Scott file photo
Livingston Academy senior Jake Huitt has been named to Tennessee Sports Writers All-State Team as the team’s punter. It is the second straight year Huitt has received an All-State honor. Last year, Huitt was named to the team as a defensive back after setting several school records in the interception category.



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Cats win close against Stone Memorial, fall to Bees

Mac McLeod photo
It’s a hard floor and Livingston’s Brock McCoin gets a first hand feel for it in last week’s game with Stone Memorial. McCoin scored the winning basket late in the game on a beautiful feed from teammate Mason Ramsey in a 65-62 LA win.



Mac McLeod photo
On a fast break, LA’s Jake Huitt gives it the old one-handed play in last week’s game with Stone Memorial. Huitt’s shot went in and the Wildcats came back in the final period to win the game by three points.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

When Livingston Academy basketball coach Jimmy Miller looked outside Saturday morning, his first and only thought was: those boys better find some snowshoes cause we’re going to practice today.

And after a thorough thrashing at the hands of arch rival Upperman Friday night, practice might just be one thing the Wildcats need. Others could include stronger defense, better shot selection, better shooting, and oh yea, a case of humility.

“I think we might have thought we could breeze through this district again, but last night we found out that other teams aren’t going to lay down and roll over in front of us,” a disappointed Miller said. “Last night we were horrible. We didn’t shoot well, we made very poor shot selection, defensively, we almost didn’t show up, and we might just have taken them too lightly. We’ve got some work to do and we’ll start today.”

If the coach sounded disappointed, he was. After taking over the head coach position last month, Miller has observed chinks in the LA armor that for years now has been almost perfect. When Upperman pounded the Wildcats 62-44 Friday night, a run of over two years of unbeaten play in district competition came to an end, and suddenly it’s no longer automatic that Livingston is the only power in District 8 2A.

“We learned last night that we can no longer win games on our name alone,” the coach added. “We have played well at times, but we haven’t put together a complete game yet and that’s what we have got to do. When you look at the team, you see a big, experienced team, but in reality, we’re having to play a lot of young players with little experience, and that’s starting to show up more and more.

“I’ve got confidence we can play though this, but we are going to have to have a much better effort from everyone. We’ve played hard, but we just can’t wait around for other teams to fall apart,” Miller concluded.

The week was not a total disaster as the Wildcats played strong Tuesday night in a 65-62 win over a very good Stone Memorial team.

After Tuesday’s win, Miller was encouraged after his chargers had played their previous eight games on the road.

“It was important for us to win tonight,” the coach pointed out after the win. “First off, the team has been through some strange circumstances not to mention the fact that they have been on the road for almost a month. Coming home and winning was very big tonight.”

And it was a very big night for “the Logans” – Logan Ramsey and Logan Beaty.

Logan Ramsey got the Wildcats off and running against Stone, scoring LA’s first 6 points. Kailen Melton added two three pointers in the quarter and Mason Ramsey’s basket late in the frame gave Livingston a 23-18 first period lead.

But Stone didn’t travel from Crossville to not make a good showing. The Panthers battled the Wildcats toe to toe and when LA hit a dry run late in the second period, took a 34-32 halftime lead.

Logan Ramsey opened the third period with a basket to knot the score at 34, but Stone then ran off the next 10 straight points to go up 44-34 with 3:15 left in the quarter.

A three-pointer by Logan Beaty at the buzzer set the stage for the final 8 minutes.

Trailing by only 4, 46-42, after Beaty’s basket, the Wildcats started back. Mason Ramsey opened the period with a pair of free throws, but once again, the Panthers caught fire and led 51-44 just before Beaty hit his second three-pointer with a little over four minutes remaining.

Jake Huitt added a three to keep LA close then Colby Reeder connected on a pair of free throws to get the Cats to within 5, 59-54. Beaty hit one of two free throws, then stole the ball and banked in a shot on the other end of the floor to pull LA to within one, 59-58. He was fouled on the play and connected on the shot to knot the game at 59.

Then with time winding down, Mason Ramsey grabbed a rebound, made a nice feed to a cutting Brock McCoin who laid the ball in for the go ahead points. Two free throws from Logan Ramsey seconds later sealed the win.

“I had a lot of fun out there tonight,” Beaty confessed. “I can’t explain what happened, I just took the shots and they started falling. I like to think that three-pointer sparked the team. Something did and we won and that’s the main thing.”

