Playing with two seniors, one junior and six freshmen, the Paden City Wildcat varsity boys basketball team proved that they could not only last out the 2012 season, but improve as the season continued. With their season now over, coaches, players and fans are excited about what next years team will bring to the court.
"We played some excellent teams this year," said head coach of the 'Cats, Fred King.
"Sometimes it was like bringing a switch to a bear fight, but we got through it, and our players are better for the competition we faced. They learned a lot and gained valuable experience."
An end was put to their season with a 6-17 record on Feb. 25 when they faced off with Williamstown in the Sectionals.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 17-9 first period score, but the Green and White battled back in the second to outscore their opponents 9-8 to put the score at 25-18 at the half. Williamstown dominated in the second half, eventually taking the 65-42 win, ending the 2012 Wildcat season.
Freshman Wildcat Kennedy Cain led all Wildcat scorers in the game with 10 points. He also pulled down five rebounds, blocked one shot, had two steals and two assists. Senior Geoffrey Bidwell highlighted Paden City's game with nine points, two rebounds, three assists; Zach Heasley scored eight points, had seven rebounds and one assist; Jamie Billiter, six points, three rebounds, one assists; Drew Bidwell, five points, three rebounds, one assist; Craig Allen, four points, one rebound, two steals; Kane Pyles, three rebounds; and Levi Meadows recorded one rebound.
"Coach Jeff Bowers and I would like to congratulate and thank our two seniors, Jay Billiter and Geoffrey Bidwell for their contributions to the team this year," the coach said.
"Our older kids always step up when it's their turn and help out the younger ones, and these two guys did just that. And our younger kids are very receptive to their experience."
King said he is now anxious for June to arrive, so next years team can begin their plans for what is sure to be an exiting season for the young 'Cats.
"We're still going to be young next year," he said. "We learned so much this season, and I can't wait to get on the court with these guys again."