The Paden City Wildcat boys varsity basketball team traveled to Wheeling on March 12 to begin what they hoped would be the gold paved road to the State Basketball Championships in Charleston. Unfortunately, the Maroon Knights of Wheeling Central had the same dream and downed the 'Cats, 87-49 to continue their post season play and end the 'Cats' 2014 season.
The Wildcats and Knights each started off with promise in the first period, answering each other shot for shot to end the period with the Maroon in the lead, 16-12. In the second, Paden City saw some foul trouble which allowed Central to lengthen their lead and dominate the rest of the game, taking the win.
"Central was the number one seed in the Region and we knew going in that we were going to have our hands full," said Wildcat Head Coach Fred King. "We started out strong, but just couldn't end that way."
Junior Kennedy Cain led all Wildcat scorers in the game with 18 points. He brought down nine rebounds and had one assist. Junior Zach Heasley totaled 15 points in the game, had seven boards and four assists; Luke Cooper contributed six points, had two rebounds and a block; Hayden Hizer had five points, five rebounds and four assists; Aaron Heasly, three points; Craig Allen, one point, four assist; and Deven Price was credited with one point and one steal.
The Wildcats, the last remaining local team in post-season play, ended up the year with a 12-13 win/loss record.
"We won't be losing any seniors to graduation," Coach King said. "We'll have everybody back next year and we're very encouraged to know that with the difficult schedule we played, it did make a difference in our post-season play. We're looking at a tough schedule next year as well, I'm hoping that will help us face these top seeded teams in the Regional then as well."
"I'm very proud of the young men on our team. Our three juniors have shown exceptional leadership and everybody else has supported them. We should have everybody back next year, with experience."
"This year we ended up with 12 wins, with a good summer and more hard work next year this time, who knows where we'll be sitting?"