The Hamilton Wildcats tipped their season by playing Sussex Hamilton in the annual Fresh Coast Classic which was held at UWM’s Klotsche Center. It was one of the featured games of the tournament because it showcased two of the top players in the area, Pat Baldwin, Jr., a freshman from Sussex Hamilton and Keontae White, a senior from Milwaukee Hamilton.
The Chargers came out and took control right away. Their slow and methodical pace allowed them to work the Wildcat’s defense into submission and they are able to score early baskets at the rim. Carson Smith and Lucas Finnessy were able to convert on baskets around the rim on a few occasions. By halftime, the Chargers had a solid grip on the game and were very comfortable with their 17 point lead at 37-20.
The Wildcats fought back in the second half sparked by the energy from Seniors Xavier Davis and Keontae White. The Wild’s defense came out and pressured the ball which forced the Chargers into a few early turnovers in the half. The Wildcats were able to cut the lead to 10 points by the middle of the period. But Sussex Hamilton, who converted on 60% of their shots for the day, stayed true to their game plan and patiently worked their offense until they were able to come up with a quality shot. Pat Baldwin, Jr. converted on late baskets and ultimately, time ran out on the Wildcats.
The Wildcats were led by White’s 17 points and 3 assists. Jakarey Burrage added 11 points while Darius Funches grabbed 5 rebounds. The Wildcats will seek their first win as they face Green Bay Preble in Green Bay tomorrow night (11/25 @ 4:00pm).