WILLIAMSTOWN - Question marks surrounded the Wood County Christian boys basketball team when the season opened.
The Wildcats returned just one impact player in Patrick Goff, but as the ballclub prepares for a road trip tonight to Grace Christian in Huntington the results through 11 games are impressive.
The 10-1 Wildcats are allowing just 44.1 points per game. They defeated Gilead Christian for the championship at the Gilead Holiday Tournament and their only defeat occurred at Waterford in a game they led by 16 points in the first quarter.
"We still have two games remaining with Williamstown who is one of the best teams in the area - that will be a real challenge," WCCS boys coach Dan Ellis said. "We also have to play Waterford again, and they are a real solid team."
Goff leads the team while averaging a double-double in both scoring (15.5) and rebounding (10.2)? The Wildcats also have other scoring options in Logan Huck (9.2), Isaac Brown (8.6), Douglas Ernest (7.3) and Joseph Krupinski (6.3). Huck also pulls down 8.6 boards per contest.
"Patrick has elevated his game and been a real good leader for the rest of these younger guys," Ellis said. "He's pretty much our catalyst and helped our team excel because he has elevated his game and others are doing the same."
WCCS has had its share of close calls after defeating Cross Lanes by two points, Calvary by six points and Ohio Valley by five points.
The Wildcats trailed Elk Valley by 11 points before pulling out a double-digit victory.
"I'm excited about our progress," Ellis said. "We know we have a stretch of games that we consider toss-ups, so hopefully we win our share."
The Wildcats' confidence received a boost after they defeated both Tyler Consolidated and Paden City to claim the Paden City Tournament championship in early December. That feat marked the first time a WCCS girls team had won a non-postseason tournament.
"We were down 10 to 12 points against Tyler Consolidated, but we showed we could come back and hold on against a group of very good players," WCCS girls coach Dave Weekley said. "That win gave us something to hang our hat on this season."
Several individuals are contributing to the cause. Adria Herridge, who owns 14 of the top 15 single-game records for blocks at the school, averages 5.6 blocks and just eight games into her senior year ranks in the top 3 for most blocks in one season.
When WCCS needs a clutch shot, usually Heather Lord (21.4 ppg) or her twin sister Hannah Lord (15.8 ppg) come through.
"Knowing we have them available helps a whole lot," Weekley said. "They do the vast majority of the ballhandling. Hannah is the quarterback of the team and makes sure the offense is set and people are in the right places."
Katie Ward and Rachel Ruble are two additional options WCCS will be seeking when it plays on the road tonight against Grace Christian. A total of 19 days have passed since their last game. During that same period of time, the Wildcats have had just three practices.
"Playing Grace Christian is a good way to ease back into the schedule," Weekley said. "We have two games remaining with Williamstown and those will be be tough. We also have games left with Cross Lanes and Elk Valley. In our first game with Cross Lanes, we were up by 12 in the third quarter and lost so we are looking forward to playing them again."