The Paden City Wildcats got off on the right foot in the second annual Hometown Invitational Tournament (HIT) boys basketball tournament on Jan. 27, inside a jam-packed Bob Burton Gymnasium, where the 'Cats trounced Harman by 40 points, 84-44.
The Wildcats doubled up their Randolph County guests, 24-12, in the opening period and put them away in the fourth period, 24-4, to gain the first-round nod.
Zach Heasley scored a career-high 23 points, that included swishing four baskets from beyond the arc, while teammate Jay Billiter netted his first double-double of the season, scoring 18 points and hauling in 10 rebounds. Kennedy Cain continued his fine freshman season with 12 points and 12 rebounds for another Wildcat double-double. In addition, Craig Allen scored six points, while Drew Bidwell netted five markers. Kane Pyles scored a deuce, while Levi Meadows caned a charity toss.
Paden City's quest to stay in the HIT winner's bracket continues Friday at 7:30 p.m. when they play host to Union. The Wildcat junior high team will also play the Union junior high team at 6 p.m.
The young Paden City squad played the powerful Williamstown Yellowjackets toe-to-toe on Jan. 26 in Williamstown, but a 15-5 run by the 'Jackets in the second half was all they needed to prevail, 54-40.
The freshman-oriented Wildcats were led by senior Geoffrey Bidwell with 16 points, while Cain delivered 12 markers. He also pulled down a team-high six rebounds, added two blocks, and dished out a pair of assists.
In addition, Heasley tallied three points, while Cross, Pyles, Billiter, and Drew Bidwell each netted a deuce. Craig Allen tossed in a good free throw.