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Archives 02-15-2011

Sports

Riddle named Coach of Year, Mackenzie Sells named MVP
Lady Hawks win two in state tourney, prepare for final round
Lady Wildcats defeat Lady Dragons 62-36
LA Basketball Homecoming held Friday night
LA Senior Night
Wildcats take 74-52 Senior Night win over York

 

Riddle named Coach of Year, Mackenzie Sells named MVP
By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Coaches and assistant coaches of the six schools that comprise District 8, 2A met Monday in Cookeville to settle a few points concerning this week’s basketball tournament that will be held in Sparta, select individual honors for the regular season just completed, and to welcome Central Magnet School of Murfreesboro to the league next year.

About the only business that wasn’t already settled was whether Smith County or York would be fourth or fifth in the girls bracket. In a coin toss, Smith took fourth and York settled for fifth. The only thing that would have changed was who would be the home team and who would be the visitors.

Admission for this week’s district tourney will be $5.

In individual honors, Livingston head girls coach Lesley Riddle was named the Coach of the Year and senior Mackenzie Sells shared the district’s Most Valuable Player Award with Upperman’s Kayla Biles. Cannon County’s Abbey Sissom was named Freshman of The Year, and Taylor King, also from Cannon County, took Defensive Player of the Year.

The girls All District 1st team included Emily Sissom and King, Taylor Randolph from Upperman, Samantha Maya from Livingston, and Ashley Wright from York.

Livingston’s Abby Miller took a spot on the 2nd All District Team and Mallory Mahaney locked down a spot on the 3rd team.

Lady Wildcats Kayla Williams and Tori Stocking received Honorable Mention.

On the All Defensive Team, Mahaney shared a spot with Wright, Kristen Smith, and Kat Carter of Upperman and Lindsey Reed of Cannon County. Two players from Livingston, Taylor Meadows and Marlee Sells, took spots on the All-Freshman team.

In boys honors, Justin Davenport of Cannon County was named the district’s Most Valuable Player while his coach, Matt Rigsby, took the top coaching award.

DeKalb’s Destri Wiggins was named the district’s Most Improved Player and Cannon’s Cody Ruehlen was named Defensive Player of the Year.

Livingston’s Mason Ramsey was placed on the All District Team along with Chris Nash and Daniel Taylor of Upperman, Jarred Nave of Cannon County, and Wiggins from DeKalb County.

Kailen Melton and Logan Ramsey of Livingston took spots on the 2nd All District Team and LA’s Jake Huitt placed on the 3rd team. Wildcats Brock McCoin and Colby Reeder received Honorable Mention. McCoin landed a spot on the All Defensive Team.

When tournament action gets underway later this week, Livingston’s girls and boys, both regular season champions, will hit the hardwood Saturday evening with the girls facing the winner of the Smith-York contest at 7. p.m. and the boys squaring off at 8:30 p.m. against the winner of the DeKalb-Smith game.



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Lady Hawks win two in state tourney, prepare for final round

Photo submitted by Renea Stover
Halie Beason, left, plays defense for the Allons Lady Hawks in the TNT State Tournament. The Lady Hawks are set to face Christ the King Catholic School in the single-A championship game this Saturday, Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. in Springfield after defeating Pin Oak 31-24 on Friday, Feb. 11 and defeating Swiss Memorial 40-22 on Saturday, Feb. 12.


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Lady Wildcats defeat Lady Dragons 62-36

Mac McLeod photo
LA senior Mallory Mahaney turns loose a 3-point attempt against York Friday night.

Mac McLeod photo
Livingston’s Samantha Maya (33) checks up a York player in Friday’s game against York Institute.

Mac McLeod photo
Mackenzie Sells is all business as she eyes the basket and turns loose a shot against York Friday night. The LA senior led the Lady Wildcats to victory with 20 points on the night.

