BETHEL — Blanchester overcame a sluggish start Friday night to defeat Bethel-Tate 63-52 in a Southern Buckeye Conference National Division game.
The host Tigers (1-6, 1-3 in SBC National) made 8 of 15 shots in the first quarter – three from outside the arc and five in the paint – to take a 21-12 lead after eight minutes.
Blanchester’s defense took over from there as the Tigers went colder than the southern Ohio weather this week.
Bethel-Tate did not make a field goal in the second quarter, missing all eight shots. Blanchester was only slightly better, making 4 of 14 to pull within five, 25-20, at halftime.
“We didn’t come focused, it was clear,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “We went in at halftime surprisingly optimistic because we couldn’t have played any worse.”
After relying on its defense to get them back in the game, the Wildcats (3-6, 3-2) got the offense in rhythm for the final 16 minutes.
Eric Patton, who had all seven of his points in the third quarter, gave the Wildcats the lead for good (33-32) with a free throw with 2:33 left in the period.
The Wildcat offense was largely driven in the first three quarters by freshman Brayden Sipple, who had 19 of his game-high 25 points before the start of the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Sipple got a huge offensive rebound and was fouled as he scored. It was the last of his 25 points and it gave Blan a 52-43 lead
Senior Jordan Stroud closed the game for the Wildcats.
Stroud had 11 of his 24 points in the final 2:50. It started after Sipple missed the free throw on the attempted three-point play. Stroud rebounded the ball and put it in to give Blan an 11-point lead.
Over the final 94 seconds, Stroud made 7 of 8 from the free throw line to quell any Tiger comeback thoughts.
Stroud finished with a double-double, adding 11 rebounds to go with 24 points. Sipple finished with 25 points and 8 rebounds.
After getting outrebounded in the first half, 22-17, Weber got huge contributions on the boards from Nevan Coyle and Hunter Bare. Coyle finished with seven rebounds while Bare pulled down three of Blanchester’s 16 offensive rebounds.
The two helped Blanchester outrebound Bethel-Tate 27-16 in the second half.
“Huge props to Nevan Coyle,” Weber said. “As a guard, he got four or five rebounds that were critical. Hunter Bare came in and made some great effort plays around the basket. Their efforts in the second half were the game changer.”
Jake Collins led Bethel-Tate with 16 points. Seth Becker had 13 points and eight rebounds. It was a tough final three quarters from the floor for the Tigers. After making 8 of 15 in the first, Bethel-Tate made just 6 of 31 (19 percent) in the last three quarters.
Bethel-Tate stayed in the foul-filled game at the free throw line but will lament its missed chances there. The Tigers shot 40 free throws in the game but made just 21. Blanchester made 13 of 26. There were 45 fouls and 66 free throw attempts between the two teams.
Jan. 5, 2018
@ Bethel-Tate High School
Blanchester 63, Bethel-Tate 52
(63) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Eric Patton 2-2-1-7, Nevan Coyle 1-0-0-2, Brayden Sipple 11-0-3-25, Lane Heeg 1-0-0-2, Jordan Stroud 8-0-8-24, Hunter Bare 1-0-1-3. TOTALS 24-2-13-63.
(52) BETHEL-TATE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Seth Becker 4-0-5-13, Griffin Reinert 2-2-2-8, Alex Manz 1-0-0-2, Jake Collins 4-0-8-16, Jacob Reinhart 1-0-4-6, Tyler Baker 2-1-2-7. TOTALS 14-3-21-52.
FIELD GOALS: B 24/58 (Sipple 11/24, Stroud 8/22); BT 14/46 (Becker 4/13, Collins 4/14)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: B 2/9 (Patton 2/2); BT 3/21 (Reinert 2/5)
FREE THROWS: B 13/26 (Stroud 8/11); BT 21/40 (Collins 8/10, Becker 5/9)
REBOUNDS: B 44 (Stroud 11, Sipple 8, Coyle 7); BT 38 (Reinhart 11, Becker 8, Baker 6)
ASSISTS: B 5; BT 4 (Collins 2, Reinhart 2)
STEALS: B 8 (Sipple 2); BT 11 (Collins 4, Becker 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: B 4 (Sipple 3, Heeg 1); BT 1 (Becker 1)
TURNOVERS: B 16; BT 14
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.