Wildcats Prepping for ’18-’19 Season
Paden City Boys Basketball Head Coach Jeff Hohn is optimistic about the impending 2018-19 Wildcat basketball season, with the return of several of last year’s players. The Wildcats have a combination of quickness, ballhandling and shooting to work around; however, defense will be a major factor in how the season goes. The ‘Cats play a variety of defenses, often switching back and forth from man to man and zone. They like to play in tight to get position for rebounding but will stretch the defense against a good outside shooting team.
“We played well on defense at times last season, and I think the guys have picked up on how to fight through screens and switch when they have to. It all comes down to limiting the number of shots you give the opposition and getting out in transition,” Coach Hohn said. ” We have the philosophy that defense and foul shooting wins games. We’re going to try to get to the foul line, and hopefully we will be a good free throw shooting team.”
The Wildcats are not an overly big team, but they position well, work the ball well, and shoot well. “We have about four or five guys who can knock it down; a couple can shoot well off the dribble, and we have a few who can get to the bucket. So, I look for us to be an exciting team who will apply pressure and handle pressure well,” added Hohn.
Back from last year’s team are seniors Trey Slider and Matt Saxon, who will be the leaders. Anthony Newman, another senior, will also be back at a guard position.
Slider can play any position on the floor. He is an excellent three point shooter, and the lefty goes to the bucket well. He has excellent hands and is a very good foul shooter. Slider may also be the team’s best rebounder.
Saxon is an all-out hustle guy who makes a lot of things happen with his quickness. He can pull up and hit the jumper and has unlimited range; his ability to get out and run the floor is another one of his assets.
Newman plays good defense and is a streak shooter who can be a game breaker when he’s on.
Look for those three to pave the way for the rest of the team.
Senior Jakob Green, a 6′ first-year player for the ‘Cats’ basketball program, brings some athleticism to the floor. He is very quick and has shown he has some good skills on defense. Offensively, he is quick to the bucket and is a good ballhandler.
Junior Ethan Cross may be the best shot on the team. He will fill one of the guard spots, and if he’s hot, he can rack up points in a hurry. At 5’10,” he is a tough match-up for some of the larger teams because of his quick first step and ability to pull up for the quick release jumper.
Back from his freshman year, when he got quality playing time, is sophomore Ty Cain. At 6’2,” Cain will work the middle. He has a variety of good moves and a very nice touch around the basket. He can also pull outside and hit the jumper. Cain will try and be the inside force the ‘Cats need to be successful.
Meanwhile, Paxton Pierce, a 6’2″ junior, will give the Wildcats another inside player. Pierce is capable of scoring and shot blocking. He will work well with Cain if both are on the floor together.
Also looking for quality playing time will be junior Bryant McKay, a 5’6″ point guard, and Walter Joy, a 6′ junior. McKay has a fast step and plays good defense, and Joy brings another presence inside, plus is a quality shooter. Junior Jason Anderson, at 6’1,” will be in the mix for a starting job at forward. He is a tough player who will battle for the loose balls and get some rebounds.
Carson Palmer, a 5’11” junior; Nicholas Clarke, another 5’11” junior ; and Jake Amos, a 5’9″ junior, will all be looking for playing time.
“I have a good nucleus to work with, and it might come down to who works the hardest. I wouldn’t be afraid to use any of these kids; they all have something to offer, and that makes for a good team. It’s still early, but so far I like what I see. We play a tough schedule, but I still feel we’ll be competitive,” added Coach Hohn.
The Wildcats open the season on Dec. 4, at home vs Cameron.