PADEN CITY - Heading into the 2012-13 season, Paden City boys' Fred King wanted to get back to an aggressive, hard-nosed type of play that he referred to as ''Wildcats'' basketball.
Friday night his young, but experienced unit did just that and it paid off with a second victory in as many outings.
Sophomore standout Kennedy Cain had game highs of 25 points and eight rebounds while classmate Zach Heasley added 14 points as Paden City built an eight-point halftime lead and pulled away with a big second half to post a 60-33 victory against rival Valley in the first night of the Bob and Sharon Burton Christmas Classic.
King's crew will be looking for three in a row tonight when they take on a much improved Tyler Consolidated (2-2) team in the tournament's championship game, which will follow the consolation game between the Lumberjacks (0-2) and Hundred (0-2). The Silver Knights blasted the Hornets by a 64-32 margin in Friday's first game.
Cain and Heasley got the Wildcats off on the right foot, combining for 14 first-quarter points as they grabbed a 17-14 advantage. Coach John Kocher's Jacks managed to stick around following a second quarter in which neither team managed to get much going and Paden City settled for a 29-21 edge at the break.
But thing changed drastically in the second half. The Wildcats returned to the court looking a little more confident in what they wanted to do and it paid off with big returns.
After each team scored to begin the third, Paden City rolled off 11in a row to move to a 19-point bulge at 42-23.
With the score sitting at 44-26 after three, the Cats dropped in the initial seven points and eventually pushed the count to 56-28 with five minutes to play.
In all, Paden City outscored Valley by a 31-12 margin in the second half.