Preps: East Lit relies on more than experience to prep for first state tournament foe

Monday, March 14, 2011 at 11:25pm

East Literature coach Jim Fey has some knowledge of his team’s quarterfinal opponent in the boys state basketball tournament.

The Eagles (27-6) played Livingston Academy (23-11) in the Mid-South Classic in Cookeville last season (December, 2009).

“They beat us pretty good,’’ Fey said, just after finding out his first round foe when the draw was held Saturday in Murfreesboro.
East Lit opens up the Class AA segment of the tournament 5 p.m. Wednesday against the Wildcats at MTSU.

“They have a big post player [Logan Ramsey] who had a really good game against us,” Fey said. “Hopefully, we can change that around a little this time.”

Over the weekend, Fey received a more current scouting report on Livingston from a fellow coach in his district.

Drew Maddux, whose Christ Presbyterian Academy team played Livingston over Christmas in the Ensworth Invitational, had some additional insight.

“Livingston beat us by three in overtime (in the Ensworth tournament),” Maddux, whose team was eliminated in the region semifinals by East Lit, said “They hit a last-second shot to send it into overtime, then they won it. They have the two Ramsey brothers [Logan and Mason] who are both outstanding players. Logan, at 6-8, plays the [post] and is an outstanding inside player, while Mason, at 6-5, plays [power forward] and is very good inside and can hit the outside shot as well. They have great guard play as well. They are good shooters and they get the ball into the post area extremely well. They’re a very good team.

“At the same time, I love East Lit’s team. They have a ton of seniors, with guys like [leading scorer] Cheau Hendricks and Chris Willingham on a team that plays so well together.

Summing up, Maddux said, “The keys are how effectively Livingston can get the ball inside and how well the Ramsey kids play. While East Lit’s athleticism and pressure on the ball will give Livingston some trouble. I look for a really good game.’’

Fey makes second state trip

Fey is taking his second team to state. His 2007 team advanced in Class A.

Asked to compare the two, Fey said, “The ’07 team had much more team chemistry, and this ’11 team has much more talent. This group has a refuse to lose mindset, and that has taken us far.”

The Eagles are 4-0 in tournament elimination games and won two of them with the clock literally at 0:00 – one on Sean McKissack’s free throw at the end of overtime in the region at White House, the other on a missed free throw at Marshall County in sectionals.

Meanwhile, this marks Livingston Academy’s 10th trip to state and the third in the past four years. The Wildcats reached the 2008 and ’2009 quarterfinals but missed last year.

The Wildcats are coached by Jimmy Miller, who replaced Richard Melton after Melton’s sudden resignation Dec. 10, just 10 games into the season.

“I don’t know a lot about East Lit, but from what information I’ve been able to obtain, they are a very athletic team which plays very well together,” Miller, a former Livingston player, who graduated in 1997, said. “We’ve been playing well lately and we’ve played a very strong schedule which has helped us.”

The winner advances to Friday’s semifinals.

Overton heads South: The Overton baseball team, which again is expected to be one of, if not the best team in Nashville, has headed South for some games this week on Spring break.

Overton is playing in Gulf Shores, Fla., at three different parks, starting Monday against Pryor, Okla., a game tht marks the Bobcats’ season opener. On Tuesday, Overton plays Hueytown, Ala., then Trinity Academy.

“We’re playing some really good teams which should really helps us down the road,” veteran coach Mike Morrison who said senior ace Jordan Humphreys would start the opener, said.

Last year, Humphreys pitched the district tourney clinching win over McGavock.
On his twitter page, Humphreys wrote, “It’s 70 degrees and sunny, perfect. Got some allergy issues, but we’ve got a big first game [Monday], and I’m going in.”

Although obviously hoping Mookie Betts would be playing in the state basketball tournament this week, Morrison was quite happy that his star shortstop joined his team a week early. Last Monday, Clarksville knocked the Bobcats out in the AAA sectional.

“Having Mookie just takes the pressure off our team to a large degree,” Morrison, whose team was 31-7-1 and reached sectionals last year, said. “He gives our team kind of a calming sense that we can relax a little, he’s back with us. Not relax in the true sense, he’s just an added boost for us. He just made us a much better team overnight.”

Overton jumps into District 12-AAA play next Monday against Cane Ridge.

Big win for MBA lacrosse: The Montgomery Bell Academy lacrosse team defeated three-time defending Texas state champion Highland Park [Dallas] 10-8 at the King of Spring tournament at Durham, N.C., on Sunday.

MBA rallied from 5-1 down early and 6-4 at halftime by outscoring Highland Park 9-3 the final three quarters. Connor Pagnani had three goals and three assists and Ben Charpentier had three goals for the Big Red. Goalie Alex Austin had two big saves in the final 30 seconds.

On Saturday, MBA rallied to beat R.J. Reynolds (N.C.) 9-8. MBA finished the tournament with a 2-1 record and is 3-1 overall.