BLANCHESTER — A stifling defense helped Blanchester turn a first-half deficit into an easy 40-27 victory over Batavia Monday night.
Trailing 15-13 with 1:48 left in the third, Blanchester (1-0) would outscore Batavia 18-4 over the next 10:52. The Lady Wildcats would lead by as many as 16 in the fourth quarter.
Batavia (0-1) went more than 12 minutes without a field goal, in large part to a smothering man-to-man defensive effort.
Maggie Mehlman, the Bulldogs’ top scorer, was held to just one second-half point after scoring seven in the first half. Asia Baldwin drew the assignment of containing Mehlman, and she gave her few easy looks.
Bradon Pyle, who picked up his first varsity head coaching victory, was impressed with Baldwin’s effort.
“Asia Baldwin is just tenacious defensively,” Pyle said. “She’s as solid a defensive player as you’re going to find in our league.”
Pyle also credited Elicia Patton for her work on Macie Mehlman, who spent much of the first half in foul trouble.
Baldwin and Patton were part of an impressive defensive team effort.
“Overall, the help-side, everything defensively we put together … I was really proud of the girls,” Pyle said.
Patton led a balanced scoring attack with 11 points. Baldwin and Dakota Watters each had eight points. Eight different Blanchester players scored.
In addition to Maggie Mehlman’s eight points, Stephanie Carter added seven points for the Bulldogs.
Nov. 27, 2017
Blanchester 40, Batavia 27
(27) BATAVIA (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Summer Stith 1-1-0-3, Maggie Mehlman 3-0-2-8, Macie Mehlman 1-1-0-3, Cati Hatfield 1-0-1-3, Maggie Menke 1-0-0-2, Stephanie Carter 2-0-3-7, Ciera Currington 0-0-1-1. TOTALS 9-2-7-27.
(40) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Asia Baldwin 2-0-4-8, Hayley Wilson 2-0-0-4, Holly Scott 0-0-1-1, Olivia Gundler 1-0-1-3, Elicia Patton 3-1-4-11, Lana Roy 1-0-0-2, Dakota Watters 4-0-0-8, Regan Ostermeier 1-0-1-3. TOTALS 14-1-11-40.