After falling behind 27-17 in hostile territory, the Paden City Wildcats turned it around and won every quarter the rest of the way to gain a much-deserved 89-82 victory over the Magnolia Blue Eagles Feb. 8 inside the MHS HammerDome.
The Blue Eagles got out of the gate well, grabbing a 27-17 lead after one. But, Paden City scratched and clawed its way back with the help of Kennedy Cain's 13 first half points to trim the Blue Eagle advantage to 39-34 at the break.
Magnolia senior Zach Willhoite reinvigorated the Blue Eagle team with a two-handed alley-oop jam, but Zach Heasley replied with one of his game-high three triples.
From this point on, the game went back and forth like a heavyweight fight until a Luke Cooper deuce gave the Wildcats the lead they where cling too the rest of the way.
However, the Eagles wouldn't go down quietly. Preston Boswell and Spencer Campbell both made five baskets from beyond the arc to go along with Boswell's deuce and going 9-10 at the foul line.
But, other than Mitch Winters' two baskets, no other Blue Eagle would garner a tally, while Craig Allen helped Cain and Heasley light it up in the fourth frame for the Wildcats.
The Eaglesscored three more baskets than the Wildcats, but Paden City made two more threeballs than Magnolia and converted 16-20 free throws to 10-13.
Boswell paced the Eagles with a team-high 31 points that included four baskets from beyond the arc. He also sank 9-10 charity tosses. Campbell followed with 22 points, including four bonus balls. Willhoite tallied 15 markers, while Winters followed with eight points, Kyle Ritz with four points and Derrick Blain with a deuce.
Heasley ended up with a game-high 33 points and sank six baskets from beyond the arc, while grabbing eight boards, making eight assists, two blocks and drilled 7-8 free throws.
Cain followed with 28 points, while Allen and Cooper netted 12 and 11 points, respectively. Hayden Hizer dropped in five markers and dished out a game-high 11 assists.
"It was a nice team win for us. The guys played their hearts out and left everything on the floor," said Paden City Head Coach Fred King.
"The win was great for the kids, school and our community. We now will take to the hardwoods with the OVAC and WHIT?Championships on the line."