WILLIAMSBURG – The message delivered by Blanchester’s coaches in practice since Tuesday’s disappointing loss at Clermont Northeastern was simple.
The Wildcats could not allow Williamsburg the same opportunities inside the arc they allowed against the Rockets.
Taking that message to heart, Blanchester smothered Williamsburg Friday night, 44-37.
“That was a great bounce-back game,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “We spent two days going crazy in the gym over defense. The boys were flying to their man, closing out, clogging the lane. It was a great defensive effort.”
Williamsburg led by 6, 27-21, with 4:40 remaining in the third quarter. Over the final 12:20 of the game, Williamsburg scored just 10 points and made just 4 shots from the floor.
Blanchester’s momentum-shifting run began with a Dylan Miller 3-point play. Alec Richardson pulled Blan within a point with a basket. After a Nate Bogan basket for ’Burg, Richardson buried a 3 to tie the game at 29.
A basket by Jordan Stroud and another Richardson 3 closed the quarter, giving Blanchester a 34-29 advantage.
Williamsburg (2-2) opened the fourth with 3 straight points to pull within 34-32. They got no closer.
Richardson hit another 3, followed by a Nick Grogg 3 from 24 feet away. Blanchester led by 8, 40-32. The Williamsburg deficit was no smaller than 6 the rest of the way.
The offensive statistics for Williamsburg were jarring. Burg made 4 of 29 3-point attempts (14 percent). Overall, they made 13 of 55 from the floor (24 percent).
In the second half, the numbers were more stunning. Williamsburg made 6 of 29 shots in the second half, including 0 of 13 from beyond the arc.
The numbers pleased Weber, who said the game plan of closing off the lane was executed to perfection.
“CNE got us in foul trouble, got to the paint,” Weber said. “We just said we were going to make Williamsburg beat us from 3. They shot 29 of them, but I think almost every one of them was contested with a guy inches away from them.”
It was a big game for the 5-9 Richardson. In addition to 13 points, he pulled down 10 defensive rebounds. Nine different Blan players scored in a balanced offensive attack.
Drew McKibben led Williamsburg with 9 points. Bogan and Austin Wellman each had 8.
Williamsburg had a blowout win over CNE already under its belt, along with a win against Georgetown and a 1-point loss to Eastern Brown. Blanchester lost to Eastern Brown in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic 71-46.
However, against Blanchester on Friday, Williamsburg had no answer for a tenacious Blanchester half-court defense. It was exactly what Weber was hoping to see out of his team.
“I’ve been confident with them all year,” Weber said. “I think they recognized their shortcomings on the defensive end. It’s scary when a team with talent recognizes their shortcomings and they correct them. They recognized what they needed to change and they changed it.”
Dec. 11, 2015
@Williamsburg High School
Blanchester 44, Williamsburg 37
(44) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Alec Richardson 5-3-0-13, Nick Hopkins 1-0-0-2, Quenton Miller 2-0-0-4, Dylan Miller 2-0-1-5, Cam Carroll 0-0-3-3, Harbor Lovin 1-0-0-2, Jordan Stroud 3-1-1-8, Nick Grogg 1-1-0-3, JD Wiederhold 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 17-5-5-44.
(37) WILLIAMSBURG (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jacob Wells 4-0-0-8, Landen Ridener 1-0-2-4, Austin Wellman 2-2-2-8, Nate Bogan 2-1-3-8, Drew McKibben 4-1-0-9. TOTALS 13-4-7-37.
FIELD GOALS: B 17/52 (Richardson 5/14, Stroud 3/9); W 13/55 (McKibben 4/10, Wells 3/10)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: B 5/19 (Richardson 3/8); W 4/29 (Wellman 2/6)
FREE THROWS: B 5/10 (Carroll 3/4); W 7/12 (Bogan 3/4)
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