By Shari Harris, Publisher
The Licking Wildcats finished fourth in the Cabool Holiday Tournament, going 2-2. Licking junior Keyton Cook was named to the All-Tournament team.
In the first round game, Licking defeated Viola, Ark., 72-52. The Wildcats trailed at the end of one, 16-19, but turned it around in the second quarter, taking a two point lead (38-36) into halftime. Licking broke the game open in the third and outscored Viola 15-6, and continued their roll through the fourth, 19-10.
Keyton Cook led scoring with 23 points and 10 rebounds; Austin James added 17 points and 4 steals; and Roston Stockard connected for 15 points. Cole Wallace had 8 rebounds and 6 assists; and Carter Sullins 4 steals and 2 assists.
“We showed a little rust early, but we were able to play some great defense in the second half to pull away and get the first round victory.” ~ Coach Mike Phillips
Licking met Summersville in the quarterfinal game, and pushed through to the semifinal game with a 61-51 win. Licking added to their first quarter, 2-point lead every quarter.
Keyton Cook led with 18 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Austin James scored 13 points with 7 rebounds; Carter Sullins had 11 points, 3 assists and 2 steals; and Cole Wallace added 5 assists.
“We allowed them to control the tempo in the first half and then we were able to speed the game up to our advantage in the second half. It’s nice to see our guys make some adjustments on the floor.” ~ Coach Mike Phillips
In the semi-final round, Licking fell to Mansfield, 53-74. Mansfield took an early lead, 19-11 at the end of one, and expanded it to 36-14 at the half. Licking was unable to recover the 22 point deficit.
Austin James led scoring with 18 points and 2 steals; Keyton Cook had 5 rebounds and Carter Sullins 6 assists.
“We battled with a state ranked team, but they are a team full of seniors and they showed it with how well they took care of the ball. We couldn’t match their size, but I liked how our guys never let that be an excuse. We will have a little different game plan if we see them in districts.” ~ Coach Mike Phillips
Licking faced Norwood in the third place game on Thursday. Norwood overcame a 12-point first half deficit and took the final two quarters to win by four, 78-74.
For Licking, Roston Stockard led scoring with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals; Keyton Cook added 19 points with 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals; Austin James contributed 17 points; Carter Sullins also scored in double figures with 13 points, 3 assists and 4 steals; and Cole Wallace had 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
“We shot well enough to win this game. Our jumpshots didn’t fall in the third period and we didn’t make the adjustment to get the ball inside enough. We lost the lead a couple of times in the fourth, but kept fighting to get it back. A couple of bad decisions led to turnovers and fouls late in the game and that was something we couldn’t come back from.” ~ Coach Mike Phillips
In a tournament overview, Phillips added, “It was a long week. You could see we were mentally tired as well as physically tired by the end of the week. I’m proud of the guys for making this tournament important. Last year we only played three days. This year we played for a trophy and let everyone know that we can play with the good teams. The next few games for us will be tough. Playing bigger schools and a good conference team mixed in will show if we have gotten any better this year or not.”
Photos by Winter Murray