Paden City Makes Long Trip to Paw Paw Pay Off
PAW PAW — Getting up early on a Saturday morning fresh off a hard fought battle against Magnolia is not an easy thing to do. However, boarding the bus for a four hour trip to Morgan County in the eastern part of the state for an afternoon game with one of the better Class A schools made it even more interesting.
Wildcats’ Coach Fred King, who is known for not backing off from anyone and fills his schedule with some very good teams, said prior to the game it was going to be a tough one, so if the Wildcats could win by one, he would be happy. He came away a happy camper as the Wildcats jumped ahead 34-23 after three quarters and then hung on for a 46-39 win over (8-2) Paw Paw.
Once again, the Wildcats got an impressive game from senior Aaron Heasley, who at this writing is leading the state with a 27-point scoring average. On Saturday, Heasley knocked in 25 which included five three’s and hauled down 15 rebounds to propel the Wildcats to a win and up their record to 5-7 with some big games coming up.
Hayden Hizer went 8-8 from the foul line and finished with 16 points while grabbing seven rebounds, six assists and four steals. Sophomore Trey Slider continued to contribute as he hit two big tree’s to finish with six points. Slider also had six boards. The Wildcats have been playing without starting center Garrett Cross who has been ill. Filling in has been Seth Bohrer, Anthony Newman and Marcus Allen. Matt Saxon played a good floor game, but failed to score in the contest. As a team the Wildcats went 12-13 from the foul line. Something they have been working hard on in practice.
“We played an overall good game in a hostile atmosphere. The gym was small and the lighting was poor, but the kids played with heart and desire after riding a bus four hours with little rest from the game on Friday. I’m very proud and satisfied with how these kids are coming together as a group. Hayed and Aaron are great leaders who may be the best duo in Class A they compliment each other extremely well and Trey is adding some needed scoring while the younger kids are filling the gaps,” Coach King said. “We may be one of the smallest teams in Class A but we have as much heart as anyone we play.”
Paden City will be at home tomorrow night against Hundred and again on Friday with Union. And then will play Saturday in the New Martinsville Rotary Tournament against Monroe Central at 6:30 p.m..
Wildcats Prevails with Late Game Comeback
Anyone who thought visiting Clay-Battelle would run over Paden City got a big surprise on Jan. 17 as the Wildcats proved to be a worthy opponent and fought off some early miscues and poor shooting to hand the Cee Bees’ a 62-55 loss inside Bob Burton Gymnasium.
Clay-Battelle took and early lead, but the game Wildcats hung around and by the end of one period the lead was down to four 13-9.
The Wildcats, who were playing without two starters, struggled throughout the first half with turnovers, but they still managed to keep it close and went into the break on the short end of a 24-23 lead. The third frame was back and forth with Clay-Battelle claiming a two point advantage to head down the stretch up by three.
That’s when the scrappy Wildcats tightened up the defense and turned to senior scoring ace Heasley for some big buckets. Heasley finished with a game high 33 points while also hauling in a huge 16 rebounds. In the last frame, he hit for 15 points which included four of his nine three’s.
Heasley wasn’t the only weapon for the Wildcats, however, as hard-nosed Hizer accounted for 16 points including two 3’s of his own and sank two clutch free throws to ice the game.
Slider added eight points which included a nice spin move in the lane for a lay in to help the Wildcats keep a late game lead.
Hizer ended the game with a double-double as well as he collared 10 boards while also handing out seven assists. Slider added seven rebounds to go with his eight point total.
Tanner Burnette hit for 22 and Gunner Crummale added 14 to lead Clay-Battelle. The Wildcats improved to 4-6 with the win while the Cee Bees fell to 5-4 on the season.
“Overall, we played a very complete basketball game; played very good half court team defense that neutralized their potent offense,” King said. “That allowed us to control the defensive boards. Our rebounding in the second half was superb and was the determining factor that enabled us to stay within striking distance. We never gave them a second chance in the fourth quarter down the stretch for second chance scores.”
King praised his team’s royal performance.
“Aaron Heasley had a terrific shooting night, which included nine threes. However, you have to give credit to his teammates setting good screens and great timing and placement of assists,” King said. “Hayden Hizer dished out seven assists and scored 16 points. I was pleased with Trey Slider as well. He has been able to adjust to his role as being a third scoring threat for us and doing a good job of getting rebounding position and securing the ball. Marcus Allen coming off a football injury to his shoulder and Seth Bohrer and Anthony Newman showed that they can contribute for us to make up for not having Garrett Cross you was ill.”