Dragons Eliminate Livingston In District To Advance to Region

For the first time in 14 years, the Livingston Academy Wildcats won’t be competing in the region tournament, thanks to the York Dragons.

The Dragons staged an impressive come-from-behind effort in the second half of the District 8-AA quarterfinals on Friday at Tennessee Tech to defeat the Wildcats 52-51 to advance to this week’s Region 4-A Tournament.

In the game, the Wildcats took a 16-11 advantage in the first period, but saw York come back with a strong second period to go ahead 28-25 at the half.

Livingston came back in the third period to outscore the Dragons 13-10 to send the game into the final period with the teams deadlocked at 38.

The teams battled back and forth through the fourth period, with York holding a 50-48 lead with less than a minute to go.

Livingston’s Xander Miller connected on a long 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to put the Wildcats up by a point, 51-50.

York’s Gareth Moody answered with a basket with 9.4 seconds to play to put the Dragons back on top, 52-51.

At that time, York had only three fouls, thus allowing them to foul three times before the bonus went into effect.  They made good use of this factor, as they fouled at 8.3, 6.5, and 1.9 seconds, which kept the Wildcats from being able to set up a last second, game-winning shot.

Dylan Linder collided with Moody on the inbounds pass, setting up a scramble for the ball, but the possession arrow gave it back to the Wildcats, as the officials put 0.8 seconds back on the clock.

Moody, however, went high to intercept the inbouds pass, as the clock ran out, giving the Dragons the win.

Colton Blevins led York with 20 points, including 9 of York’s 14 points in the final frame, plus 10 rebounds and 8 blocks.  Moody added 14 points, while Seth Baldwin had 8, Pacey Pile 6 points on two 3-poitners, and Blake Asberry added 4 points.

Livingston was paced by Dylan Linder and Carter Hayes with 12 points each, with Xander Miller adding 10, Wade Neely 8, Logan Clark 7, and Cole Smith 2 points.

With the win, York advanced to the semifinal round to take on top-seed Upperman on Saturday.

In the semifinal game on Saturday, the Upperman Bees, fresh from a nine-day layoff, broke open a relatively-close game in the first half to pull away to take a 65-41 win over the Dragons, which were obviously somewhat spent from the hard game the night before.

Upperman held the lead for the first four minutes of the game, before Pacey Pyle’s basket with 3:20 left in the opening quarter gave York a brief 1-point advantage at 8-7, but this would be York’s only lead of the game, as the Bees came back to go on a 6-0 run to close the period and lead 13-8 going into the second period.

The Bees continued to slowly pull away in the second period, outscoring the Dragons 15-12 to hold an 8-point advantage at the half, 28-20.

Upperman opened the third period with a 6-0 run, as Ben Guffey opened the quarter with a 3-pointer, then made a steal and layup to put the Bes up 33-20, sparking a 16-6 run to give Upperman a commanding 44-26 advantage going into the final period and continued to pull away, as they outscored York 21-15 in the period to post the 24-point win.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.