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Licking Wildcats Take First in Frisco League Tournament


                                                                                                                                                      Photo by Christy Dieman 
Licking High School boys win over Iberia to become Frisco League Champions.
Submitted by Ben Glasgow
  Licking faced Iberia at 7:30 on Saturday night for the championship game. The Wildcats overpowered the Rangers for a 61-31 win, claiming the Frisco League title.
   Wednesday, the Wildcats played Plato in the semifinal game of the tournament. Licking once again jumped ahead early by scoring 19 first quarter points while holding Plato to just 8. The second period was much closer. Plato closed the gap early in the second before the Wildcats won the quarter by one point in the final seconds of the half. Licking now held a 33-21 lead as they entered the locker room at the half. Both teams were hot in the third quarter but the Wildcats still edged out the Eagles 20-17 to move the lead up to 53-38 as the game entered the fourth quarter. Plato began to pressure Licking to try and close the gap. It led to a lot of free throw opportunities for the Wildcats where they connected on 14 out of 16 attempts in the final period. Licking outscored their opponents by 12 more points in the period and held on for a 76-49 victory. G.T. Nicholson led the Wildcats with 31 points followed by Wilson Murray with 12, Kaden Quick 10, Michael Milhizer 8, Evan Mitchell 5, Carter Rinne 4, Garrett Duncan 3, James Swan 2 and Connor Medlock 1. The win put Licking’s record to 3-0 on the season and moved them into the championship game of the Frisco League Tournament for the eighth year in a row.
 Licking began the Frisco League Tournament by facing Laquey in the first round game. Licking jumped out quickly with some hot perimeter shooting connecting on three first quarter 3-pointers. The lead was 18-8 in favor of the Wildcats by the time the second frame began. The second period is where the floodgates opened up for Licking. The Wildcats lit up the scoreboard for 30 points in the second quarter to only 11 by the Hornets. The lead was now 48-19 with one half of basketball still to play. Licking did not slow down in the third, extending their lead by 20 more points, outscoring Laquey 23-3. Now the Wildcats entered the last with a 71-22 lead as the turbo clock was now being used. Licking added nine more points on the scoreboard and finished the game with an 80-24 win. G.T. Nicholson led the Wildcats with 28 points followed by Michael Milhizer with 11, Wilson Murray 10, James Swan 10, Carter Rinne 8, Garrett Duncan 6, Kaden Quick 3, Evan Mitchell 2 and Connor Medlock 2. The Wildcats moved to the right on the tournament bracket to the semifinal game.
  The Wildcats kicked off their season with a trip to Jefferson City to square off against St. Elizabeth, who earned the top seed in the Show-Me Conference. Licking wasted no time in getting the lead with some hot shooting in the first period to jump on top of St. Elizabeth, 20-13, by the end of the first period. Licking held St. Elizabeth to just two field goals in the second period and extended their lead to 36-24 by the time the half had ended.
                                                                            Photo by Christy Dieman
From left: Kaden Quick, Evan Mitchell, Michael Milhizer, 
G.T. Nicholson and James Swan celebrate after the win against Iberia.
Five different players scored for the Wildcats in the third period to move ahead by eight more points. Licking led 56-36 as they entered the final quarter. St. Elizabeth abandoned their zone defense and switched to a man-to-man to try and pressure Licking. Michael Milhizer took advantage of his matchup and scored 11 of his 18 points in the final period. St. Elizabeth was not able to close the gap at all, and the Wildcats finished off the game with an 80-58 victory. G.T. Nicholson led Licking with 22 points followed by Michael Milhizer with 18, James Swan 16, Wilson Murray 11, Kaden Quick 6, Evan Mitchell 4 and Connor Medlock 3. Carter Rinne and Garrett Duncan also saw action. 

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