Wildcats Crush St. John For First Win Of Season, 56-36
Zach Yost, Malakai Anderson, and Josh Bennett combined to score 49 of the Paden City Wildcats’ 56 points to help them win their first game of the season against Bellaire St. John, 56-36, Jan. 29 in Bob Burton Gymnasium.
For almost two minutes, neither team would score until Yost swished the second of two free throws for the game’s first points. And, for another two minutes, neither team scored until the Irish buried a basket at the two minute mark for a 2-1 lead. Yost quickly gave the ‘Cats the lead back when he ripped the cords from beyond the arc, but St. John hit a three at the buzzer to grab the advantage heading to the second period.
Bennett swished a deuce from the top of the key to start the second period. Meanwhile, a pair of ‘Cat steals led to easy bunnies by Bennett and Yost. St. John would have to call a timeout to cool down the hosts.
But, after the timeout, Bennett and Yost each nailed a triple, before the Irish netted a pair of baskets. Anderson would bring down the house on a nifty assist to Yost late in the period. However, the Irish netted a triple at the buzzer to end the first half with the ‘Cats on top, 28-19.
It was the Wildcats’ sixth game in eight days, but the wear and tear seemed not to bother them after the first couple minutes of the game.
Bellaire hit the first bucket in the second half, but the combination of Yost to Peyten Hinkley and a bucket from Yost off a missed shot got Paden City going once more.
Late in the third, a Yost to Anderson combination worked to perfection to put the Wildcats up 39-25. But, another Irish threeball at the buzzer silenced the Wildcat faithful a smidgen.
Anderson netted a three pointer to get the crowd back into it and Bennett would pull down an Irish miss and take it coast-to-coast before getting fouled on the shot. He sank both charity tosses and wasted little time in driving hard to the bucket for another score.
Bellaire netted a couple baskets, but a Bennett threeball and an Anderson lay up pushed the ‘Cats’ advantage to 20 points before Bellaire called a time out with 3:25 left in the game.
After the time out, Paden City Head Coach Fred King called off the ‘Cats and sent in the reserves for the remainder of the game.
Yost led all scorers with 18 points, including a pair of baskets from beyond the arc, while Anderson netted 16 points and hauled in 10 rebounds for a double-double. He also added seven assists, had three steals, and blocked two shots, while Bennett contributed 15 points that included a pair of triples. Hinkley netted five points and hauled in 10 rebounds, while Matt Barker and Drew Bidwell each swished the cords on a charity toss.
The ‘Cats will now travel to Hundred Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. and will host Wood County Christian in the consolation match of the Bob and Sharon Christmas Classic Sat., Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. That game was cancelled in December due to the weather.