After defeating Stoutland for the championship of the Frisco League Tournament, the Licking Wildcats returned home to play them again Tuesday evening, December 6. Licking again came out on top, though by a larger margin, 74-46.
The Wildcats outscored the Tigers in every quarter, and had three players in double figures. Keyton Cook scored 20 with 8 rebounds; Austin James connected for 13 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals; and Carter Sullins had 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Other scorers included Cole Wallace with 9 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals; Roston Stockard 7 points and 4 rebounds; Kenny Ramsey 4 points; Garrett Gorman 4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Oscar Phillips 2 points; and Gaige Nicholson 2 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
“We came out on fire tonight,” said Coach Mike Phillips. “We are a good shooting team. We tried to make a couple of adjustments from the championship game on Saturday night and that put our guys into position to be aggressive from the get-go. We rebounded better tonight. I like watching these guys play together and feed off of each other. We have had a good week.”
The JV Wildcats came out with a win as well, pulling off a win in the 4th quarter after trailing at the end of each of the first three quarters. A six-point deficit after one was reduced to five by the half. The third quarter ended with Licking trailing by one, 49-50. Licking scored 15 to Stoutland’s 10 in the fourth, winning 64-60.
Kannon Buckner scored 19 points, Lake Wade 11 points, Brently Morris and Karson Walker each had 9 points, Kale Cook 8 points, Benton Corley 6 points and JD Fox 2 points.
The undefeated Wildcats faced a tough, also undefeated Steelville team on the road Friday, December 9. The Cardinals were able to outpace the Wildcats, 85-63. A tough second quarter saw the Cardinals gain a 19 point lead, and Licking was unable to recover.
Austin James led scoring with 26 points and had 3 rebounds; Keyton Cook had 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists; Roston Stockard 6 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists; Gaige Nicholson 6 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks; Garrett Gorman 4 points; Lake Wade 4 points and 3 rebounds; Carter Sullins 1 point, 3 assists and 2 steals; Kenny Ramsey 1 point and 2 rebounds; and Cole Wallace 6 rebounds and 5 assists.
“They forced the ball offensively down our throat. Their tempo overwhelmed us by their aggressive attacking offensively and defensively,” said Coach Mike Phillips. “We have a couple of guys who shot well, but we didn’t control the game the way we wanted. We forced a couple of shots, but that was better than the live ball turnovers we gave them. They are good but we weren’t ready for them mentally. I hope we don’t have that issue again. Against good teams, we just have to play better.”
The JV Wildcats also lost, 49-56. Jordan Ritz and Kannon Buckner led scoring with 14 points each; other scorers included Karson Walker, 8 points; Bently Morris, 5; Kale Cook, 3; Benton Corley, 3; and Lake Wade, 2.