Wildcats Extend Win Streak
NEW MARTINSVILLE — The New Martinsville Rotary Challenge was the place to be on Saturday if you wanted to see some good high school basketball action.
The best game of the evening came when Paden City and Monroe Central locked horns in an epic battle. The Wildcats, who have been on fire lately, found themselves in a dogfight from start to finish and just as they were about to celebrate, Monroe Central hit a game tying three to end regulation and send the game into overtime.
The Wildcats may have been down a little after that shot, but with four extra minutes on the clock they were certainly not out. Using clutch free throws from Hayden Hizer and a big three with six ticks left on the extra period clock, the Wildcats came away with a big win, 75-72. Hizer, who had been playing with four fouls since midway through the fourth, never quit battling and finished the game with 25 points, seven rebounds, six steals and seven assists while also hitting 16-19 free throws, including 12 straight to end the game.
Senior scoring machine Aaron Heasley had yet another big night with a double-double of epic proportions. Heasley, with a defender’s hand in his face, let it fly and it hit the back of the rim and fell through the net to clinch the game. He finished the contest with 33 points despite fighting off two and three defenders while also grabbing 13 huge boards.
“If there is a team with two players who play as hard and compliment each other as these two, I want to see it,” Coach Fred King said. “You know, we only played five players all night and they were playing as hard at the end of OT as they were at the start of the game. What a bunch of good kids. I am very proud of every kid on this team and if I need to call on any of them, I am not afraid to do so. They are young and inexperienced, but with two great leaders they are learing fast.”
King gave praise to a few up-and-coming Wildcats. “Seth Bohrer gave us a big lift tonight and Matt Saxon hit some big shots,” he said. “Trey Slider is another that I can’t say enough about. He listens to everything I say and responds well. He hit a big bucket when we needed it and is starting to really help us get the ball up the floor. Let me tell you something – these kids work hard and we push them, but not once do they complain.”
The Wildcats have won four straight and improved to 8-7 on the season with some big games on the horizen. Heasley’s three-pointer with time running out came off an assist from Hizer who was surrounded by a trio of Monroe Central players. Heasley and Hizer were the games two leading scorers while Monroe Cental was led by Ryan LaFollette with 17. The Wildcats ended the game shooting 53 percent from the floor.
Paden City Outlasts Union 56-54
Sporting an 8-3 record and looking to improve to 9-3, Union made the long trek to Paden City on Friday for a big battle with the streaking Wildcats. Paden City fresh off wins over Paw Paw and Hundred was looking to make it three in a row. Union, however, had other ideas and were by no means going to be pushovers.
The Wildcats jumped ahead 14-9 after one, but Union came storming back and to cut the margin to four at the half thanks to a last second heave at fell through at the buzzer. The Wildcats ouscored the visitors by two in the third for a six point advantage heading into the last eight minutes.
Union then turned it up a notch and at on point went ahead by two but the Wildcats caught fire in the last three minutes and the went back ahead as the teams traded basket for basket the rest of the way.
Paden City improved its record to 7-7 with the win while Union fell to 8-4. The game was a second round WVHIT contest as they vye for seeding in the upcoming tournament. The Wildcats had a big night from the three-point line knocking in 11 total 3 treys.
Heasley led the way with four three-balsl followed by three each from Matt Saxon and Hayden Hizer. Trey Slider also drilled a long ball. The Cat’s shot 49 percent on the night and collared 15 rebounds, plus 12 assists.
Heasley finished with 23 points while hauling in seven rebounds. Hizer added 17 points, four assists and three steals. Saxon knocked in nine on three 3’s and added five assists. Slider finished with five poinrts while playing good defense and and grabbing three boards. Bohrer added a bucket to round out the scoring.
Wildcats Take the Sting Out of Hornets
Hundred came into Wildcats’ town on Thursday with hopes of an upset. However, PCHS jumped out of the gate quick and took the lead with a bucket by Saxon and four first half 3s from Heasley to put the game out of reach with a 35-11 halftime lead. Slider, a sophomore who has been performing well this season, hit two 3-balls in the first half to help build the lead.
Because of the Wildcats’ early success at pawing points away from the Hornets, King was able to go to the bench early. All 10 players got ample playing time with nine breaking into the scoring column. The Wildcats were led by Heasley with a game-high 26 points in limited playing time which included six 3’s. Heasley also pulled down six rebounds on the night. Slider followed Heasley with his nine points on a trio of 3s while also pulling down four rebounds and coming up with two steals.
Hizer hit a three and was 4-4 from the foul line to offer seven points while grabbing four rebounds and getting three steals and five assists. Saxon hit a three and ended his night with five points, seven assists, four rebounds and a steal. Rounding out the scoring for the Wildcats were Eric Weber muscling in two buckets underneath and grabbing four rebounds, Anthony Newman with three steals a bucket and 2-2 from the foul line, Garrett Cross also with a bucket and 2-2 night at the line while Marcus Allen hit a nice looking three, Seth Bohrer was 2-2 from the line as the Cats ended 14-17 foul shooting.
The win up the Cats’ record to 6-7 on the season while shooting 40 percent from the floor 19-47. The Cats also won the JV game, 37-23, with Walter Joy eight, Ryan Cross five, Newman five leading the way.