For Logan Ramsey, it was one of the junior’s finest performances. Not only did he lead the Cats in scoring with 17 points, but his work on the boards was also a big factor.

“I don’t know if it was one of my best games,” the shy junior smiled, “I can’t keep up with that. I do know we won and I felt like I was playing pretty good.”

Mason Ramsey added 15 points to the effort, Beaty 13, Melton 11 and Reeder and McCoin 2 each.

The good feeling of victory only lasted three days.

Friday night in Baxter nothing seemed to work, and no hero stepped up to save the
day. It all started bad and got worse as the night rolled along.

“I was a little surprised,” Upperman coach Bobby McWilliams said after his team’s 18-point win. “We had a game plan and we stayed with it and that’s a credit to our kids. Livingston never figured it out tonight, but they are a very talented team and they’ll come back. We won’t take this for granted.”

When Mason Ramsey hit from in the lane, the game was tied at 2. Huitt would tie it again at 6:22 in the second period and the Wildcats would actually lead, 17-16 on a pair of Logan Ramsey free throws. But that was it. The Bees were relentless on defense, controlling both boards and simply out scrambling the Wildcats. On offense, they waited their time then made the shot count. At half time, Upperman led 28-19.

It took almost four minutes for the Wildcats to score in the third frame, that coming on a Huitt three-pointer to make it a 37-22 game, but for purposes, the game was about over. Upperman led 47-28 going to the final period and at one point in that period, led by as many as 26 points.

If there was a hot shooting hand, it belonged to Huitt who led the LA attack with 17 points, but he was the only Wildcat in double figures. Logan Ramsey had 6, Mason Ramsey added 5, Heath Thompson put in 4, Beaty had 3, Reeder 2, and McCoin rounded out the scoring with one.

With a 10-9 overall record and a 3-1 district record, the Wildcats will host Cannon County on Thursday in a game postponed from Tuesday because of weather, then LA will be on the road Friday at Smith County.




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Williams’ last-minute shot gives Lady Cats win over Lady Bees

Mac McLeod photo
Samantha Maya slaps a ball to a teammate for another LA basket. The Lady Wildcat senior has been a big part of Livingston’s 15-3 start this season both offensively and defensively.

Mac McLeod photo
Livingston’s Kayla Williams, at left, does her usual job of playing outstanding defense for the Lady Wildcats as she and teammate Abby Miller, #14, surround an Upperman player in Friday’s game. Defense wasn’t Williams’ only job Friday as the junior scored the winning basket with less than 5 seconds showing in LA’s 50-49 victory.

Mac McLeod photo
It’s a mad scramble for a loose ball in last week’s game against Stone Memorial. Mallory Mahaney, #12, Abby Miller #14, and another LA player put the pressure on a Lady Panther.

 

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

For Kayla Williams, it was a high school highlight to just be a starting member of the Livingston Academy girls basketball team. Friday night she pushed that memorable moment aside and claimed her “15 minutes of glory” with a winning shot against the Lady Wildcats biggest rival.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” the soft-spoken junior guard smiled after she drove the length of the court with less than 10 seconds showing on the clock in Baxter to lay in the winning basket in a 50-49 thriller over Upperman.

“I had no intentions of driving in there when I got the inbound pass, but the closer I got to our basket, the fewer white shirts I saw, “ she added. “Everybody knew Mackenzie (Sells) would take the last shot, so they covered her up and I had a free lane to the basket.”

Williams never blinked as she drove down the right side of the lane, threw the ball at the back board and watched as it fell through. It was the perfect shot for a game that was a typical Livingston-Upperman heart stopper. Although the Lady Bees led most of the way, when it came down to “crunch time”, the Lady Cats stepped up and came away with the big district victory.

“That’s why we do this,” a happy Lesley Riddle beamed moments after the game.

“That was thrilling to say the least and both teams played extremely well. It took us a long time to get our game where we needed it tonight, but when we called time out in the fourth quarter I looked at Mack (Sells) and told her she was going to have to take charge and she did.

“And I was so pleased for Kayla. That’s a moment she will never forget. She’s not a scorer, but when that time came tonight, she really came through. It made me look like a genius. I had taken her out and put Taylor (Meadows) in then took Taylor out and put Kayla back in just like I had drawn the play up. Believe me, it was luck, but you’ve got to have luck too,” Riddle added.

