Cats sweep Soldiers: WCCS boys, girls top Grace Christian in hoops

WILLIAMSTOWN – Freshman Isaac Brown tossed in 27 points to lead the Wood County Christian Wildcats to a 63-47 victory over the visiting Grace Christian Soldiers Friday night.

The Wildcats honored their three seniors as well as their senior cheerleaders and girls basketball players at halftime and then opened the second half by scoring the first seven points to pull out to a double-digit lead.

WCC led by three at 13-10 after the first quarter and threatened to pull away in the second quarter when back-to-back field goals by Brown pushed the lead to 21-12 with 4:53 to play in the half.

The Soldiers came marching right back as they went on an 8-2 run capped by a pair of freebies by Titus Willus to cut the lead to three.

Wood County Christian’s Mitch Morris and Grace big man Nathan Welch closed out the half with put-back baskets as the ‘Cats headed to the locker room with a 25-22 lead.

Welch proved to be a tough match up for the Wildcats as he scored 14 points for the Soldiers in the opening half.

Brown had a big half as well for WCC as he scored 13 points and he picked up right where he left off in the third quarter by converting on one-of-two free throw attempts.

Joseph Krupinski netted a short jumper and senior Patrick Goff followed with an inside score on a nifty assist from Brown.

Morris capped the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws as the Wildcat lead swelled to 32-22.

Andrew Step’s score off of an offensive rebound put a halt to the Wildcat run but Brown sank four free throws and Goff added one to make it a 37-24 game with 2:40 to play in the third.

The Wildcats spent a lot of time at the charity stripe as they attempted 30 free throw attempts in the game.

“I thought making our free throws was a big key in the win, especially in the second half,” said WCC head coach Dan Ellis, whose team made good on 24 of those attempts.

With their backs planted firmly against the wall, the Soldiers began to show some life late in the third quarter as they strung together a 9-2 run that stretched into the final period and cut the Wildcat lead back to two possessions at 39-33 with 7:23 to play in the game.

The ‘Cats had an answer however as they scored eight unanswered points to pull out to their biggest lead of the game at 47-33.

Logan Huck got the run started with a bucket and after Goff converted a field goal with an assist from D.J. Spencer, Brown connected on a pair of free throws and nice drive to the hoop as Wood County began to put some daylight between themselves and the Soldiers.

Back-to-back scores by Steven Melton and Welch enabled the Soldiers to creep back within 10 points but once again the ‘Cats answered by scoring nine of the next 10 points to put things away for good.

“We put a lot more pressure on them in the second half to try and throw off their rhythm a little bit and it forced them to turn the ball over,” said Ellis, whose team defeated Grace Christian 54-44 back in January in Huntington.

“Fortunately we were able to capitalize by either making the basket or hitting our free throws.”

Brown’s 27 points led all scorers while Goff fell just one rebound shy of yet another double-double as he grabbed nine rebounds to go along with his 16 points.

Ellis had high praise for his 6-foot-2 forward who was playing in his next-to-last game at WCC.

“He (Goff) has just had a tremendous senior year and we are proud of the way he has played,” said Ellis of his team’s leading scorer and rebounder. “A big key to our success this year is that he has been such a good leader.”

Brown was glad to play such a big part in getting a win for the Wildcat seniors on their special night.

“It was just a great team effort,” said Brown of the Wildcat victory. “We came out and we put it all on the line for our seniors trying to honor them.”

Goff, as well as fellow seniors Isaiah Powell and Ben Adkins, will don the white, purple and gold home uniforms of Wood County Christian one last time today when the 16-9 Wildcats host Calvary Baptist at 4 p.m.

Grace was led in scoring by Welch with 22

Girls

Wood County

Christian 52,

Grace Christian 38

WILLIAMSTOWN – Wood County Christian used a big second quarter to propel itself to a 52-38 win over Grace Christian Friday night.

The Lady Wildcats were behind 12-8 going into the second period but outscored Grace 17-5 to go up 25-17 at halftime.

Wood County extended its lead to double figures in the second half and was able to keep Grace from rallying back.

Heather and Hannah Lord combined for 30 points in the contest, with Heather scoring a game-high 16, to lead the Wildcats. Katie Ward chipped in with eight points and a team-best nine rebounds.

Shelby Cicenas topped Grace Christian with 14 markers.

The Lady ‘Cats improved to 17-6 on the year and will be back in action Monday when they host Paden City at 7:30 p.m.