Darren Doyle, story and photos
The Wildcats bounced back with a win tonight over Villa Madonna 79-58 after falling short to Hancock County on Sunday in the Aleris Christmas Tournament, hosted by Hancock County.
What happened in the Sunday game vs. Hancock? "We played horribly," said Coach Mike McClintic. "We came out flat and just had no energy."
Coach Mac said the first thing he wanted to see from his Wildcats was a high level of intensity, and the boys showed just that as they came out with much more energy, jumping out to a 7-0 lead.
The Blue Lightning of Villa Madonna stayed in a double-digit deficit the majority of the game, but great three point shooting from VMHS kept the Wildcats from running away with it early. ECHS led 23-16 after the first and 42-27 at the half.
Good defensive pressure from the Wildcats caused several turnovers for the Blue Lightning, which allowed EC several baskets in transition. The Wildcats opened up a 59-45 lead after the third and cruised on to a 21 point win.
"It's always good to get a win in one of these Christmas tournaments," Assistant Coach Weaver said. "We were very disappointed with the Hancock County game. Team-wise, we just don't think we gave a great effort. I think we came out and played really hard today. There were a few sloppy things, but we did well. Our free throws were better, and hey, we got a win and we'll try to get one tomorrow, so it's all good."
Leading the way for the Wildcats was Cuban Sowders with 17 points and 3 rebounds, but with 5 Wildcats in double figures, it was clearly a team effort. Hunter Buttram scored 16 and grabbed 6 rebounds, Caleb Skaggs had 15 points and 3 rebounds, Iszic Blankenship had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and Bailey Board scored 10 as well.
The team made 14/17 free throws for 82% on the evening. Also helping in the effort was Logan Lindsey with 5 points, while Dylan Elmore and Logan Minton had two points apiece.
The Wildcats will now play Nelson County tomorrow (Tuesday) at 2:45 in the consolation bracket finals. Don't want to make the drive to Hawesville? Not many people do, so if you can't attend in person, listen live on WildcatsLive, only on EdmonsonVoice.com. Pregame show should start approximately at 2:30.