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Wildcats end week defeating St. James

Photos by Shari Harris

The Licking Wildcats faced Newburg on Senior Night, Tuesday, Feb. 7, at the Sherman Hill Field House. Licking came out with another conference win, 77-55.

Licking took a 20-11 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back. A lopsided 26-12 third quarter increased the gap and the Wolves never recovered.

Keyton Cook scored 20 points with 13 rebounds; Austin James had 17 points with 2 assists; and Cole Wallace connected for 12 points with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Also scoring were Kenny Ramsey 7 points with 3 rebounds and 2 steals; Roston Stockard 6 points and 2 rebounds; Garrett Gorman 5 points and 2 steals; Carter Sullins 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals; Kannon Buckner 4 points and 2 assists; Kael Wantland 1 point; Gaige Nicholson 1 point, 2 rebounds and 2 steals; and Lake Wade 2 rebounds and 2 assists.

“We did a good job of putting pressure on the ball and forcing turnovers. It was a great first quarter of us scoring and creating tempo offensively. We were able to hit some big shots and extend the lead after halftime. They hit six of their 3’s in garbage time in the fourth quarter or it would have been a bigger lead. We had 10 different guys score and when everyone is an option, it makes it hard on the other team to focus on just one or two of our guys. It was senior night and a great game to celebrate our only senior this year with his personal record high in scoring. Cole has played varsity for four years here at Licking and he has left an impact on everyone he has met.” ~ Coach Mike Phillips

The JV ’Cats also had a win in a shortened game due to the senior night recognitions. They defeated the Wolves 36-13 in two quarters.

Lake Wade led scoring with 8 points, Benton Corley had 7, and Jordan Ritz and Kale Cook each had 6.

“JV played with lots of energy in just two quarters of play,” said Coach Chris Harris.

JV’s record increased to 17-2 overall and 7-0 in conference play.

On Friday, Feb. 10, Logan-Rogersville came to Licking ready to play and defeated the Wildcats handily, 88-37.

Sullins scored 11 points with 3 assists; Cook 9 points with 6 rebounds; James 7 points and 2 rebounds, Ramsey 6 points and 3 rebounds; Wallace 3 points and 3 rebounds; Buckner 1 point, and Stockard 2 rebounds.

“They came in really prepared and they were used to playing more physically than we were. They have some really good players and should make a deep run in the playoffs this year. I thought we played hard all night and never stopped running our stuff. We just weren’t able to match their game speed or physicality. Hopefully we learned some things and this game will help prepare us for districts.” ~ Coach Mike Phillips

The JV ’Cats had more success, winning a close contest, 46-42.

Kale Cook led scoring with 15 points and Lake Wade had 14. The JV record increased to 18-2 with the win.

“It was a hard-fought defensive game early as the score was only 14-16 at halftime. The third quarter was a different story as the Wildcats scored 24 points while only giving up 11. Logan-Rogersville made a run in the fourth quarter but big free throws from Karsen Walker, Kale Cook, and Lake Wade late in the quarter helped secure the win.” ~ Coach Chris Harris

Both the varsity and junior varsity teams had success Saturday with wins over St. James in their third home game of the week. The Varsity Wildcats won 80-68 to increase their record to 17-8 for the season.

Keyton Cook led scoring with 24 points and 5 rebounds; Roston Stockard had 23 points with 4 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals; Austin James scored 15 points with 2 rebounds and 2 assists; Carter Sullins also scored in double figures, 14 points with 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Cole Wallace added 2 points and 2 assists; Kannon Buckner 2 points and 3 rebounds; Gaige Nicholson 4 rebounds; and Garrett Gorman 3 rebounds and 3 assists.

“We did a great job of finding the open man and we shot a great percentage. They tried to pressure us, but I thought our point guards didn’t let them bother us and we were able to get the shots we wanted. As a team we shot 20/20 from the free throw line. That is first place in the MSHSAA record book for percentage as a team and third for most makes without a miss. It’s nice to see the guys’ hard work during practice pay off in a game like that. We were able to bounce back after a tough loss on Friday night and start the game focused, which got everyone involved and we passed the ball well as a group.” ~ Coach Mike Phillips

The final score was 66-44 in the JV contest.

Nate Gambill scored 15 points (all from the 3-point line), Jordan Ritz added 13, Karsen Walker 11, and Brently Morris 10.

“The JV started strong and never looked back. We outscored St. James in every quarter. Going into the game our focus was to be more aggressive with our defense and attack the basket early on offense. The JV finished 10-0 at home this year. Overall, we are 19-2 with one game remaining at Plato on Tuesday, February 14.” ~ Coach Chris Harris

Photos by Shari Harris

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