BLANCHESTER — Two magnificent first-half performances, and a solid fourth quarter were what Blanchester needed to defeat Clermont Northeastern Friday night, 70-57.
On homecoming night at Blanchester High School, Dylan Miller and Jordan Stroud put on a show in the first half.
They started to warm up in the opening quarter, scoring all 11 of Blanchester’s points. The Wildcats trailed 16-11 after the first.
The second quarter was near perfection.
Outside of one Quenton Miller basket — which was scored at the end of an unbelievable sequence which included two diving saves inbounds — the other 25 points belonged to Dylan Miller and Stroud.
They each missed one shot in the quarter, and both of the misses were inside the arc. Miller made 5 of 6, including 4 threes. Stroud made 4 of 5, including 3 threes. Blanchester led 38-25 at the half.
“Dylan and Jordan were flat-out lights out,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “It was very impressive and very pleasing.”
Weber warned his team that they would likely cool in the third quarter and that a veteran CNE team would likely heat up.
Both of his predictions were correct. CNE ended the third on an 18-3 run to pull within two, 47-45.
“I think we lowered our guard a little bit,” Weber said. “I told them at halftime, ‘Guys, it’s hard to stay in that type of streak.’”
Weber decided to change his tactics to try to reignite his team after the third.
“I really haven’t been a yeller a whole lot this year,” Weber said. “In that fourth quarter, I just sat them down and pretty much said, ‘How do you want these people to remember you?’ It took a little bit of force from me, and I was fortunate that they responded the way I hoped.”
But as Dylan Miller and Stroud started to cool down, Quenton Miller heated up. He didn’t miss a shot in the fourth, making all three field goals — including a three — and both free throws. He scored 9 of his 15 in the fourth as Blanchester went on a 16-5 run to put the game back out of reach.
Dylan Miller led Blanchester (8-8, 4-3 SBC) with 23 points, finishing 2 threes off the school record of eight. Stroud had 22.
Grant Fishback led four Rockets (5-10, 2-5) in double figures with 17. Chris Coleman added 16 points.
January 27, 2017
@Blanchester High School
Blanchester 70, Clermont NE 57
(57) CLERMONT NORTHEASTERN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jimmy Camacho 4-1-1-10, Ryan Martin 5-0-1-11, Dylan Jones 1-1-0-3, Chris Coleman 7-2-0-16, Grant Fishback 7-1-2-17. TOTALS 24-5-4-57.
(70) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Quenton Miller 6-1-2-15, Dylan Miller 7-6-3-23, Jacob Burden 0-0-1-1, Harbor Lovin 2-0-1-5, Jordan Stroud 7-4-4-22, JD Wiederhold 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 24-11-11-70.
FIELD GOALS: C 24/59 (Coleman 7/15, Fishback 7/18, Martin 5/9); B 24/62 (D. Miller 7/16, Stroud 7/21, Q. Miller 6/8)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: C 5/19 (Coleman 2/2); B 11/19 (D. Miller 6/9, Stroud 4/8)
FREE THROWS: C 4/9; B 11/20 (Stroud 4/4, D. Miller 3/4)
REBOUNDS: B 31 (Wiederhold 11, Stroud 8, Lovin 3, Hopkins 3, D. Miller 3)
ASSISTS: B 14 (D. Miller 4, Q. Miller 4, Hopkins 2, Stroud 2)
STEALS: B 12 (D. Miller 6, Lovin 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: B 2
TURNOVERS: C 18; B 10
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton