‘Cats complete big step
By Jarann Johnson
The Center-Stanton Wildcats wanted to make a move near the top of Region 5 this season and have their name mentioned as a team that could challenge for a state tournament spot. The Wildcats almost got there this year taking third place at the Region 5 tournament in a series of regular season rematches.
The Wildcats started off the tournament with a regular season rematch against New Salem. Earlier in the season the Wildcats beat New Salem on the road 3-0 (25-10, 25-21, 25-22).
The teams would get one more chance at each other on a neutral floor -- Underwood served as the Region 5 tournament host -- but the same results would come. The Wildcats won 3-0 and earned the right to participate in another rematch game in the semifinals.
The Wildcats’ first-round win pushed them into the semifinals against Grant County, the reigning Region 5 champs. Grant County relied on Sydney Bentz the first time the teams met in late September for a 3-1 on the Wildcats’ home floor.
The rematch had more importance but proved to be too tough of a task for the Wildcats, and they fell 3-0. The loss ended the Wildcats’ state tournament and Region 5 championship hopes, but still gave them a shot at proving that they are a serious contender in the region.
The Wildcats faced Flasher, a team they beat 3-0 earlier this season, in their last game of the season. The Wildcats repeated their feat to win 3-0 in the third-place game, ending the year with an overall record of 20-16.