Wood County Christian Wins Burton Christmas Classic
For the Wetzel Chronicle
In the opener of the Bob and Sharon Burton Classic on Friday, Dec. 9, it was the Wood County Christian Wildcats defeating the Hundred Hornets 86-35. The game’s high honors went to Wood County Christian’s Kalan Dander, Seth Rataiczak, and the Hornets’ Rusty Morris, who each dropped in 19 points.
Other scorers for the Hornets were Randy Moore with nine points, Kirk Shriver who scored three points, while Greg Stewart and Thomas Preston claimed two points each.
Paden City 52
In the second game, the Valley Lumberjacks’ Clay Ueltschy, Drew Wade, Brady Nolan, and Hunter Ring combined to score 50 of their team’s 64 points as Valley defeated the host Paden City Wildcats, who started three freshman in Zach Heasley, Kennedy Cain, and Craig Allen.
The ‘Jacks got the game started by jumping out to a 5-0 lead which included a triple from Ring, a senior this year. The ‘Cats rallied back to within one point with two Allen free throws and a deuce, but the guests scored the next eight points to make it 12-4, Jacks. Geoffrey Bidwell and freshman Brandon Cross got the ‘Cats to within four points, making it 12-8, after the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Paden City’s Allen and Cain on the bench in foul trouble. The ‘Jacks got seven of the first 10 points of the second quarter to go up 19-11. After a free throw from the ‘Cats’ Kane Pyles, Valley got the next seven points which included a trifecta from Nolan to make the score 26-12 in Valley’s favor.
Cain answered with a three for the ‘Cats before having to sit on the bench because of foul trouble. Ueltschy hit three free throws to make the score 29-15, VHS. Jamie Billiter drilled two free throws for the Cats. But that was followed by a deuce from John Wells to put the ‘Jacks up 31-17.
After a Paden City charity toss from Heasley, Valley’s Tristen Kocher hit two free throws late in the second. But twoballs from Heasley and Cain were separated by two free throws from Cross to end the half with Valley leading 33-24.
When the second half got underway, Wildcat Trey Leonard got the scoring started with a basket, but Valley’s Ueltschy and Ring put their team ahead 37-26.
Cain made three points the old fashioned way and Heasley hit a two to make the score 37-31. Ueltschy and Wells added a pair of baskets and a pair of free throws to get the lead back into double digits for Valley, 41-31.
Geoffrey Bidwell hit a free throw to shorten the gap for Paden City, but soon thereafter Cain picked up his fifth foul and would be forced to watch the rest of the game from the bench as his night ended with eight points.
The ‘Jacks scored five of the last eight points in the third quarter to make the score 46-34 heading into the final verse.
Heasley got a two to start the quarter’s scoring, but Ueltschy answered with a twoball to push Valley’s lead to 48-36. Bidwell hit a free throw, but that was followed by a pair of free throws from the ‘Jacks’ Ring and another pair from Kocher to make the score 52-47.
Heasley swished the cords from long range and both teams hit twoballs to make the score 54-42 in Valley’s favor. Drew Wade got five of the next six Valley points, including one from downtown. Paden City outscored the Jacks 10-4 to end the game, but it was the Jacks who got the win, 64-52.
Scoring for the Jacks:
Ueltschy, 19 points, including one basket from long range; Wade, 12-points, including a pair of three pointers and eight steals; Nolan tallied 10-points, including a pair of long range bombs; Ring had nine points, including one triple; Kocher and Wells had six each; Jordan Anderson and Tyler Hayes each swished the cords on a free throw.
Scoring for the Cats:
Cross scored 14 points and pulled down six boards; Heasley tallied 11 points, including two from beyond the arch; Cain scored eight markers; Allen and Leonard combined for 12 points and a dozen boards; Geoffrey Bidwell scored four points; while Billiter and Pyles scored four and one point, respectively.
Paden City 59,
In the consolation game on Saturday night, it was the host Wildcats avenging a two-point loss earlier in the week with a win over the Hundred Hornets 59-49.
The Hornets held a slim 17-13 edge after the first eight minutes of play, but in the second the Cats outscored the Hornets 16-9 to take a 29-26 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter the ‘Cats outscored the Hornets 9-7 to take a 38-33 lead and in the fourth quarter, the ‘Cats outscored the Hornets 21-16 and got the nod, 59-49, and took third place in the tourney.
Scoring for the Hornets:
Rusty Morris, scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked six shots; Randy Moore, 10; Kirk Shriver, nine markers; Greg Stewart, six points; Chris Varner, Brandon Armstrong, and Joshua King all had two points, while Thomas Preston tossed in one free throw.
Scoring for the Cats:
Geoffrey Bidwell, 22 points; Heasley, 14 markers; Drew Bidwell, 12; Craig Allen and Kennedy Cain each sent up three points; and Jamie Billiter and Trey Leonard scored two points each.
Wood County 73,
In the championship game John Wells hit 18 points for the Valley Lumberjacks, but it was not enough to overcome the Wood County Christian Wildcats, who cruised to a 73-52 victory over the Lumberjacks.
Wood County jumped out to a 22-8 lead after the first quarter and held on for a 37-19 lead at the half. In the third quarter, the Jacks outscored Wood County 16-13 to make the score 50-35 in favor of Wood County heading into the finale quarter.
In the last stanza, it was Wood County getting the upper hand, outscoring the ‘Jacks 23-17 for a convincing 73-52 victory to take home this year’s Bob And Sharon Burton first-place trophy.
Scoring for the Jacks:
Wells scored 18 points; Clay Ueltschy had 13; Tristan Kocher, eight points; Brady Nolan, six points; Hunter Ring, four markers; and Drew Wade had three points.
Double digit scorers for Wood County Christian were Josh Unger with 15; Tyler McIntosh, 13; Seth Rataiczak, 10.
All Tourney Team: Wood County, Seth Rataiczak, Josh Unger and Kalan Dander; Valley, Drew Wade and Clay Ueltschy; Paden City, Geoffrey Bidwell and Zach Heasley; Hundred, Rusty Morris.
Paden City thanks the following sponsors who helped make the tournament possible: Kelvin Feather, DDS; Paden City Foundation; Wetzel County Hospital; WesBanco; Witschey’s Market of New Martinsville; Creighton Sports Center; Loyal Order of Moose #931 of New Martinsville; Paul Wissmach Glass Co.; PPG Industries; Paden City Boys’ and Girls’ Wildcat basketball clubs; Paden City American Legion Post #86; Dr. Neill Marshall; Sistersville Eye Care Center, Dr. Robby Christen; JC Mensore Distributors; King’s Corner; Anderson Orthodontics; Chen’s Garden; Convenient Food Market; Paden City FOE Aerie 2281 of Paden City; EZ Care, Valeo Medical PLLC; and Wildcat Boosters.