Yates Center girls, boys win Wildcat Winter Classic openers

By JOCELYN SHEETS
Register Sports Editor

YATES CENTER — Yates Center High’s girls notched their first win of the season. The Yates Center boys improved to 2-0.
It all happened at home as they won their opening games of the YCHS Wildcat Winter Classic. The eight-team tournament tipped off Monday with four games.
In the boys’ bracket, Yates Center rolled up a 47-15 win over Altoona-Midway. Erie defeated West Elk 70-55.
That puts Yates Center (2-0) and Erie in Thursday’s semifinal at 6:30 p.m. in Norris Gymnasium. Altoona-Midway plays West Elk in the consolation semifinals Friday.
On the girls’ side, West Elk outlasted Erie 39-34 in the early game. Yates Center’s Wildcat girls recorded a 44-21 victory in the late game.
Yates Center (1-1) faces West Elk in the semifinals Thursday in the YCHS east gym at 8 p.m. Altoona-Midway and Erie play in consolation action Friday.
Tonight, the Uniontown High girls and boys take on the teams from Sedan and Crest High’s squads play the teams from Cherryvale. Winners move into semifinals games and the losing teams go to the consolation side.
“We ran our offense and played good defense to start the game,” said Yates Center girls’ head coach Abbie Collins, who earned her first high school coaching victory. “We had a good start.”
Yates Center led Altoona-Midway 19-3 by the end of the first quarter. It was 29-11 at halftime.
“We need to take care of the ball better. We didn’t stay intense enough throughout the game,” Collins said. “But we improved over our play on Friday night so we’re headed in the right direction.”
The Jet girls outscored the Wildcats 7-2 in the third quarter. Yates Center regained control for a 13-3 run through the fourth period.
Freshman guard Emily Baker fired in four three-pointers for 12 points leading the Wildcats. Junior Cherokee Shaffer added eight points and had nine rebounds.
Kassy Reynolds, a senior, controlled 11 rebounds. Junior Jessica Hartwig had four steals.
Once again, Yates Center’s boys had balanced scoring to push them to victory Monday. The Wildcats had four players in double digit scoring.
“Defensively, we started out a bit sluggish. As the game progressed, we got better which helped our offense also,” said Jason Weilert, YCHS boys’ head coach.
The Wildcats and Jets played a close first quarter. Yates Center built on an 11-8 lead with a 17-3 fly-by second quarter.
Yates Center gave up just four points in the second half. It was a 19-4 advantage in the final two quarters.
Junior Dalton Smith paced the Wildcats with 12 points. Scoring 10 points each were seniors Cassidy George and Dylan Sicka and junior Paul Stockebrand.
“We tend to go faster than we can go under control. Once we slow things down and are patient, we are fine. The pieces are here for a strong season,” Weilert said.

Yates Center girls (19-10-2-12—44) (FG/3-pt): Hartwig 0-0-3-0, German 1-3-0-5, Spencer 1-2-3-4, Reynolds 3-0-5-6, Douglas 2-1-5-5, Adams 1-2-1-4, Shaffer 3-2-3-8, Estes 0-0-4-0, Baker 0/4-0-2-12. TOTALS: 11/4-10-26-44.
Altoona-Midway girls (3-8-7-3—21): Spears 0-0-5-0, Walker 2-0-5-4, LaCrone 3-1-2-7, Powers 1-5-2-7, Reeves 0-1-3-1, Gatlin 1-0-5-2. TOTALS: 7-7-22-21.
Yates Center boys (11-17-15-4—47) (FG/3-pt): George 4-2-2-10, Sicka 4-2-0-10, Bennett 1-1-3-3, Morrison 1-0-1-2, Knoblock 0-0-3-0, Francis 0-0-1-0, Stockebrand 5-0-1-10, Aguirre 0-0-1-0, Smith 4/1-1-1-12. TOTALS: 19/1-6-13-47.
Altoona-Midway boys (8-3-4-0—15) (FG/3-pt): Browne 0-0-2-0, Medes 0-1-0-1, Damron-Smith 3-1-1-7, Huffman 1/1-0-3-5, Engleman 0-0-3-0, Howard 1-0-0-2, DeNoon 0-0-1-0. TOTALS: 5/1-2-10-15.