In a matchup of David vs Goliath, it would be Goliath that would be standing with the second annual Hometown Invitational Tournament Division II crown. The Meadow Bridge Wildcats came into the game with a 15-4 record, while the Paden City Wildcats posted a 5-14 record.
Meadow Bridge had a front line of 6'8", 6'5", 6'4", and 6'3", while the tallest Paden City players were 6'3" freshman guards Kennedy "Bullseye" Cain, and 6'1" Zach Heasley.
It was PC junior point guard Drew Bidwell who knocked in a basket from beyond the arc to start the game. But from then on it was Katy-Bar-The-Door, as Meadow Bridge went on a 19-0 run to break the game wide open and went on to win 58-26 and claim the Division 2 title.
Cain paced the Paden City bunch with 13 points, including a pair of three point baskets, and hauled in 13 rebounds. Heasley netted four points, while Bidwell netted a long range bomb. Brandon Cross, Craig Allen, and Geoffrey Bidwell each contributed a basket.
Jay Billiter didn't score, but he hauled in six rebounds, made two steals and deflected three passes that turned into Meadow Bridge turnovers. He also kept the ball alive on the boards, keeping Meadow Bridge from making easy baskets and giving his team countless opportunities to take possession of the basketball.
The PC Wildcats left everything on the court and battled the much taller team to the end. With the 'Cats the farthest away from the Summersville Conference Center, they would bring the largest crowd, the biggest student body, and the most spirited team and coaches. They won the sportsmanship award that came with a $250 check for Paden City High School.
Cain was also selected as the Paden City Wildcats' Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
"It was special for us to play in an atmosphere like this against a very good basketball team that we normally wouldn't play," said Paden City Head Coach Fred King.
Richwood 79, Valley 55
The Richwood Lumberjacks used a 43-25 second half surge to defeat the Valley Lumberjacks 79-55 in the HIT Division 1 consolation game Saturday, Feb. 11, in Summersville.
Both Lumberjack teams opened the first half trading bucket after bucket, with neither team gaining more than a four-point advantage. However, it was Richwood that would head into the locker room with a 36-30 lead when they drilled a three pointer at the buzzer.
In the second half, it was all Richwood, outscoring Valley 43-25.
Valley's Clay Ueltschy scored 14 of his team-high 17 points in the first half, while Tristen Kocher followed with seven of his nine points, also in the first half. Jon Smallwood came off the bench in the fourth period to tally four baskets, while Brady Nolan launched two second-half bonus bombs. Valley teammates Hunter Ring and Drew Wade each knocked in five points, while Jordan Anderson swished a three ball and Jack Wells tallied a deuce.
Ueltschy had four rebounds, three steals, two assists, and blocked one shot, while Wells and Kocher each hauled in four boards.