The Wildcats hosted The Fredrick Fraize (Cloverport) Aces last night in Brownsville in a game that was fast paced and competitive until the end. If you're familiar with the Aces, you know they've had a difficult time staying competitive for many years. If you expected a blowout win tonight, you were either greatly disappointed, or happy to see ten guys hashing it out all night long.
The Wildcats got things started sluggishly again tonight, playing catch-up as the Aces scored the first 9 points of the game. The Cats got straightened out at the end of the high-scoring first quarter, but still behind, 24-21. The second quarter fell in favor of ECHS and the score was tied at halftime, 40-40. Much like the previous game against Ohio County, the Cats came out in the third with good momentum and improved their rebounding. With the Aces cooling down from three point land, the Wildcats were able to hold a 59-55 lead going into the 4th quarter. Cloverport would gain ground, but ECHS would find a way to extinguish the run, making a play when needed. The Wildcats were impressive with their free throw shooting down the stretch and held on for the 82-76 win.
Assistant Coach Bart Weaver was asked about the consistent slow beginnings for the Wildcats. "Well, that's a good question," he said with a chuckle. "If we knew the exact answer to that, it wouldn't happen every game. That's something we gotta figure out." Coach gave credit to the Aces for a hard fought game as well as the performances from Cloverport's Logan Fuqua, who scored 29 points (7 three's) and Nicholas Smith who added 23. "He was solid tonight (Smith), he's probably one of the top 5 players in the region. And No. 2 (Fuqua) just lit it up, we didn't do a very good job on him, and he took advantage of it tonight."
The coaching staff was happy with the way the Wildcats handled the pressure in the second half. "Coach Mac (Mike McClintic) and I are really proud of these guys. Game after game after game, we've hit free throws down the stretch, and it's helped us in tight games," Weaver said.
Dakota "Woody" Woodcock led the Cats with 19 points, Chase Turley scored 14 and grabbed 7 rebounds, and Hunter Buttram scored 13 with 7 rebounds. Cole Bedwell added 11 with 7 rebounds, Daniel Caudill scored 10. Trevor Norris added 8 and Austin Sowders contributed with 7.
"We're going to continue to get ready for the district tournament. We've got a couple more games, so the more momentum we can build before then is huge," Coach Weaver said. "Tonight was a good win against a good quality opponent. This is another stepping stone for us before the tournament."
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