GRAFTON—Coming off of double-digit losses to North Marion last week, both the Bearcats and Lady Bearcats’ basketball teams looked to get back into the win column against Petersburg on Saturday, in their annual “Shoot for a Cure” game in which they help raise awareness for childhood cancer.
Jack Faulkner scored 32 points, including a free throw in the second half to earn his 1,000th career point, while Meredith Maier scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the girls’ game, as both teams would pick up much-needed wins as the Bearcats defeated the Vikings 79-66 and Lady Cats defeated the Lady Vikings, 56-43.
The Lady Cats would begin the action with a 2:00pm tipoff, and the game would see both teams finish the first period fairly even with the Lady Cats ahead 14-12. However, Grafton would jump on the Vikings in the second period, taking a 30-17 lead into the locker room at halftime. The second half would see the Lady Cats extend their lead to 43-31 by the end of the third and they would not let up in the final period either, ultimately dropping the Lady Vikings by 13 and running their record to 9-5 on the season with a matchup against South Harrison just two days later.
“I am super proud of this team’s effort today as Petersburg came into the game with only two losses,” said Lady Cats head coach Andrew Moore after the game. “I was afraid that the hard-fought games we played against North Marion and Fairmont Senior would cause us to have a letdown, but I was wrong. We came out and executed very well offensively. In fact, we shot over 50% from the field. Bailey Toothman did a great job opening up scoring lanes for our guards and Meredith had a great game and really asserted herself on the offensive end. Bria was very aggressive in attacking the rim and scored right off the tip, which allowed us to start with the right energy.”
When asked about the role his backups and younger Lady Cats have played on his team as of late, Moore was quick to praise his players for the defensive effort they have been providing night-in and night-out.
“I don’t think our bench gets enough credit for the things they do,” he added. “We can insert multiple players in and not be afraid of a defensive letdown. For example, Megan Kisner has come in and provides great length and rebounding for us.”
The win also puts the Lady Cats in a great place moving forward, and Moore agreed that he likes where his team stands coming down the final stretch of the season.
“This win should put us in a nice spot come sectional play, however we can’t afford to have any letdowns as we make a final push for the end of the season,” he went on to say. “We have four games this week including a two-day trip to the eastern panhandle. I am proud of the progress this team has shown and the direction the seniors are taking this team.”
The boys’ game would immediately follow the girls’ game, and the Bearcats would take a 35-34 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Bearcats would outscore the Vikings 19-13 in the third period to take a seven-point lead into the fourth period, and behind Faulkner’s eight fourth-quarter points, would close the door on a Petersburg comeback with the Bearcats winning by 13 points.
In addition to Faulkner’s game-high 32 points, Matt Gallo (11), Blake Moore (10), and Ryan Maier (8) also had solid games for the Bearcats, with Kaden Delaney, Logan Beltner, Isaiah Stottlemyer, and Carson Lambert rounding out the scoring and providing quality minutes.
The win puts the Bearcats at 7-7 on the season, with a home game tonight against RCB next on the schedule. The Eagles (11-2) are currently riding an 11-game win streak after dropping their first two contests of the season.