Western Wayne boys basketball Coach Kenny Hemmler looked very scholarly in a bow tie and button-down shirt; but, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was happening on the court Wednesday evening.


Western Wayne boys basketball Coach Kenny Hemmler looked very scholarly in a bow tie and button-down shirt; but, it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was happening on the court Wednesday evening.


The ‘Cats and their young coach had traveled to the wilds of Susquehanna County to play in the 35th Annual Forest City Rotary Tournament. The event consists of two games: one before and one right after the Christmas Break.


Unfortunately for Varden hoops fans, Mountain View spoiled opening night, handing the local lads a heartbreaking one-point loss. To their undying credit, though, the ‘Cats bounced right back.


Western Wayne returned to the scene of the crime and meted out an old-fashioned beatdown to an undermanned St. Rose squad. The Wildcats dominated this one from opening tip to final buzzer en route to an eventual 69-31 victory.


“I liked almost everything I saw out there tonight,” the nattily-clad Coach Hemmler told TWI Sports. “We were focused, we hustled and we executed. There was a lot of intensity. That's the way we need to play every time we go out there."


With the win, Western Wayne claimed third place in the annual tourney. Forest City and Mountain View met in the title tilt, a game won by the Eagles, 60-46.


This marks the fourth consecutive year Mountain View has won this particular event.
Next up for the Wildcats is a pair of visits to the Maple City. Coach Hemmler's squad will battle the likes of Wallenpaupack Area and St. Mike's in the 48th Annual Honesdale Area Jaycees Holiday Basketball Tournament.


That event was slated to tip-off Thursday night at the Red Palace. The tourney will conclude Saturday.


"We're really excited about it," Coach Hemmler said. "Anytime you have the chance to play one of your biggest rivals in a game like that, you have to be fired up. Hopefully, we'll be able to put together four solid quarters. The kids are really looking forward to it."


Knockout Punch


It didn't take very long at all for Western Wayne to take command of Wednesday night's ballgame against St. Rose. The Phoenix may have entertained thoughts of rising from its own ashes, but the Wildcats were having none of it.


Led by the high-flying trio of Cody Yedinak, Mitch Vitovsky and Mike Gaudio, the 'Cats raced out to a huge double digit lead. Western Wayne came out pressing and running...to devastating effect.


Yedinak paced the merciless offensive attack with a team-best 12 points. Cody scored in transition, from the perimeter and in the paint. His outstanding all-round performance drew praise from Coach Hemmler.


“Cody is a very athletic kid,” he said. “I think he played very well tonight. He’s becoming a bigger and bigger part of the offense and we’re expecting a lot from him.”


Meanwhile, Vitovsky was his usual deadly self against St. Rose. Although he played only a fraction of the minutes to which he's accustomed, Mitch still did considerable damage.


Western Wayne's lightning-quick senior point guard handed out six assists, snagged four steals and tallied eight points.


Mitch drained an early trey to jumpstart the Wildcat offense. He added another long-distance trifecta just after intermission, then was content to sit back and set up his younger teammates.


Vitovsky was the lone ‘Cat named to the All-Tournament Team. He was joined on the mythical squad by Mountain View’s Alex Paschuck, Jesse Walsh and Stanley Vitzako-itch of Forest City.


Gaudio ran wild in the opening stanza. A senior who plays both two-guard and forward, he scored in just about every conceivable way early on. Gaudio buried a trey from the wing, then added a fastbreak bucket and a pair of free throws.


“Mike’s really coming along,” Coach Hemmler said. “I think he played very well tonight. He is a very solid ballplayer and he’ll do anything you ask him to. As a coach, I really appreciate that kind of attitude.”


Western Wayne led by a whopping margin of 24-4 after one quarter. The 'Cats extended that advantage to 36-11 at intermission and coasted home from there.
All told, 11 players found their way into the scorebook.


Arich Boguski turned in a stellar individual performance. Western Wayne's senior center ruled the low post with the proverbial iron fist. Boguski scored eight points, hauled down 11 rebounds and blocked three shots.


Boguski had his hands full with St. Rose big man Mark Ohman, though. Still just a junior, the Phoenix's power forward was practically a one-man show on this particular night.


Ohman muscled his way to a double-double, scoring a game-high 21 points and pulling in 13 rebounds. For his stellar, all-round effort, Ohman earned a spot on the All-Tourney Team.


Odds & Ends


Western Wayne’s devastating loss to Mountain View in the preliminary game was a tough one for Coach Hemmler and his lads to swallow.


“We led the whole game, but we let it get away from us right at the end,” he said. “The one thing we need to work on is putting games away.  I’m just hoping we learned a little bit from that experience.”


The Wildcats arrived late for that particular game and were forced to forego warm-ups. Surprisingly, the chaos had little detectable effect. The local lads went out and played one of their best games of the season.


Western Wayne purred like a well-oiled machine against Mountain View. The ‘Cats led from the opening tip and placed four players in double digits.


Jesse Skates led the way with a team-best 16. He was joined by Gaudio (15 pts), Vitovsky (11 pts) and Boguski (10 pts).

WW (2-8) 69: Yedinak 6 0-2 12, Sledzinski 1 0-2 3, Botjer 0 0-0 0, Skates 3 0-0 7, Siclari 3 1-3 7, Sheridan 3 0-1 6, Vitovsky 3 0-0 8, Baldo 2 1-1 5, Callahan 1 0-0 2, Gaudio 2 2-2 7, Dakota Brooks 2 0-2 4, Boguski 4 0-0 8.


SR (0-9) 31: Ohman 7 7-10 21, Fedak 2 0-0 4, Imbalzano 0 2-4 2, White 0 0-0 0, Marchese 0 0-0 0, Brown 1 0-0 2, McDonald 0 0-0 0, Evans 1 0-0 2, Venezo 0 0-0 0.


Score by Quarters...
WW     24   12   19   14 - 69
SR        4     7    10   10 - 31