Paden City playing for WVHIT title

SUMMERSVILLE -And who says confidence can’t be measured in points on the basketball court.

Just in time for this weekend’s final round of the West Virginia Hometown Invitational Tournament in Summersville, Paden City received a huge boost by upsetting Magnolia last Saturday. The Wildcats appear in their third straight Division 2 championship game meeting Meadow Bridge at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

“After beating Magnolia, our kids are not afraid to contest people,” Paden City coach Fred King said. “I told the guys they made a big mistake because now it shows they can do this. And we as coaches expect it.

“By winning that big game, we feel confident we can go anywhere and play with anybody.”

Paden City enters tonight’s contest with a 10-6 record after its four-game winning streak was snapped by Bishop Donahue on Tuesday. In that 79-50 defeat, freshman point guard Hayden Hizer was injured with Paden City trailing 18-13 and played sparingly throughout the game.

Hizer is slated to return to the starting lineup in time for Saturday’s game, which was originally scheduled for 8 tonight before weather conditions forced the switch. As a result, the fifth-place game in Division 1 between Cameron and St. Marys scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Saturday will be played that evening at St. Marys High School beginning with the junior varsity game at 5:30 p.m. Both the third and fifth place game in Division 2 have been postponed for tonight and their status is pending for Saturday.

“We’re not sure who is going to show, but we will have eight games with 16 teams on Saturday,” WVHIT committee member Tom Wamsley said. .Meadow Bridge (8-6) is a familiar opponent for Paden City, since the two schools have met for the Division 2 title three years in a row. Defensively, Meadow Bridge prefer to play zone.

“They are a very physical and strong bunch,” King said. St. Marys (6-8) is in the midst of playing seven games in 11 days, and its third game in five days when it hooks up with Cameron (9-6). The Blue Devils were supposed to host Doddridge County Thursday for a fourth game this week, but the game was postponed because of weather.

“We had this situation occur back in 2009, and what we did in the middle of that four-game stretch was watch film on our day off,” St. Marys coach Mark Barnhart said. “We got ready ready mentally and did not do a lot physically.

“We need to get off the couch and play to get better for the end of the season. I don’t like having to play all these games, but this is the hand we’re dealt. Life is full of adversity and this is a good lesson for teenagers.”

St. Marys scrimmaged Cameron during the preseason and tried to defend the Dragons’ 6-foot-10 center. Cameron is coached by Chad Clutter, who has two sons, Cole and Ryan, playing for him.

The Blue Devils won the WVHIT’s Division 1 title the first year the event was conducted.

“I’m sure Cameron is a lot better team than when we saw them in the preseason,” Barnhart said.

Pairing up for the Division 1 championship are sixth-ranked Valley Fayette (14-1) and Clay-Battelle (12-5). Valley Fayette has won 10 straight games since losing at home to Midland Trail, 49-46. Pending tonight’s outcome at University, Clay-Battelle has won four straight and eight of it last nine.