By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

When the final buzzer sounded Friday night to mark the end of the regular season for the Lady Wildcats of Livingston Academy there was a lot of excitement, especially among the team’s five seniors. Not only had they just defeated rival York, but they had passed several other milestones along the way and one they weren’t even aware of.

Winning the game was the easiest part of the night. When it was over, LA had thrashed the Lady Dragons 62-36. The hard part may have been absorbing all they had accomplished in the process.

“We won the district championship,” explained senior standout Mackenzie Sells,
“and we won 100 games as seniors,” added Samantha Maya. “Those were two of our goals when the season started so now its on to bigger and better things,” Sells laughed.

One thing Sells, Maya, and the other members of the Lady Wildcats team didn’t realize they had done was, for the first time since anybody can really remember, including the coaches, Livingston Academy had the district title all to themselves.

This time they didn’t share it with anybody.

“I don’t remember when we did that last,” head coach Lesley Riddle pointed out, “but it’s been a long time. It’s quite an accomplishment to win the district title in this district simply because there are always more than one good team. This is a very competitive district and to think we went through it undefeated is something these players will remember for a long time and rightly so.”

With the victory, the Lady Cats posted a 25-4 regular season mark and a perfect 10-0 district record, 2 games ahead of their nearest rival.

And one other mark that was not automatic, but certainly on the minds of each senior: “This was not our final home game. We intend to play here in the sub-state.”

That goal would require a win in the Regional Tournament in two weeks.

“I am so proud of just being a part of this team,” explained senior guard Mallory Mahaney. “This is a veteran team and we all knew we could be good this year if we did our best. I got hurt early and didn’t play a lot in the first half of the season, but when I came back, it was just a thrill. To think we won 100 games as seniors is one thing and to go perfect this year in the district is another. This is just great.”

“It’s hard to believe we are finally seniors,” Tori Stocking added. “I don’t know but it seems like I’ve been here a long time but now we are down to just a few more games. It is certainly an honor to be a part of this team. We did a lot including going to the finals in the state and winning 100 games. That’s a lot of memories.”

For senior Chezney Hammock, it was a little different. Hammock played two years at Upperman before returning to LA last year as a team manager. This was her first year as an LA player.

“My story is a lot different,” Hammock said before the game. “I’m proud to be a part of this team this year and would like to go out and score 50 points tonight. That’s probably not going to happen, but I’m so proud just to be here and be a part of this.

Now let’s win the whole thing.”

Before the game started, the biggest concern was getting makeup off Sells’ face after she was a part of the homecoming program. It was considered that the makeup might impede her ability to shoot.

Not to worry. The McDonald’s All American nominee would have an outstanding shooting night, ripping the cords for 20 points in the 26-point margin of victory.

“We had a lot of fun tonight,” Sells pointed out after the game. Coach started all five seniors and, hey, we didn’t do badly. We kinda went slack in the second period, but when it counted, everybody did whatever it took to get the job done. We are looking forward to the tournament and we are certainly looking to take this team all the way to the state championship. We think it’s that good.”

York might think the same thing.

Hammock, looking for those “50 points” got LA off on the right foot with a field goal right off the bat. Sells then hit two field goals and a free throw. Hammock added a free throw, Sells nailed a three-pointer and a field goal, and Stocking rounded out the period with a three-pointer that gave the home team a 16-4 lead.

At that point, it appeared as if the 35-point rule might come into affect by halftime.
Mahaney hit a three to open the second period then Sells stretched the lead to 21-4.

Then the Lady Dragons decided it was time to start playing and closed to within 8 with 3:30 remaining in the half. Heather Cravens and Allison Dailey got the Lady Cats back on the scoring track and at intermission, LA had moved out to a 34-20 lead.

In the second half, it was all about Livingston Academy with the only difference from the first half being a few new faces. In the end “Senior Night” was all about the upper classmen. Forty-one of LA’s 62 points came from the senior class.

Following Sells in scoring on the night were Stocking with 11 points, Maya 5, Abby Miller 9, Dailey 5, Cravens 4, Mahaney and Hammock 3, and Williams with 2.

