After a back and forth first quarter, the Paden City Wildcats outscored the Union Tigers 17-0 in the second quarter to break open a close contest and went on to win 60-41 in the semifinals of the Hometown Invitational Tournament held at Bob Burton Gymnasium on Friday, Feb. 3.
A threeball from Geoffrey Bidwell and a free throw Jay Billiter gave the 'Cats an early 4-0 lead. The Tigers then scored six unanswered points to go up 6-4. But Paden City freshman Kennedy Cain then netted a basket to tie the game.
After a Tiger two, a deuce from Zach Heasley and a three-point play from Cain made the score 11-8. The Tigers answered with a two of their own, only to have Cain hit back-to-back buckets to make the score 15-10, 'Cat advantage.
The Tigers got a free throw after Heasley hit a long bomb, but the Tigers outscored the Cats 7-2 the rest of the way to make the score 20-18 Cats after one.
Highlighting the second quarter was Cain scoring nine of his team's 17 points to help balloon the 'Cat lead to a commanding 37-18 at the half. Cain matched the whole Tiger team by putting up 18 points of his own.
The teams traded buckets early on in the third, but the Cats scored then next 10 points which was sparked by a three from Cain. A nine-point run from Union ended the scoring in the third with Paden City on top, 49-29.
In the fourth quarter, Paden City got the two quick buckets, but the Tigers scored eight of the game's next 10 points to make the score 55-37. Billiter, Cain, and Drew and Geoffrey Bidwell each hit a free throw to make the score 59-37. After a Tiger deuce, Billiter hit another free throw to give Paden City a 60-39 lead before the Tigers got a deuce to end the game at 60-41.
Leading the way for the 'Cats was Cain, who had 23 points 10 rebounds, five steals, two blocks, and two assists. Heasley had five rebounds, a block, and seven assists. Billiter contributed 11 points, along with six rebounds, two stolens, and an assist.
Drew Bidwell marked up seven points, snatched two off the glass, got seven steals, and dished out four assists. Geoffrey Bidwell had six points, grabbed three rebounds, and swiped the ball thrice.
As a team, Paden City was 23-48 from the field for 48 percent, while shooting 11-22 at the free throw line for 50 percent. They turned the ball over 18 times and grabbed 29 rebounds, 11 of which came on the offensive end.
The Wildcats will face Meadow Bridge High School for the the 2012 Division 2 WVHIT at 8 p.m. at the Summersville Arena and Conference Center. Tickets for the full day of the WVHIT championship game day will be on sale at the Summersville Arena and Conference Center on Feb. 10-11 at a cost of $5 each.