With a record of 0-4, it’s been a rocky start for the Altha Wildcats this season. But this team has been fighting to the finish and improving every game.
One of the most exciting games was the opener against Blountstown Nov. 22. “It was a good ballgame and I think everybody enjoyed it and got their money’s worth,” Coach Warren Roberts remarks.
Altha came out shooting, leading 16-10 at the end of the first quarter and remaining up by four points at the half, 35-31. The Cats held the lead at 50-44 when the third quarter ended. But during the fourth quarter, the tables turned. The Tigers took control and came out on top, 68-63.
“What really killed us, we only dressed out 8 kids and basically played 7,” says Coach Roberts. “I think fatique set in.”
Sophomore Kent Rogers led the Cats with 30 points with 24 of those in the first half. His brother, Will, followed with 11. Jacob Warner brought in nine points and Anthony Young provided six. P.J. Iler added four to the board.
“[Blountstown’s] Jawon Mosley really had a good second half,” Coach Roberts points out. “I know he is right off the football field. He had 14 points in the second half, but more importantly, he was 8 for 9 from the free-throw line. That really made a big difference. They hit their free throws, especially in the fourth quarter. I thought he was the biggest difference in the game, he really hurt us. Defensively, he did a real good job, too.”
The Cats went up against Sneads after the Thanksgiving break. This district game was played on the road with the Cats bringing home a 53-49 loss.
“We led by seven in the first half, 28-21,” says Coach Roberts. “We really had a bad third quarter and they outscored us, 15-2. Early in the fourth quarter, we were down by 11. We cut it to three and got fouled with 2.5 seconds on the clock, but missed at the line.”
Next up was Cottondale at home on Dec. 1.
“Cottondale is probably the favorite to win our district,” Coach Roberts notes. “They have a pretty good team. They are well coached and play hard.”
Cottondale certainly proved a worthy opponent, defeating the Cats, 46-29.
Altha senior Jacob Warner led the Cats with 11. He was followed by Kent and Will Rogers with nine points a piece - with all nine of Will’s from a trio of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.
Friday brought a road trip to Bethlehem with Altha falling, 67-59.
“We played hard, but we just didn’t play real well,” says Coach Roberts. “[Bethlehem] shoots the ball extremely well. We just came out the first half and didn’t play very good defense.”
Kent Rogers led Altha with 21 points, followed by Iler with 16, including three 3-pointers. Will Rogers added 11 and Warner brought in five. Colby Barrentine had four with freshman Zac Morris putting his first two varsity points on the board.
In J.V. action, the Cats defeated BHS, 28-16. Justin Waldorff led with nine, followed by Nick Young with seven.
Against Sneads, the J.V. boys lost 34-19. Young led with six, followed by Jae Fielder with four.
The Cottondale JV edged the Altha boys, 27-21. Young led with six for Altha, with Waldorff close behind with five.
The Altha J.V. improved to 2-2 with a win over Bethlehem, 30-11. Young led with 15 points, followed by Fielder with 6, Waldorff with 5 and Kyler Dew with 4.
The Wildcats will host Graceville Thursday in a district game at home. J.V. plays at 5:30, followed by varsity at 7. The boys will be on the road to Wewa Friday with game times the same as Thursday.