The Verona Wildcats rolled to a 74-33 victory on the road at Wheaton on Tuesday, one of the biggest point margins of their 18-wins-and-counting season. Last Friday's road win at New Covenant Academy, on the other hand, was a closely-contested battle that took some clutch play down the stretch to pull off.
With the game tied at 55 and four seconds to play, the Wildcats stole the ball and got it to the hands of Austin Valdez. The senior attempted a game-winning layup but was fouled on the shot, going to the line for two. Valdez nailed the first of the two free throws with .8 seconds on the clock to give his team the lead.
A desperate heave by NCA was off the mark, giving Verona its 17th win of the season.
The Wildcats won the rebounding battle on the night -- despite being outsized -- 37-34, led by senior Caleb Hillhouse with nine.
Hillhouse also led the offense with 23 points, followed by Kolton Pinkly's 10. Jaiden Carrasquillo added nine points, while Anthony Martinez and Eddie Gutierrez contributed six each. Valdez finished with two, including the game-winner.
Following Monday's win and a Thursday matchup with Hartville, the Wildcats will host Exeter on Friday evening. They'll then travel to Thomas Jefferson on Tuesday.