Central Gets By ‘Cats For Trip To State Tournament
Paden City High School was the place to be on March 12 as the Wildcat boys basketball team took on the Wheeling Central Maroon Knights in the Section II championship, with the winner moving onto Regional and state competition.
With Bob Burton Gymnasium in Paden City almost filled to capacity, the 21-3 Maroon Knights took the lead early in the game, keeping it until the buzzer sounded to take the win, 66-53, and end Paden City’s 2015 season.
“We played a very, very good Wheeling Central basketball team,” said Wildcat head coach, Fred King. “We did all we could do. They shot better than us and we missed an important three and at least five foul shots there at one point which would have made all the difference in this game.”
“You know, you don’t have one of top rated players in the state like Chase Harler on your team and players to back him up like Central does and not have a good team. We played hard against them, but they had to play just as hard against us to get the win.”
Central started the game fast and furious, connecting on a few lay-ups and long shot to go up 17-8 after the first period of play. Paden City toned them down some in the second, with good decisions in the paint and connecting on an inside shot or two themselves, to trail at the half, 30-18.
In the second half, the ‘Cats played hard and tight to keep the Knights from the net and managed a slight come back, but missed shots on their own side of the court cost them in the end, taking the loss 66-53, and ending their 2015 season.
Senior Kennedy Cain put up 16 points on the scoreboard for the Wildcats in the game, while hauling down five rebounds, making two steals and dishing out three assists. Sophomore Luke Cooper contributed 13 points for the Green, had four rebounds, one block and made a steal. Zach Heasley chipped in 10 points, while wiping the glass clean with six rebounds, rejected one Knight shot, and was credited with three assists.
In addition, Hayden Hizer, tallied 10 points, grabbed three rebounds, made four steals, and passed out a team-high five assists. Craig Allen scored four points in his last home game as a Wildcat, grabbed two rebounds and dished out two assists, while Logan Carroll contributed two rebounds in the effort.
The Wildcats finished the 2015 season with 12 wins and 13 losses, and will lose four seniors to graduation in May in Cain, Heasley, Allen and Brandon Cross.
“These four guys will be sorely missed next year,” the coach said. “A team couldn’t ask for four better senior representatives than these guys. They’ve seen some adversity this year, we haven’t backed down from a challenge, and have played some excellent teams, and these guys have been right there through it all.”
“Kennedy and Zach both hit 1,000 points in their careers this season, Craig has been a nice, steady, very dependable player for us and we were so glad Brandon chose to come back for his senior season with us. Assistant coach, Jeff Bowers and I are so proud of the work they’ve done and fine young men they have become. We just hope that something they’ve learned during their years with us assists them in some way in their future.”
“We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors and in baseball and track this coming Spring.”