Speight Captains Cougars over 6A Falcons

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 6, 2004

Livingston-The Livingston High Schools Cougars’ offense, guided by senior Cory Speight, was able to easily cruise over the 6A Central Tuscaloosa High School Falcons 69-63 Wednesday night ending regular season play on good note.

The Cougars (14-11, 6-0) got off to a slow start and found themselves trailing by 6 before Speight, who collected 23 points on the night, led a charge late in the first period giving the Cougars a confident lead that would not be relinquished.

The Falcons; however, were able to stay within striking distance with the help of their strong shooting abilities from behind the arch, which enabled them to pull within 1 point of the Cougars with 6:31 to go in the fourth period. Central Tuscaloosa’s Lucas Hall led the way for the Falcons with 28 points on the night and a season high 20 rebounds.

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At that point the flames coming off the top of Cougars head basketball coach Kenneth Threadgill were quite noticeable. “Our defense allowed too many three-point shots, and we were not getting enough rebounds,” Threadgill said.

With a brighter flame in their torch, the 4A state champion Cougars slowly began to increase their lead, but the point margin never rose above 7 and the Falcons continued to hang around.

Speight got called for carrying with 42 seconds remaining, which gave the Falcons one last opportunity to catch the Cougars.

But the Falcons failed to convert on the turnover and the game was sealed shortly after when senior guard, Peter Miller stole an inbounds pass and hit a textbook lay up, making the score 69-61.

With the win the Cougars split the series with the Falcons at 1-and-1 and gain a mental boost as they head into the Class 4A Area 8 Tournament.

“I’m pleased with the win,” Threadgill said. “It was a real confidence booster for us heading into the Area Tournament.”

The Cougars will host the tournament in Livingston next week beginning Thursday, Feb. 12,with the championship game being played on Saturday, Feb. 14