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Licking sweeps Big Cat Classic

Photo by Shari Harris
From left, kneeling: Carter Sullins, Garrett Gorman, Cole Wallace, Cael Wantland, Kannon Buckner, Roston Stockard; and standing: Town & Country Bank Senior Vice President Doug Barnes, Coach Mike Phillips, Oscar Phillips, Austin James, Gaige Nicholson, Keyton Cook, Kenny Ramsey, Lake Wade, Asst. Coach Chris Harris, Manager Leigha Johnson, and Town & Country Bank Vice-President/Licking Branch Manager Rawly Gorman.

Photo by Shari Harris
From left, Town & Country Bank Senior Vice-President Doug Barnes, Lexi Cook, Makenna Skidmore, Finley Sullins, Coach Steve Rissler, Zoey Dawson, Hannah Medlock, Abbie Sullins, Kaida Cook, Allie Hock, Kinley Keaton, Linzie Wallace, Manager Josie Wells, Asst. Coach Terri Moncrief, Statistician Rick Mosher and Town & Country Bank Vice-President/Licking Branch Manager Rawly Gorman.

By Shari Harris, Publisher

Wildcats and Lady ‘Cats, along with many of their supporters, traveled Highway 32 east to Salem on Tuesday, November 22, to take on the Salem Tigers in the Big Cat Classic, sponsored by Town & Country Bank. The junior varsity girls started the show at 4 p.m., and the varsity boys wrapped up the evening at around 10 p.m., with Licking winning all four games and bringing home the trophies.

The junior varsity girls game had the closest score of the evening, with Licking topping Salem 29-25. Junior varsity boys followed, and won in convincing style, 64-41.

The girls’ varsity game began with honoring Salem senior Ashton Bowers, who had scored her 1000th point at the end of last season. Licking senior Abbie Sullins followed suit and scored her 1000th point with 7:18 to go in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s game.

Licking Coach Steve Rissler gave the following account of the game:

“LHS used early pressure and three-point shooting to dominate the first half and led 32-7 at the break. Salem outscored the ‘Cats 19 to 10 in the third quarter to make the game interesting. Licking answered in the fourth and won by the final score of 60 to 41.

“Licking was led by Hannah Medlock with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals. Abbie Sullins tallied 19 points, 6 rebs, 5 assists and 4 steals; Linzie Wallace 5 points and 3 steals; Kinley Keaton 4 points and 4 steals; Allie Hock 5 points and 7 rebs; Zoey Dawson 7 rebs and 3 steals; and Kaida Cook 2 points and 2 blocked shots.”

“We again came out strong but relaxed down the stretch. We have to develop a killer instinct to put teams away when we have the chance,” said Rissler.

The varsity Wildcats faced off against the Tigers in the final game of the evening. Licking fell behind early, trailing 11-23 at the end of the first. The second quarter went to the Wildcats, who closed the gap to four, trailing 28-32 at halftime.

Neither team let up through the second half, battling it out on the floor in a game that had spectators on the edge of their seats. Licking pulled ahead by the end of the third quarter, leading 49-41. The intensity carried through to the end, and the Wildcats came out on top, 68-57, winning their first game of the season.

Austin James led scoring with 25 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Keyton Cook had 14 points, 20 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals; Roston Stockard 13 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals; Carter Sullins 12 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals; Cole Wallace 4 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals; and Kenny Ramsey 1 rebound and 1 steal.

The Wildcats hit 13/42 two-point shots, were 6/21 from three-point range and went 24/34 on free throws. They pulled in 48 rebounds, 11 turnovers, 7 assists, 9 deflections and 16 steals.

“We didn’t shoot as well as we thought we would, but we looked good offensively for most of the game. Our rebounding was good; I don’t think I ever had a kid get 20 rebounds in one game before. I felt like for it being our first game and against a close rival, we played well. We have a few things to work on before the Frisco Tournament starts, but I like who we are and the direction we are headed right now,” said head coach Mike Phillips.

Both the varsity teams are first seeds in the Frisco League Tournament this week in Laquey.

Photos by Shari Harris and Donald Dodd

Photos by Shari Harris and Donald Dodd

Photos by Shari Harris

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