Wildcats’ Boys Team Poised To Prowl on the Court This Season
PADEN CITY — Graduation hit Paden City hard as four of its top six players are no longer with the program but 15-year boys’ head coach Fred King believes that two of the young men remaining can take control of the team and lead them to victory.
Center Luke Cooper, forward Logan Carroll, guard Zach Yeater and guard Deven Price all picked up their diploma’s last year and it will be very interesting to see how King goes about filling those big shoes.
“We are really going to miss all four of those guys,” King said. “We want to wish them all the best of luck going forward.
“Cooper was our leader,” King said. “He was injured and missed eight games and we lost half of those games by under five points. If we would have had him healthy, we could have picked up four or five more wins last year.”
The Wildcats went 11-13 and Cooper supplied more than 17 points per game and six boards a game. He is at West Liberty along with Yeater and Carroll, while Price is running track at Glenville State.
King believes that two football stars of Paden City are ready to take over on the court as senior guards Hayden Hizer and Aaron Heasley should flourish this year.
“I am happy to be back with Hizer and Heasley,” King said. “They have to be leaders and make good decisions. So far they have shown great leadership with their play and have supported all of the younger kids.”
Hizer is a 3-year letterman who turned in eight points, over three rebounds, two steals and almost four assists per game last year.
Heasley did some damage himself a season ago with 12 points and seven rebounds per game.
“Hizer will be one of our key players again this year,” King said. “He will need to be more of a scorer than he has ever been before. He usually hands out assists and plays great defense but he knows he has to score more and I think that he will.
“Heasley is also very good and a strong rebounder. He has good hands and goes up through the ball and gets it and brings it down with force. He is a terrific shooter from outside. He had to take over when Cooper was gone and is our leading scorer coming back this year.”
The problem at Paden City is that after Hizer and Heasley, there is nobody with varsity experience on the roster.
“They have to be our one-two punch this year,” King said. “If they don’t score, I don’t know where the points will come from right now but they are not afraid of anything so they should be ready for the challenge.”
The junior class consists of forward Garrett Cross, forward Seth Bohrer and guard Marcus Allen, and the sophomores include guards Matt Saxson, Trey Slider and center E.J. Weber. Anthony Newman is another sophomore who could be a potential starter but is dealing with an injury at the start of the season.
Freshmen joining the Wildcats this year are Walter Joy, Nick Clark, Bryant McKay, Jason Anderson, Paxton Pierce and Ethan Cross.
Ethan Cross is out for the season with a rotator cuff injury.
Helping King coach this young group of athletes on the Wildcats’ bench will be the young, hard working and energetic Trey Meeks.
The Wildcats tip-off the season at Beallsville on December 6 at 7:30 p.m.
“We have a challenging schedule this year,” King said. “One goal we have is defending our hometown invitational title but our success this year depends on how quickly we can find three players to take some pressure off of Hizer and Heasley.”
Dec. 6: at Beallsville7:30 p.m.
Dec. 9: Valley7:30 p.m.
Dec. 13: Williamstown7:30 p.m.
Dec. 20: at Hundred7:30 p.m.
Dec. 27: at River7:30 p.m.
Dec. 29: at Valley7:30 p.m.
Jan. 3: Bishop Donahue7:30 p.m.
Jan. 6: Magnolia7:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: Beallsville7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13: at Bishop Donahue7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: Clay-Battelle7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20: at Magnolia7:30 p.m.
Jan. 21: at Paw Paw3:30 p.m.
Jan. 26: Hundred7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27: Union7:30 p.m.
Jan. 28: Monroe Central (at Magnolia)6:30 p.m.
Feb. 1: at Madonna7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: Meadow Bridge2 p.m.
Feb. 7: at Clay-Battelle7:30 p.m.