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Boys basketball Liberty, Salem and Strafford

Photo By Shari Harris
The Licking Wildcats claim the trophy for the Big Cat Classic, sponsored by Town & Country Bank, on Homecoming night. From left: Doug Barnes – Town & Country Bank Salem, Garrett Duncan, Michael Milhizer, Blake Payne, Levi Cantrell, Kaleb Keaton, Landon Medlock, Connor Medlock, Seth Black, Carter Rinne, James Swan, G.T. Nicholson, Evan Mitchell, Wilson Murray, Kaden Quick, and Rawley Gorman – Town & Country Bank Licking
Submitted by Ben Glasgow
  Tuesday the 22nd, the Wildcats were back on the road to face rival Mountain View Liberty on their home floor. Licking got off to a good start by getting the ball to the paint as James Swan and G.T. Nicholson combined for 16 out of Licking’s 19 first quarter points. The Wildcats held Liberty to 14 points and enjoyed a 5-point lead entering the second period. The lead didn’t last because the Eagles got hot and scored 25 points in the quarter to take a 39-38 lead by the time the half ended. Licking came out fired up in the second half and it was the Wildcats this time who lit up the scoreboard. Licking scored 30 points in the third and hit five three-pointers to take a 68-55 lead into the final period. The Eagles tried to make a run but were unable to close the gap and Licking finished with an 83-72 victory. G.T. Nicholson led Licking with 29 points followed by Kaden Quick with 21.  Quick went 7 for 9 behind the three-point line to help spark the Wildcats. Wilson Murray scored 10, James Swan 10, Garrett Duncan 7, Michael Milhizer 2, Carter Rinne 2 and Evan Mitchell 2. Connor Medlock also saw action in the contest.
  Licking was at home to celebrate Homecoming against the visiting Salem Tigers on Friday, Jan. 25th. There was a huge crowd and they were loud from the beginning. It was Salem that jumped out to a lead this time and led by as many as 7 points early before the Wildcats cut the lead to 2 with a three-pointer at the buzzer by Kaden Quick on a kick-out pass by G.T. Nicholson. Licking was behind 13-15 at the beginning of the second period but quickly picked up the pace and took the lead. Kaden Quick hit three three-pointers in the quarter and helped the home team pull ahead to a 12-point lead. Licking’s defense held Salem to only one field goal in the second period and led 34-22 at the end of the half. The Wildcats did not slow down in the second half. G.T. Nicholson, who scored 16 points in the first half, added 10 more in the third quarter to help Licking take a 55-33 lead into the final stanza. The Wildcats continued to pull away and led by as many as 30 at one point. The entire bench played for Licking in the fourth period and eventually finished off the Tigers with a 70-43 win. The win put Licking’s record to 17-2 on the season. G.T. Nicholson led the Wildcats with 30 points followed by Kaden Quick with 14, Michael Milhizer 12, James Swan 5, Levi Cantrell 3, Wilson Murray 2, Connor Medlock 2 and Blake Payne 2. Evan Mitchell, Carter Rinne, Kaleb Keaton, Landon Medlock and Seth Black also played.
Photo by Shari Harris
Blake Payne sends the junior varsity game into its first overtime at the end of regulation with this buzzer beating shot. Licking junior varsity defeated Salem in double overtime, 61-60.
  The Licking Wildcats were invited to play in the Hall of Fame Games that took place at Southwest Baptist University. The game had to be rescheduled once and the opponent was changed but the game finally took place on Saturday, Jan. 26th, against the Strafford Indians. The first quarter was evenly played between the two squads and neither team was able to take an advantage with the score being 13-13 at the end of the first. Licking barely outscored their opponents in the second behind eight second-quarter points by G.T. Nicholson and a couple of three-pointers by Kaden Quick. The Wildcats held a 29-28 lead at the half. The third period would be Licking’s downfall. The Indians were red hot and outscored the Wildcats 24-9 in the quarter to move out to a 52-38 lead over Licking. Strafford pulled even further ahead at the beginning of the fourth. Licking was able to cut into the lead but it was far too late to catch up. The Wildcats outscored Strafford by 1 point in the final period but fell 55-68 for their third loss of the season. G.T. Nicholson led Licking with 15 points, followed by Kaden Quick with 11, Michael Milhizer 10, Kaleb Keaton 6, James Swan 6, Connor Medlock 3 and Wilson Murray 3. Carter Rinne, Evan Mitchell, Landon Medlock, Levi Cantrell and Blake Payne also played.


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