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Livingston girls soccer had another good night, recording a 10-0 win over Liberty. Sophomore Veronica Villanueva (pictured above) scored six goals, Kaytlynn Shirley had four, and Claire Reitan, Ytzel Davalos and Jamie Castillo all had assists. The Lady Lions are now 6-0 in district play, with a 12-2-1 season mark. COURTESY PHOTO

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Doubles teams take home gold

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On Thursday, Livingston High School hosted a varsity tennis tournament and welcomed 13 competing high school teams. The boys doubles team of Gavin McFarlain and Jack New once again won first place. Also taking top honors was the girls doubles team of Alaya Jusko and Alexus Jusko. Both of the teams have entered two tournaments and placed first in both tournaments. In junior varsity competition, Brandi Pickens and Khloe Pickens finished second in girls doubles.

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Livingston golfers host tourneys, win two championships

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Lion golf took first place in the Livingston Invitational Golf Tournament held Friday at Livingston Municipal. Brayden Akers, Jack New and Brandon Munson took first, second and third, respectively, as the Lions dominated the event.

The tournament champions include Lions (L-R above) Carson Pipes, Brandon Munson, Brayden Akers, Jack New and Drew Davidson.

The Lady Lions also were winners of first place at the event. Maddie Akers won second place overall.

The Livingston girls include (L-R above) Jenna Snook, Maddie Akers, Jaydyn Justice, Bayleigh Sturm and Maddie Berry.

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Overtime thriller

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Basketball STOCK1

By Brian Besch
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Down 11 with 2:30 minutes to go versus the state’s No. 11 Class 2A team, Big Sandy had a hill to climb. They were able to climb it, as Nick Ortiz’s three-pointer at the buzzer sent the game into overtime.

It would lead to a 71-64 win for Big Sandy over district champion Somerville in the bi-district round of the playoffs Tuesday night in Willis.

Big Sandy actually led at halftime 33-30. They would lose that lead soon in the second half, not recovering it until overtime. Somerville had a double-digit difference on one occasion in the second half. Big Sandy made it close a few times, but had trouble keeping pace.

“We just made some huge plays, and this was without our starting point guard,” Wildcat coach Kevin Foster said. “He fouled out midway through the third quarter. For us to come back, I think it speaks a lot for our kids. We got to the two-and-a-half-minute mark and made a few shots, then it was close.”

Down three, the Wildcats missed a three-point attempt near the end of regulation, but got the ball back with five seconds left.

“Nick Ortiz hit just a huge three,” Foster said. “He got open and it worked. He got a really open look in the corner and did a really great job of knocking it down.”

That sent it into overtime. Foster said a key moment in that extra period was Zane Alec taking a charge on the Yeguas’ top performer Keith Crawford, drawing his fifth foul and elimination from the contest.

“That was huge for us, because both teams went a while really in overtime without scoring. We had taken the lead and scored a couple, but when he found out, it really kind of changed the game a little bit.”

Jamesley Flowers and Javen Criswell led the team with 17 points each, while Tavian Battise had 15. Yegua point guard Crawford was the top scorer with 29 before fouling out.

“We tell the kids when you get in the playoffs, every game is its own season, because of the finality of it. We won this season and we will play Friday in a new one.”

That Friday game will be versus Holland, with a setting expected to be somewhere around the Bryan-College Station area.

This season has been a little tougher in Dallardsville than most in recent history. The team participated in just a few games at full strength, going most of the season with athletes playing out of position.

“I really challenged the kids,” Foster said. “I told them that I don’t know what we can be, but we’ve got a chance to go out and prove to everybody what we should have been all year.”

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Strong start propels Bridge City

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By Brian Besch
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Livingston will end the 2023-24 basketball season as bi-district finalists, dropping an opening-round match to Bridge City 59-51.

Bridge City had a bit of a height advantage, and moreso in the low post that helped the Cardinals on the boards. They were also the more physical team, winning most of the loose balls and playing better defense. They were able to start with a 12-2 lead midway through the first quarter. Troubles both on offense and at the free-throw line continued the Lion problems, missing 5-of-6 from the line. After eight minutes, they trailed 18-5.

“When you miss field goals and miss free throws, you can’t win,” Livingston coach Frederic Camp said. “We missed enough free throws to win the ball game. When they don’t go with the game plan and go their own way, that is what happens. I never can tell what is going to show up.”

Livingston played much better defense in the second quarter and seemed to settle into the game. More shots started falling and there was a better performance on the free-throw line. The Lions outscored Bridge City in the second quarter by two, but still trailed at the half by nine.

Both offenses opened up in the third quarter, with the Lions going for 18. Bridge City would top that by a bucket. Livingston outscored the Cards in the fourth, but it would be too late at that point.

For the contest, Livingston was just 4-of-14 from the free-throw line.

Ziekus Garner led the Lions with 17 points, Jayden Randolph had 10, and Tearance Gray eight. The Cardinals were led by Aiden Guitierrez with 19, Lincoln Breaux with 13 and Aaden Bush 12.

Camp said he would remember the team for the fact that they reached the playoffs. Seniors include Gray, Randolph, Jabari Carter, Nick Hancock, Peyton Hathaway, Tyrell Fagan and Jonathan McNeal Jr.

“They fought and came back. They were in third place, and lost it. Then, we came back and won (third place). When you get to the big lights and in the state tournament, you have to get focused. You can’t think about anything but 94 feet in the rectangle box. The rest of that stuff has got to go. We hit the bracket last week and we should have just been thinking about what we were going to do.”

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