Valley Earns a Victory
PADEN CITY – You have to do the little things well to be successful in basketball. Things like taking care of the ball and not turning it over and rebounding.
But you also have to be fairly proficient at doing the big things – putting the basketball in the hoop.
Paden City was able to perfect the first two Friday night during the semifinals of the 8th annual Bob and Sharon Burton Christmas Classic, but fell well short in the third.
Valley used a 14-0 first quarter run to take control and the Wildcats made only 18 percent of their attempts from the field as the Lumberjacks advanced to the championship game with a 50-35 victory at Paden City High School.
Coach John Kocher’s squad will face St. Marys in a rematch of last year’s title game, won by the Blue Devils. St. Marys dispatched Wood County Christian by a 48-42 margin in the opener.
It will be a battle of the Wildcats in the consolation opener at 6 p.m.
“We played scared to death (Friday),” Paden City coach Fred King said.
“It is one of the worst efforts I have seen on the basketball court.
“Overall we got nothing from our two seniors on either end of the court. It was just horrible, they played scared, didn’t box out, delivered very poor leadership and basically did nothing to help this basketball team.
“They both failed us, and the freshmen and sophomores, which make up the majority of our team, followed right after them.”
The Wildcats actually took an early 4-0 lead, however, they went on a dry spell that lasted more than 6 minutes and allowed Valley’s Alex Henderson (7) and Jeremiah Burch (6) to combine for 13 points during a 14-0 Lumberjacks (2-1) rally.
Valley led 14-6 after the first quarter and 25-18 at halftime. Paden City managed to get the deficit down to three on two occasions in the third quarter, but a 15-4 run for the Lumberjacks all but put things away.
Henderson finished with a game-high 22 points for the Lumberjacks while Garrett Ueltschy added seven points and led everyone with 14 rebounds.
The Wildcats had a pair of players finish with double-doubles in Malakai Anderson with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Zach Yost with 15 points and 10 caroms, while sophomore Peyton Hinkley hauled down 10 missed shots.
Paden City was outrebounded by a 42-40 margin and turned the ball over 10 times, to 14 for Valley. However, the Cats were just 11 of 60 from the field with their two seniors hitting 4 of 29 tries.
St. Marys 48, Wood County Christian 42
Wood County Christian just would not go away, however, they couldn’t catch up as the St. Marys earned the chance to defend its tournament title from last year.
Coach Mark Barnhart’s team had quarter leads of 13-12, 26-21 and 36-25 en route to victory.
Sophomore Justin Nichols came off the bench to drop in a game-high 15 points for the Devils and also had seven rebounds, while Dylan Brizendine tallied 10. Eric Grubbs paced the Wildcats with 10 points.