Paden City 69,
The Paden City Wildcats raced out to a commanding 23-7 advantage after eight minutes of play and never looked back, winning 69-52 over Morgantown Trinity March 4, in the Region I, Section II semifinals inside the Magnolia High School HammerDome.
The Wildcats' big three - Zach Heasley, Luke Cooper, and Kennedy Cain - combined to score 57 of the 'Cats' 69 points, with Heasley scoring a game-high 24 points that included a trio of baskets from beyond the arc. He also pulled down seven boards and dished out four assists. Cain followed with a double-double, 18 points and 14 rebounds, while Cooper added a double-double of his own, 15 points and 11 rebounds.
In addition, Craig Allen chipped in with six markers, while Hayden Hizer contributed three points and dished out a game-high seven assists. Deven Price finished off the Paden City scoring with a charity toss.
"The key was making a few shots early and sustaining it," said Paden City Head Coach Fred King. "The kids played pretty poised. Every time Trinity would make a run, and cut their deficit back to 14 points, we would make a couple of baskets. We had an answer for everything they threw at us tonight."
Paden City 48
The Clay-Battelle Cee-Bees held a commanding 15-2 lead during the first quarter, used good shooting and a stifling zone defense to run the Wildcats off the court in the first half for a 40-13 advantage March 7 at the MHS Gymnasium.
The pummeling continued in the third period before the Wildcats woke up and scored more points in the final period than they did in the first three periods combined, to make the game a little more respectable in a 79-48 loss in the Region I, Section II Sectional championship.
Cain scrored a game-high 25 markers, including five bonus baskets, while Hizer chipped in 10 points, including three baskets from beyond the arc. Hizer also added a team-high six rebounds, while hijacking three Cee-Bee balls. Cooper landed one basket from long range, one jumper from the top of the key, and a free throw for six points, while Heasley was held to only a threeball. Price and Allen each finished the Wildcat scoring with a deuce each.
"For some reason, we spent a lot of time throwing the ball east and west and not attacking the basket," said Paden City Head Coach Fred King. "That wasn't our plan, but they forced us to do it. They are very long and very athletic and they just shut us down.
"I think we played very well the other night against Trinity, a team Clay-Battelle had some trouble with and it gave them a little respect for us. They knew they had to bring their "A" game, and they did. They hit us hard and early, and it was a knockout in the first round. We just never got off the deck."
While down, but not out, the Paden City Wildcats will still have a chance to move on to the state tournament next week when they travel up river to Wheeling, where they will face the WVSSAC top Class-A team, Wheeling Central, tonight at 7 p.m. in the Region I Regional Co-Championship. The winner of that contest will move on to the state tournament next Thursday.
Meanwhile, Clay-Battelle will host Bishop Donahue at 7 p.m. in Blacksville Thursday with the winner moving on to the state tournament, as well.