News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print

News for Wildcats, by Wildcats.

The Paw Print


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Boys basketball heads into regional play feeling optimistic and ‘healthy’

Lorelai Hoban
Senior Taylor Hafermann has battled injuries all season, but he’s back for the team’s postseason. The Wildcats take on Rock Island tonight (February 21) at Normal Community. Tip off is at 7:30pm.

The Normal West Wildcats have had a rocky season this year. Their current record is 11-19 overall. 

However, the team has dealt with many injuries. For example, senior Taylor Hafermann, a power forward who can guard all five positions and contributes to the team with many rebounds, was out due to a broken wrist as well as a broken nose/concussion. He only played 14 games, which is ½ of the games overall.

The Wildcats record without Hafermann was 4-11. 

Unfortunately, they lost their latest game against Sacred Heart-Griffin on Saturday, February 17. At halftime, they were tied 28-28, but the ending score was 60-53.

Hafermann has only been back for a couple games, but he contributed 15 points and 6 rebounds. Junior Mike Zaleski added 11 points. 

Head coach Ed Hafermann was proud of their play, but especially of Zaleski. “Zaleski is one of our toughest players on the team and is scrappy,” Hafermann noted.

Overall Zaleski shoots over 40% from beyond the 3pt line. 

Although they lost to Sacred Heart-Griffin, the Wildcats have won 4 out of 6 of their most recent games. 

“We are finally healthy and are looking forward to regionals vs. Rock Island. They are a beatable team,” Coach Hafermann stated. 

One of the big struggles for the team is turnovers, but coach believes that if they limit turnovers and prevent their opponents from getting fast break points, West will continue further into Regionals. 

There are many other senior contributors, aside from Hafermann. CJ Wilson typically has to be matched up against the bigger players but is a strong rebounder and defender.

Nate Moore does a good job of scoring for the team, along with Isaiah Robinson leading the team in assist. 

Another junior that contributes to the team is AJ. Alex Austin is very athletic and has many highlight dunks. 

The Wildcats will play tonight, February 21, at 7:30 pm, which will take place at Normal Community High School against Rock Island, who is currently 23-8.



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