The Lady Wildcats will return to action in the District 8, 2A tournament next Saturday night in Sparta at 7 p.m. facing the Friday winner of the York-Smith County game.

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LA Basketball Homecoming held Friday night

Dewain E. Peek photo
Livingston Academy Basketball Homecoming festivities were held Friday, Feb. 11 before games against York Institute. Presented during the ceremonies were, from left, Sophomore Basketball Attendant Mikayla Thompson, daughter of Bobby and Wendy Thompson of Rickman, escorted by junior basketball player Logan Ramsey, Senior Basketball Attendant Lauren Davidson, daughter of Jim and Jennifer Davidson of Livingston, escorted by senior basketball player Jake Huitt, 2011 Basketball Queen Mackenzie Sells, daughter of Billy and Tonia Sells of Rickman, escorted by senior basketball players Paxton Eldridge and Kailen Melton, Junior Basketball Attendant Ashley Boykin, daughter of Richard and Regina Boykin of Livingston, escorted by senior basketball player Hayden Hill, and Freshmen Basketball Attendant Taylor Meadows, daughter of Michelle and Ryan Meadows of Livingston, escorted by junior basketball player Logan Beaty.

 

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LA Senior Night

Dewain E. Peek photo
Livingston Academy Basketball Senior Night activities were held Friday, Feb. 11 between basketball games against York Institute. Senior Wildcats basketball players honored are, from left, Paxton Eldridge, son of Dana Copeland and Sean Eldridge, Hayden Hill, son of Kelly and Damita Hill, Jake Huitt, son of Ron and Lisa Huitt, Kailen Melton, son of Kim and Kenny Melton, and Kendra Hill, daughter of Joey and Donna Hill.

Dewain E. Peek photo
Senior Lady Wildcats basketball players honored during Senior Night activities are, from left, Chezney Hammock, daughter of Kelly and Anita Hammock, Samantha Maya, daughter of Carol Hall and granddaughter of Johnnie Hall, Mallory Mahaney, daughter of Billy and Kim Mahaney, Mackenzie Sells, daughter of Billy and Tonia Sells, and Tori Stocking, daughter of Lee and Tammy Stocking.

Dewain E. Peek photo
Senior basketball managers and cheerleaders honored during Senior Night activities are, from left, manager Taylor Eldridge, daughter of Shannon and Jennifer Eldridge, manager Megan Stonecipher, daughter of Kim Stonecipher, cheerleader Victoria Colson, daughter of Daryl and Kim Colson, and cheerleader Lindsay Moore, daughter of Stacy and Jeanie Moore.

 

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Wildcats take 74-52 Senior Night win over York

Mac McLeod photo
LA’s Logan Ramsey takes a wild shot over an outstretched York defender. The shot banked beautifully off the back board and went in for two points.

Mac McLeod photo
Senior Wildcat Paxton Eldridge drives in for a shot in Friday’s Homecoming game with York. Eldridge got his two points on the attempt and his team won the game.

Mac McLeod photo
LA senior Kailen Melton never stops trying as he chases a wild ball out of bounds and slaps it back in. The results were two points for the Wildcats in Friday’s win over York.


By Mac McLeod,
OCN Sports

Friday night at the Livingston Academy gym was a special event in that it included homecoming and senior night along with two District 8, 2A basketball games that at first glance didn’t appear to be very important. When it was over, the two games could well have been the highlight of the evening.

For the boys, the 74-52 win over rival York Institute finalized a regular season on a high note in that the Wildcats, apparently down for the count back in early December, came together as a young team that had a lot to prove and did it with a sixth straight division title.

In the case of the girls, it was the end of a regulation that will long be remembered as one of the finest in years for the Lady Wildcats.

