‘Jacks Hold Off ‘Cats
The Valley Lumberjacks withstood a 35-23 barrage by Paden City to claim a thrilling 54-49 victory in Pine Grove Jan. 21.
The Lumberjacks raced out to a 15-6 lead after eight minutes of play as Ronald Morris, Matthew Poling and Alex Henderson each tallied a deuce and triple. Henderson and Morris each scored six points in the second period, while Dustin Bickerstaff and Poling connected on a deuce to push the ‘Jacks out in front, 31-14.
The Wildcats outscored the ‘Jacks18-12 in the third period behind the hot shooting of Josh Bennett and Zach Yost.
Paden City continued to light up the scoreboard, while the ‘Jacks didn’t know what hit them. The Wildcats even led by one point late in the game on a Peyton Hinkley bucket to grab a 43-42 lead.
The Lumberjacks regrouped after a time out and outscored the Wildcats 11-5 in the last three minutes of the game to get the win.
“You got to give Paden City credit, they came back after being down a lot of points,” said Valley Head Coach John Kocher. “We don’t want the standing eight count, we want the knockout,” added Kocher. “We must learn to start putting teams away instead of letting them hang around.”
“I told the boys that if we just cut down on our turnovers and played smart basketball we can get back into the game,” said Paden City Head Coach Fred King. Bennett and Yost came up big, and Hinkley was tremendous on the boards.
“I am very pleased with the effort. If we could have shot just 35 percent from the floor and 60 percent from the free throw line we would have five wins.”
Morris led the ‘Jacks with 22 points, while Henderson and Poling combined for 26. Morris and Henderson both drilled a basket from beyond the arc, while Poling swished the cords twice. Clay Ueltschy added four points and Bickerstaff marked up two for Valley.
Paden City was led by Bennett with 20 points, including a pair of threeballs, while Yost added 14 points. Hinkley and Malakai Anderson each netted five points, while Taylor Still and Drew Bidwell teamed for five points.
The Paden City Wildcats sent the matchup with the Cameron Dragons in overtime, Jan. 23 in Cameron, but failed to score as the Dragons withstood a 14-7 start to gain a 50-46 victory over the winless Wildcats.
Josh Bennett, Malakai Anderson and Zach Yost each tallied double figures in the game, with Peyton Hinkley marking up four points and Taylor Still contributing a free throw in the hard-fought loss.
Paden City will look for win #1 against Beallsville Jan. 26 at home before heading down to Williamstown Jan. 28. Both games are set for 7 p.m.