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Two conference wins for Wildcats

Photo by Shari Harris
Licking’s Nicky Hood drives past Crocker in the first half of Tuesday night’s game.

Licking v. Steelville

The Licking Wildcats faced the Steelville Cardinals Monday night in the first of two back-to-back home games. The Cardinals took three of four quarters to defeat Licking 92-71.

Photos by Shari Harris & Gracelyn Wesley

JB Huff led the team with 17 points and 8 rebounds; Chris Bartling had 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals; and Cole Wallace joined them in double digit scoring with 11 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Austin James scored 9 points, with 4 assists and 2 steals; Austin Stephens had 7 points and 5 rebounds; Keyton Cook 7 points and 5 rebounds; Nicky Hood 5 points; Connor McLeod 2 points and 2 assists; and Carter Sullins 1 point, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

“Another slow start to the first and third quarters put the Wildcats behind tonight. It was just too much to overcome. After cutting the lead to three at halftime, we felt like we were figuring things out. Turnovers in the third quarter and a bad shooting night by our two leading scorers made the lead too much to overcome.

Photos by Gracelyn Wesley

“We have some kids who have pride and fight back every night, but we would like to stop putting ourselves behind. We play hard, I will just have to do a better job of putting our guys in the right spot.

“We don’t have time to lick our wounds though. Conference foe Crocker is coming to town tomorrow night. Last time we played them we fouled way too much. Hopefully we will fix that issue and be able to make them run like we want to.” – Coach Mike Phillips

Licking v. Crocker

The ‘Cats came roaring back Tuesday night with a convincing win over conference foe Crocker, 87-43. Licking led every quarter.

Photos by Shari Harris & Gracelyn Wesley

Leading scoring was James with 19 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists; Cook added 17 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals; Wallace racked up 11 points, 6 rebounds and 10 assists; and Bartling had 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Also contributing were McLeod with 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Hood with 8 points and 2 assists; Sullins with 7 points, 3 assists and 3 steals; Stephens with 3 points and 5 rebounds; Huff with 2 points and 3 rebounds; and Levi Venker with 2 points and 3 rebounds.

“We played great TEAM first basketball tonight. Everyone contributed in some fashion and some in multiple stats. Wallace had another double/double in points and assists. Cook made two threes while getting fouled and was able to score five points on one possession. James led us in scoring and was able to score inside and out. McLeod keeps filling up the stat sheet. We had four guys score in double figures and two more were one basket away.

“We finally had a great first quarter, and everyone could tell it was going to be a great night right from the start. I appreciate the effort these guys are putting in daily. It seems like our practices are getting better and we can make teams play our style every game. I feel like these guys won’t settle for the little victories we are getting now. They want to keep improving and as a coach, I am excited to see where we can go.

Photos by Gracelyn Wesley

“The JV had the same kind of night from the field. We had nine different kids score and when we run and press, they look very hard to beat. Coach Harris has them playing an aggressive press which leads to lots of steals for us. When we get steals, we usually get good looks at the basket. They are 2-0 in the conference and 3-1 overall.” – Coach Mike Phillips

Licking v. Laquey

Licking traveled to Laquey Friday for their final game before Christmas. The Wildcats raised their conference record to 3-0 and overall record to 6-2 with a 75-58 win over the Hornets.

Junior Varsity played 2 quarters and scored 39 to Laquey’s 15 points.

The Wildcats will end 2021 with the Cabool Holiday Tournament beginning Monday, December 27, when 7th seed Licking has a first round matchup with 10th seed Eminence at 4:30 p.m. Teams play a round each day, with the final round on Thursday, December 30.



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