Livingston sets down Hatch

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 30, 2005

UNIONTOWN – Friday night was simply not the night for the R.C. Hatch High School Bobcats.

The Bobcats faced a very physical Livingston High team that outplayed them and handed them their third loss of the season, 76-68.

Three things hurt the Bobcats en route to the loss. First, Hatch’s shots we not falling, inside or on the perimeter. The basket seemingly had a lid on it throughout the contest.

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Secondly, the Bobcats lost their top rebounder in Calvin Pope due to a possible concussion in the second quarter. The injury took away some of the Bobcats’ game focus. Pope was banged in the head while going for a rebound. He was helped off the court and transported to the hospital. His condition is uncertain as of presstime.

Coming in off the bench, Pope began to slow down the Cougars’ inside game as well as control the boards. Livingston took advantage of Pope’s absence and packed the ball inside.

Thirdly, Hatch lost its top scorer, Frankie Sullivan, on fouls with 5:11 left in the crucial fourth quarter.

“Livingston played a strong inside game,” a disgruntled Hatch coach Eugene Mason said. “They were very physical and it took our kids out of our game.”

Hatch played the entire game from behind, something the Bobcats are not accustomed to doing. Livingston opened the game with a 9-0 run and finished the opening period with a 20-13 advantage.

The Bobcats got to within two early in the second quarter on a Darryl Wilson three-pointer. After Pope’s injury, which came at the four-minute mark of the quarter, the Cougars packed the ball inside successfully and ended the half leading 33-26.

Hatch again battled back to cut its deficit to 38-36 with 5:43 showing on the clock in the third. But the Cougars made some stops on defense and pulled back to within 54-48 at the end of the quarter.

The Bobcats’ first three field goals in the fourth were three-pointers, two by Antwain Starks, to again come within two, 59-57 with 5:52 left.

Livingston then scored on slam-dunk and free throw and eventually pulled away to an eight-point lead. With Sullivan out of the game, the Bobcats continued to fight and came within two after a Wilson three-pointer with 39 seconds to go.

But Hatch failed to score on its final two chances while Livingston converted free throws to put the game away.

Sullivan scored 22 for the Bobcats. Phillip Johnson added 16 and Starks added 12 on four 3-pointers.