The Paden City Wildcats tallied the game's first eight points and held on for a 56-46 Hometown Invitational semi-final victory over Union Grant Feb. 2 inside Bob Burton Gymnasium.
After taking an 8-0 lead, the Wildcats couldn't buy a bucket and Union sliced the lead down to 14-10 after eight minutes of play. Zach Heasley and Kennedy Cain teamed for 12 of Paden City's 14 points, with Drew Bidwell canning a jumper in the first frame.
In the second period, back door cuts and Bidwell's seven markers pushed the hosts to a 29-19 advantage at the break.
Union came out on fire in the third period, scoring 12 points while holding the hosts to five markers that closed the gap to 34-30 with eight minutes remaining.
After getting a tongue lashing by Wildcat Head Coach Fred King, Paden City would outscore UG 22 to 16 to get the win. In the period, Paden City cashed in on 16-26 free throws that proved to be the difference in the victory.
With the win, Paden City punched its ticket to the championship match Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. in Summersville.
Heasley paced the Wildcat offense with 19 points, while Cain netted 17 points and Bidwell hit12 markers that included a triple. Brandon Cross netted 4-4 charity tosses, while Luke Cooper and Craig Allen each added a deuce. Cooper led the home team with 10 rebounds, while Cain grabbed seven and Heasley hauled in five off the glass.
Travis Murphy scored a game-high 21 points for Union, including a pair of threeballs.