Senior night a success for ’Jackets

WILLIAMSTOWN -Pent-up energy surfaced at Williamstown High School and resulted in a Yellowjacket 67-38 victory against Paden City on Monday night.

Mired in a four-game losing streak, Williamstown outscored Paden City 40-9 in the final 14 1/2 minutes. During that stretch, the Wildcats managed just three field goals and witnessed six 3-pointers from the Yellowjackets -including five from senior Jarric Hoskins, who scored a game-high 20 points.

“You could say there was some frustration let loose,” Williamstown coach Scott Sauro said. “It’s good to go into the postseason with a win over a quality opponent. Paden City has good players on that team and they have an excellent coach.”

In addition to 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc in the second half from Hoskins, classmate Josh DeBolt finished with nine points and eight rebounds in the final home game as a Yellowjacket.

“Josh has been a warrior inside for us all year,” Sauro said. “With Gage (Wix) going down, Josh was another guy we needed to clean up on the boards.”

Williamstown improves to 7-15 with its postseason opponent and game time yet to be determined for Saturday’s sectionals at Ritchie County High School.

“I just got into a rhythm,” Hoskins said. “This was definitely something good to go out on, and hopefully it carries onto the sectional game.”

Williamstown’s Chandler Weber also scored in double figures with 16 points. For Paden City, Kennedy Cain accounted for six of his 12 points in the first quarter. The sophomore also filled the stat sheet with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Teammate Zach Heasley pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

Paden City, which rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit at home in the first meeting between the two schools back on Jan. 2, drops to 11-9 with one regular season game remaining on Wednesday for the Wildcats’ senior night against Beallsville.

Last night’s contest contained 10 ties and eight lead changes up until the point Paden City made its first two shots from the floor in the second half and left Williamstown trailing for the final time at 29-27 with 6:36 remaining in the third quarter.

Even with Hoskins picking up three quick fouls, the proverbial wheels fell off for Paden City, which made just one of its first seven attempts from the free throw line.

“Making those free throws would have at least kept us within striking distance,” Paden City coach Fred King said. “But we just ran out of gas. Williamstown spread the floor on us and did a nice job of making us play them. Then we were at their mercy.”

With playmakers like Hunter Neely penetrating the lane, Hoskins received numerous open looks and knocked down three consecutive 3-pointers which put Williamstown in front 56-35 with just under four minutes left in regulation.

Despite sitting out the final 5 1/2 minutes of the first half because of foul trouble, Neely finished with five assists and 11 points. Backcourt mate Dakota Watson added three assists as the Yellowjackets committed just six turnovers for the game.

“We’ve been in a lot of games like this where it was close and it seemed like a lot of times we would falter down the stretch,” Sauro said. “Our guards really took good care of the ball between Dakota (Watson) and Hunter (Neely). They gave us a chance to extend the lead.”