Darren Doyle, story:
Wildcat Head Coach Mike McClintic said in a preseason interview that the key to success for this season would be how well his team could come together as a unit and operate in a way that would revolve around unselfishness. He said it would probably take a few games but he was confident that it would come.
The Wildcats started the season off in the hole, going 0-5. During those games, the Wildcats looked hurried, sloppy, and sometimes even confused as they squandered away leads and got pushed around on the boards. It was brutal to watch them at the free throw line as they struggled to even shoot 50%.
A heart-to-heart 45 minute team meeting was held after practice last week, described by Coach Mac as "let's just say it was interesting," and Coach Bart Weaver said "we all got some things off our chest."
Wildcat fans are hoping that whatever was on their chests is gone for good as the boys have seemingly righted the ship, winning their last three games, two of which were blowouts.
The Wildcats dominated Fredrick Fraize (Cloverport) tonight at home in a 75-51 win that saw three EC starters in double figures, but more importantly, the team effort Coach Mac has been looking for as the Wildcats racked up 17 assists, compared to only 8 turnovers in the game while outrebounding the Aces 29-27. The team free throw shooting percentage has jumped almost 20 points to 64%.
Coach Mac said it was pretty simple.
"We outrebounded them 17-12 in the second half, we got out in transition, and we shared the ball," he said.
The Wildcats forced 20 turnovers against the Aces while they shot 50% from the field.
Leading the way offensively for the Cats was Caleb Skaggs who put up a season high 24 points while dishing out 5 assists. Iszic Blankenship added 15 points and 4 rebounds, and Bailey Board scored 14 while grabbing 4 rebounds.
The remaining box score was: Cole 5, Minton 2, Lindsey 1, Vincent 2, Caudill 4, Talley 4.
The Wildcats are now 3-5 on the season and will take some time off for the Christmas break. Coach Mac said the team is scheduled for a walk-through/shoot around on Monday at 10am to prepare for their 7:15 game against Ohio County in the Rafferty's/Double Dogs Caveland Classic.
In other basketball news, manager extraordinare Nick Johnson, a sophomore, saw his first time on the court as a player in tonight's JV game. Nick entered the game and hit a free throw, notching his first career point as a Wildcat. Nick is a fan favorite and is arguably the biggest Wildcat fan in the county. He's also a manager on the ECHS football team.
The Lady Cats fell to Whitley County tonight in the Campbellsville Food Pantry Classic 51-44. They were led by Caitlin Simon's 28 points. They are scheduled to play Metcalfe County 5:30 EST for third place on Friday, December 23.