Edmonson Voice Sports
Laney Meredith photos
The backboards were clean in Butler County after the Wildcats' 71-61 win over the Bears, as Edmonson County dominated the rebounding column 46-29, with two Wildcats in rebounding double figures.
"We really told the kids that rebounding would be huge going into this game," said Head Coach Mike McClintic. "We knew we had to keep them from getting second chances on scoring."
Both Austin Sowders and Hunter Buttram had 14 rebounds each. Iszic Blankenship also pulled down 8 rebounds, none bigger than an offensive grab off the glass, put up by Tucker Cole that turned into a two-handed dunk that wowed Edmonson County fans.
Junior Bailey Board led the Wildcats with 22 points and 7 rebounds, but he was quick to credit a team win, not his own stats. "We played as a team and the shots just seemed to fall tonight, but I wouldn't be able to get anything without my teammates. We play as a team," he said.
Wildcat fans were worried at the start of the game as Butler County came out on fire with a 10-0 lead. It didn't last long as the Wildcats answered with an 11-0 run of their own to take the lead. Butler County's last lead of the game would come in the second quarter off a free throw to make it 12-11, but the Cats would step on the gas and didn't look back.
Now, with a perfect district record of 5-0, the Wildcats are heavily focusing on the first district championship since 1993. The tournament is scheduled to begin on February 26 at Grayson County.
"It's still anybody's district," said Austin Sowders, "but going into the tournament and playing EC basketball, there's no doubt in my mind that we leave Grayson County with nets in our hand."
Sowders finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Board said that the main key to this year's success has been unselfishness, which has been discussed several times throughout the year by coaches and other players. "We have each other's backs through the good and bad times," he said.
Coach Mac said the team broke down the district season into 3 parts: the first three games, the second three, and the upcoming tournament. "The title is our goal, now that we have that opportunity," he said.
Board says that the district title is definitely within reach. "That's what we've striven for all year and going undefeated in the regular season would be icing on the cake," he said. "But if we stay focused and listen to our coaches, we'll bring the district title back to EC."
A total of 4 Wildcats scored double figures. In addition to Board's 22 and Sowders' 15, Caleb Skaggs added 12 points, Blankenship added 11, Cole had 6, and Buttram had 3.
The Wildcats will take on Trinity on Tuesday, Feb 9 at home in a girl/boy double header. Girls action is scheduled for tip at 6pm. The Wildcats now improve to 13-8 on the season, 5-0 in district play, and are currently ranked 5th in the 3rd Region at 7-4.