With the win, the Lady Wildcats capped a good week with a not so impressive win over Stone Memorial on Tuesday night, 52-47, and the big district victory over Upperman. Livingston now stands at 17-3 and 4-0 in the district.

The Lady Panthers of Stone Memorial came to Livingston Tuesday to kick off the new year after the Lady Wildcats spent most of the Christmas holidays on the road in tournament play. During the time, LA girls posted a fine 4-2 record and played for the championship of one tournament, losing by only two points.

But all of that was in the past and the Lady Cats were ready to get rolling on the road to more titles and hopefully a trip to Murfreesboro and the state tournament.

“We didn’t play with any intensity tonight,” Riddle would point out after the win over Stone. “We shot poorly and we didn’t play good defense. We have some players not 100 percent right now, but you have to play through that. Mack (Sells) is sick, Mallory (Mahaney) is still not totally well, and Sam (Samantha Maya) has a very sore ankle. That’s not excuses, that’s just the way we are right now,” she concluded.

Against Stone, the two teams battled to an 11-11 tie at the end of the first period and LA led by one, 28-27, at intermission. A shot by the visitors at the buzzer knotted the contest at 40 going into the final period.

Then in the final 8 minutes, the Lady Cats stepped up and took control. Sells opened the period with a basket from the left corner. Stone took the lead moments later with a pair of free throws, 44-42. Mahaney hit two charity shots of her own to knot the score again, then Meadows connected on a field goal with 3:20 remaining to put LA on top for good. Mananey added a free throw and Abby Miller hit on two. Sells ended the night with two free throws.

“It wasn’t that we played all that well,” Maya would point out after the game, “We just managed to make a lot of free throws down the stretch. “

Sells would lead the LA scoring with 13 points while Miller and Maya would each add 10. Mahaney and Meadows were good for 6 each, Tori Stocking had 3, and Marlee Sells and Chezney Hammock rounded out the scoring with 2 each.

As expected, Friday’s game in Baxter was a nail biter down to the wire although at times it looked as if the home team would put the game away early. When they got behind, the Lady Cats steadily chipped their way back and in the end, came away with the victory.

”It was what we expected,” Miller would point out after the game. “They played very good and we never got down. It was so neat for Kayla to make that last basket.

We are all so happy for her.”

Before Williams could make her game winner, a lot took place.

Miller put LA on top at the outset, but a very strong full court pressure defense by the Lady Bees kept the Lady Cats at bay. A pair of three-pointers in the opening frame left Upperman on top, 10-6, at the start of the second period.

Sells made a three-pointer the old fashion way to start the second period, then added a field goal to pull LA to within one, 12-11, but the patience of the home team and good shooting when needed made it a 22-20 halftime Upperman lead.

Upperman maintained control of the tempo and especially the offensive boards in the third period and it took a good stretch run with points from Meadows, Stocking, Maya, and Sells to pull the Lady Cats to within 4, 32-36, going into the final quarter.

With 3:20 remaining in the game and LA trailing by 5, 42-37, Sells made a clean steam and went the length of the court for a layup to cut into the lead. A minute later Maya calmly walked to the line and sank two free throws to pull LA to within 1, 42-41. Upperman managed to stay on top regardless what Livingston did, but with 36 seconds remaining, Sells again went coast to coast for a basket that cut the Upperman lead to 2, 47-45.

Chezney Hammock then forced a turnover on the Upperman end of the floor and a feed to Sells breaking down the court knotted the game at 47 with 30 seconds showing. The Lady Bees got on top by one with 12 second remaining then Williams reached up and captured the moment.

Taking the inbound pass with time ticking away, Williams raced down the right side of the court. She intended to pass to Sells breaking inside, but when Sells drew all the Upperman attention, Williams raced in, banked in the shot and gave the lead back to LA, 50-49.

It would end that way when Upperman failed on its final shot.

Sells had 22 points on the night to lead the LA scoring while Maya added 10. Miller had 6, Meadows 5, Stocking 4, and Heather Cravens 1. Williams had only two points, but two she will never forget.

Livingston will host a strong Cannon County team Thursday night then travel to Smith County Friday.

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Baseball, softball sign-ups set
Livingston City Park baseball and softball sign-ups will begin January 14 and end on March 25.

Sign-ups will be conducted at Livingston City Hall or online at www.livingstoncitypark.com. Cost is $30 each for baseball and $20 each for softball.

 

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