“We’ve overcome a lot,” senior guard Kailen Melton acknowledged after the victory, LA’s 18th of the season against 10 losses. “Back in December when we changed coaches then lost some big district games, it didn’t look too good, but the team came together and we did exactly what we started out to do – win another district title.
Now it’s on to the tournaments.”

Melton was right on the money. Around Christmas, the Wildcats went to Florida and took two defeats. That wasn’t all that bad, but when they returned to Tennessee they were handed their hat in their hand at rival Upperman then went to Carthage and a week later were clipped in an exciting two-point district game. It was the first time in a long, long time the Cats had even lost a district contest, let alone two in a row.

“We knew at that point we had to decide if we were as good as we should be or were we just going to go through the motions and play out the season,” head coach Jimmy Miller pointed out Friday night. “To the credit of this group of young men, they decided what they wanted to do and they did it. It was more than just another district championship. It was a goal that was much harder to reach than they imagined but they did it and for that they can be very proud.”

“We know we have a target on our backs,” the coach continued. “That’s the responsibility you carry when you play basketball for Livingston Academy.

Everybody wants to beat us so we have to be good all the time, not just part of the time and that’s not always easy to do.

“Tonight (Friday) we didn’t play all that good, but these young people are smart. They know what they have to do and when they have to do it. Tonight, we already knew we had the district title and were seeded number one in next week’s tournament so they kinda did what they had to to win. Hopefully next week we will continue to mature and will be able to handle the pressure of tournament play.

“If you look at us, we are fairly young and some of our players just haven’t been here before. We will be playing teams that we’ve already beaten but we have to put that out of the picture and play as if every shot means continuing or going home. After being with this team since December, I feel good about what they will do next week.

They’ve overcome a lot just to get to this point and I don’t think this is as far as they want to go.”

Friday’s contest with York was the only game of the week for the Wildcats and it will be another week (Livingston will start district tournament play Saturday) before they play again.

Melton got the Cats off to a good start with a three-pointer and Jake Huitt added another long range bomb to put LA off to a 6-2 start, but York, a team with a history of starting strong and fading later, played true to form. Despite a three-pointer late in the initial frame from Logan Beaty, the Dragons only trailed by a single point, 16-15.

Early in the second period, it appeared as if Livingston would put the game away early. Two free throws by Huitt, a basket from Logan Ramsey and a steal and layup from Colby Reeder suddenly put the home team up by five, 22-17. York then responded with a three-pointer to again close the gap, but Mason Ramsey nailed a good field goal and Brock McCoin hit from long range and finally, with 4:00 remaining in the half, the Wildcats started to pull away.

At intermission, Livingston had managed a 37-24 advantage.

In the second half, things were almost a carbon copy of the second period. Huitt opened with a basket, Reeder followed, Huitt connected on a three, then Mason and Logan Ramsey each put up baskets and suddenly it was a 48-30 game and going away.

In the final frame, Miller cleared his bench with over five minutes remaining and Hayden Hill, Paxton Eldridge, and Heath Thompson all found the nets. On the night, 10 Wildcats scored in LA’s 8th district win of the season.

“It was okay,” Mason Ramsey said after the game. “We can play better and we will next week, but tonight we kinda had a little fun trying this and that.”

For brother Logan, it was also a fun night, but he took time out to pick at himself. Late in the game, Ramsey had a chance for a slam dunk and he missed it to the moans and groans of the student section sitting close to the basket.

“I think I might need to practice that one,” the easy going Ramsey laughed. “I don’t know how I missed it, maybe I got fouled. Did they call a foul?”

The answer was “no” but they probably could have.

On the night, despite missing the dunk, Logan Ramsey was the leading Wildcat scorer with 14 points followed closely by Mason and Melton with 13 each. Huitt was good for 10, Reeder and McCoin each had 6, Thompson 4, Beaty and Hill scored 3, and Eldridge was good for 2.

Livingston will have a bye in the opening round of this week’s district tournament being played in Sparta. The Cats will face the winner of the York-DeKalb County game Saturday night at 8:30 p.m.


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