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Archives 01-25-2011

Sports

LA Wildcats take two wins in area play
Lady Cats move record to 20-3 with wins
LA teams win over Cannon
TTU to host Overton County Night

 

LA Wildcats take two wins in area play

Mac McLeod photo
LA junior guard Logan Beaty moves a Bobcat defender out of the way to nail 2 of his game high16 points.

Mac McLeod photo
A good drive for Wildcat Colby Reeder, #12, was nullified when his foot went out of bounds.

Mac McLeod photo
Livingston’s Logan Ramsey gets a little crowded inside as he heads for the net in last Tuesday’s game at Pickett County.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

“We need a win and we need it badly,” Livingston Academy basketball coach Jimmy Miller confessed before last Tuesday’s game in Byrdstown. “We’ve lost two in a row, both were district games (Upperman and Smith County) and we are a little down on confidence right now. A good win would cure a lot of our ills.”

An hour and a half later the Wildcats had swallowed the first pill of “what the doctor ordered” and by later Friday night had taken a second straight win and were finally back on track.

“Those two wins, (beat Pickett County 74-45 and Clarkrange 63-29) are huge,” Miller beamed after Friday’s stroll through the park. “The players are getting their confidence back and that’s critical right now. We had gotten down on ourselves after losing to Upperman and Smith County, but this week we played so much better. We moved the ball well, took better shots, played better defense, and we started scoring. All that added up .”

Two weeks ago, the Wildcats fell to rival Upperman by an almost embarrassing 18 points then dropped a heartbreaker to Smith County a week later. After five years of strolling through District 7, 2A, they were no longer assured of a walk through.

“For one thing, the district is much more balanced,” Miller continued. “DeKalb is much better, Upperman is experienced and playing well, and Cannon is probably the strongest team in the league. And don’t count out Smith. They beat us and Dusty (Whitaker) will do a good job over there.

“That, plus the fact we are playing two seniors that really didn’t play that much in the past. It’s one thing to be a senior, but it’s much more to be a senior that has a lot of playing time. Seniors with playing time bring a consistency to a team and that’s really what we are looking for. We were very consistent last week and hopefully, we are now hitting a stride that will carry us down the stretch and into the tournament.”

When the week got underway, Livingston was 10-10 and facing two non-district games, first at Pickett County then on the road again on Friday at Clarkrange. In an earlier game this season, LA had rolled over the Bobcats, 63-36.

“We are down right now,” PC coach Gregg Bibb confessed before the game.

“I think we’re 10-10 but unlike Livingston, we haven’t played the competition they have. We’re in a cycle right now that we’ll have to work through and unfortunately, Livingston isn’t the team you play to get out of a slump.”

Bibb was absolutely right. The Wildcats were a little down, but due a big game.

And it was a big game for junior guard Logan Beaty. Coming off the bench, Beaty fired up his teammates with 16 points, most from the three-point range.

“I don’t know what happens,” Beaty said after the game. “I started shooting and the shots just fell. That’s the way it goes and tonight it went our way. We need a win and I’m just glad I could be a part of it.”

Mason Ramsey, as has become a habit, got the Wildcats off and running with the night’s first basket then Pickett County got a little frisky and took an 8-4 lead halfway through the first period. Then the Cats went to work, using threes from Kailen Melton, Jake Huitt, and Beaty and led 15-8 at the end of the frame.

Huitt started things off in the second frame with a three-pointer then the roof fell in on the home team. By the 6:13 mark in the period, LA had run off a 9-0 spree. The Bobcats got a basket to stop the run, then it really started to “rain” threes. Brock McCoin hit one, then another. Beaty hit for 7 straight points of his own and Melton rounded out the half with a field goal.

From a point in the first quarter to a point in the second, LA ran off a 20-0 run and at the intermission, the Wildcats were heading out the door with a 41-19 lead.

While the Ramsey brothers, Mason and Logan, weren’t having their best night shooting, the slack was well picked up by Beaty, McCoin, Melton, and Huitt. In the second half, it was simply all Wildcats and every player that had a uniform, played and most of them scored.

“We couldn’t have asked for it to go any better,” Melton pointed out after the game.

“It was a total team effort and we showed we can do it and tonight, we didn’t wait ‘til the fourth quarter to do it. That was a big thing. We didn’t have to come back. We stayed ahead from the start.”

After Beaty’s 16 points, Melton and Huitt each added 11, McCoin 10, Logan Ramsey 7, Colby Reeder 6, Mason Ramsey 4, Creed Hayes 3, and Bubba Jolly, Hayden Hill, and Paxton Eldridge 2 each.

