The Wildcats and Lady 'Cats are suffering through a down year to this point in local high school hoops. The boys have yet to win a Division II game and the girls are 1-5 heading into Thursday night action.

The Lackawanna League is a tough place to play basketball at the high school level.

Witness the fact that all four district boys champs came from this highly competitive circuit in 2009-‘10: Old Forge (Class A), Holy Cross (AA), Abington (AAA) and Scranton (AAAA).

Of the three local schools, Western Wayne is having a particularly rough go of it this winter.

The Wildcats have won just once this year overall and are 0-5 in Division III action. The Lady ‘Cats are 3-9 for the season and 1-5 in league competition.

“You can’t take anything for granted,”?boys Coach Kenny Hemmler told TWI?Sports after a recent home loss to  Holy Cross. “There just aren’t any easy games out there.”

Girls coach Colleen Kloss was quick to agree.

“It’s been a tough transition,” she said of the switch from Division III to II. “We have a young team and the transition’s been toughest on on the freshmen and sophomores.”

Despite the brutal overall schedule and almost daily physical challenges, several Western Wayne players are turning heads.

Kevin Botjer is among the Lackawanna League leaders in most offensive categories. The battle-tested senior guard is averaging 16.2 points per game.

That placed him third in Division II?behind only Riverside’s Jerry Kincel (25.2 ppg)?and Tony Goodall of Old Forge (16.6 ppg).

“For my money, there’s not a better guard in the league,” Coach Hemmler said simply.

Courtney Kromko is also enjoying a banner senior season. The Lady ‘Cat for-ward/center is currently 8th among Division II scorers with a 13.3 ppg average.

“She’s having a very good all-round year,”?said Coach Kloss.