Livingston High ends DC’s season

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 22, 2004

Corey Speights and Roland Fitch combined for 52 points to lead the defending 4-A State Champion Livingston Cougars to a 78-63 Sub-Regional win over Dallas County Friday night.

The host Hornets were very hospitable, committing

several turnovers in the first quarter that got the Cougars out to a quick 9-0 lead.

After a timeout, Dallas County settled down against Livingston’s full court pressure defense and trailed 22-13 entering the second period.

Hornet big man Michael Johnson picked up two early fouls and was scoreless in the first half.

Patrick Jackson, Antonio Perry, and Rafel Miller picked up the slack and with their hustle, kept the Hornets close by intermission.

Jackson scored two quick layups that pulled the Hornets to within 40-32 early in the second half.

But three straight turnovers put Dallas County back in a deep hole.

Speights went to work penetrating the Hornet defense for lay ups and finding Fitch, a 6’6″ sophomore for easy buckets.

Fitch also hit the boards for 10 rebounds to compliment 24 points.

The Hornets turned to pressure defense and clawed to within 65-52 midway through the fourth quarter.

But when a call went against the Hornets, they seemed to lose the momentum they’d worked so hard to build.

Johnson missed the front end of the bonus and Jackson’s tip-in was nullified by a goaltending call.

The call seemed to take the sting out of the Hornets and the Cougars effectively ran out the clock.

Speights, the highly touted 6’2″ guard, led all scorers with 28 points and snatched five steals.

The Sumter County squad will take their 16-12 record to Mobile next week seeking to win back to back Southwest Regional crowns.

The Hornets were led by sophomore Raphael Miller’s 18 points.

Perry and Jackson scored 15 points each and had two crowd pleasing dunks.

Junior big man Johnson chipped in eight points for the Hornets who finished their season at 15-14.