With the big win behind them, the Cats moved over to Clarkrange on Friday and the roll continued.

Again Mason Ramsey got LA on the board first then added 5 more. Brother Logan got in on the scoring action early and when Melton and Huitt found their marks, Livingston was on top, 16-11, and moving away.

Reeder got LA’s first points of the second frame then Beaty and Melton connected on threes and at intermission the lead was 26-18.

Then in the third period, the Wildcats put the game on ice, using a good offense that scored 14 and a superior defense that held the Buffalos to a mere four points. Going to the final 8 minutes, Livingston led 40-22.

And the fourth period was almost a repeat of the third. LA scored 23 points and held the home team to 7 for the 63-29 margin.

“A lot of good things happened in the second half of that game,” coach Miller would conclude. “We played outstanding defense and just about everybody got in on the scoring. All in all, it was a very good week for us and one that we needed badly.

Now we have a very tough week ahead of us playing Cannon, DeKalb, and Upperman. Hopefully, it will be another good week for us.”

Melton led the Livingston scoring with 18 points. Mason Ramsey had 14 in the win while Logan Ramsey added 10, Beaty 9, Heath Thompson 4, and Reeder, Huitt, Hayes, and Hill all with 2 each.

All three games this week will be in Livingston.




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Lady Cats move record to 20-3 with wins

Mac McLeod photo
With the ball ready to go, LA’s Chezney Hammock, #4, drives the lane for a lay-up against Pickett County Tuesday night.

Mac McLeod photo
All hands go up for a loose ball in Byrdstown Tuesday night. Livingston’s Marlee Sells, #11, Rachel Reeder, #22, and Samantha Maya, #33, all give an effort to pull in a missed shot.

Mac McLeod photo
When Livingston’s Heather Cravens hauled down this rebound Tuesday night, she had a lot of company from both teams. Aside from the three Pickett County players, LA teammates Chezney Hammock, #4, and Allison Dailey, #21, move in to help.

Mac McLeod photo
Sometimes it gets a little rough under the basket as Livingston’s Mackenzie Sells is about to discover. Seconds after trying to get inside, Sells is slammed to the floor against Pickett County. No harm no foul as they say in basketball as Sells would get up and nail 15 points in leading her teammates to a 72-33 win.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

When the current basketball season got underway back in November, it appeared as if Cannon County would be the team to beat, Livingston would be strong and Upperman would have its good and bad days simply due to graduation of some key players.

Now, with only two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Lady Wildcats find themselves on top of the district standings and much of that had nothing to do with how they played last week at all.

While Livingston was playing two non-district games last week, Upperman and Cannon County squared off twice and the Lady Bees won both times. Since LA beat Upperman two weeks back, only the Lady Cats are undefeated in district play.

And that could stay the same or change drastically this week alone.

After pounding Pickett County 72-33 last Tuesday and coming back on Friday night to upend Clarkrange for the second time this season, 56-46, Livingston will face the coming week with home games against league foes Cannon on Monday, DeKalb on Tuesday, and Upperman Friday.

When the week is over, the playoff lineup for the first round of the district tournament should be pretty clear.

“It looks like next week will be a very busy one for us,” LA head coach Lesley Riddle pointed out after Friday’s game. “We didn’t quite plan it that way, but because of the snow, games had to be postponed, etcetera, so now we play three very tough games in one week. When it’s over, we should know just where we stand.”

Heading into last week’s schedule, the Lady Cats were somewhat sluggish and by their own admission, “just not really into it for some reason”. Despite the fact they were winning, something seemed to be missing.

“Tonight we played with more enthusiasm than we have since probably the Upperman game,” senior team leader Mackenzie Sells said after the Pickett County win. “Tonight we all got out there and hustled, shot well and played good defense. It’s the way you always want to play, but don’t always do it.”

Before the game even started it was obvious it wouldn’t take the Lady Cats long to establish who was the dominant team. Pickett County, always a strong contender, is going through a rebuilding year and it’s showing with only two wins in 14 outings.

Livingston, on the other hand, was its same old powerful self, boasting an outstanding 18-3 mark before the ball was tossed up.

Abby Miller put the Lady Cats on top first then Mallory Mahaney nailed a three-pointer and the race was on. Sells hit a field goal then a three, Mahaney added two free throws, Tori Stocking sent home a basket followed by one inside by Samantha Maya. It was now 18-2 and there was still over a minute remaining in the period.
When finally ended, Livingston was on top 24-6.

In the second period, other players got in on the scoring spree. Aside from Sells, Mahaney, and Maya, Taylor Meadows, Heather Cravens, and Chenzey Hammock also put their names in the scoring column and at the intermission, LA was totally in command, 50-16.

In the second half, Riddle cleared the bench, wanting to get all her players floor time and at the same time, not wanting to run up the score.

“Pickett County is a great basketball school, but this year they are down due to graduation last year,” the coach pointed out. “We certainly didn’t intend to run the score up on them. I have a lot of respect for that program and their coaches so it was just a night when we had it all going for us and they were obviously down.”

Sells paced the LA scoring with a steady 15 points. Maya and Stocking each added 11, Mahaney 8, Miller 7, Sidney Staggs and Allison Dailey 3, Cravens 4, Hammond 5, Rachel Reeder and Jessika Mcallister 2 each, and Meadows 1.

Friday night was the big test for the Lady Cats as they traveled to Clarkrange for the second time this season. Earlier, in a tournament over the holidays, LA pulled out a 53-51 squeaker and another close game was certainly in the offing.

“Anytime you play Clarkrange you know what you’re up against,” Riddle pointed out before the game. “I have the utmost respect for coach (Lamar ) Rogers and you can’t say enough about what he has done not only here, but for girls basketball throughout the entire state. He’s a legend, no doubt about it.”

Clarkrange entered the game with a 15-4 mark and Rogers was seeking his 981st career victory. LA, on the other hand, boasted a fine 19-3 mark when the game started.

As expected, the contest was a nail-biter in the early going and most of the first three frames. It wasn’t until the final minutes of the contest that the Lady Cats pulled away to the 10-point margin.

At the end of the first period, LA led 15-13 with Sells, Maya, and Kayla Williams doing all of the scoring. Sells had 7, Maya 6, and Williams 2.

Mahaney , Maya, and Sells all hit for three-pointers to open the second period and moved LA out to a 24-15 lead. Then the Lady Buffalos came roaring back and at the intermission, Livingston held a slim one point lead, 29-28.

Sells, Stocking, Cravens, and Meadows did all the scoring in the third period and a strong LA defense allowed the visitors to take a 41-34 lead heading into the final period. In that final period, Livingston steadily pulled away, making nine free throws in the final minutes.

Sells was the hot hand as the senior team leader found her scoring touch and nailed the nets for a game high 24 points. Maya came in with a strong 12, Mahaney and Stocking with 5 each, Meadows with 4, and Miller, Williams, and Cravens each with 2.

Now the big week is ahead. The real good news is all three district contests this week will be at home, an advantage any team would take. When the snow clears by Friday night, a clear picture of who is and who isn’t should be in focus in District 7 2A.




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LA teams win over Cannon

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

In one of the season’s most anticipated games, Livingston Academy took two wins Monday night from Cannon County at the LA gym.

With a 17-point performance from McDonald All-American nominee McKenzie Sell, and a season high game from Allison Dailey, the Lady Cats ran their district record to a perfect 6-0 (21-3 overall). Livingston won the game 59-39.

Livingston never trailed in the game, going on top 17-16 in the opening period then putting the game on ice in the second frame with a 15-point scoring spree coupled with a defense that allowed the visitors only 5

In the boys’ contest, the Ramsey brothers, Logan and Mason each ripped the cords for 19 points and Jake Huitt connected on a three-pointer with only 50 seconds remaining to lead the Wildcats to a 75-71 victory. Kailen Melton had 18 points in the win.

Livingston is now 13-10 overall and 4-2 in the district.

The two LA teams will face DeKalb County tonight then rival Upperman Friday. Both games will be at home.

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TTU to host Overton County Night

Basketball fans in Overton County are invited to take advantage of a special opportunity to watch Tennessee Tech basketball at a discounted price with an appreciation night.

Tickets for the game will be available for just one dollar each for residents of Overton County.

This season marks the seventh consecutive year the Tech Athletics Department has offered special discount nights to county residents.

TTU Director of Athletics Mark Wilson said, “We have a lot of great fans from throughout the Upper Cumberland, and this is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all of the fans in those counties for their support of Tech basketball.”

Overton County night will be held Saturday, Feb. 5, when Tech hosts Morehead State in an OVC doubleheader, with the women’s contest tipping off at 5:30 p.m.

Residents may take advantage of the offer by purchasing tickets at the Athletics Ticket office in the Eblen Center. Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the game.

For additional information call the Tech Athletics Ticket Office at (931) 372-3940.

 

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