BLANCHESTER — After building a double-digit lead, the Blanchester boys basketball team had to hang on to defeat Waynesville 58-55 Wednesday in a non-league boys basketball game at the BHS gym.
The gym was originally scheduled for Dec. 13 but was postponed to Wednesday night.
The win evens the Wildcats record at 3-3 on the year. The Spartans, coming off their first win of the season Friday night against Northridge, are now 1-5.
Blanchester raced out to a first half lead of 31-20.
“We started very strong for the first time this year,” BHS coach Adam Weber said. “We executed very well in the beginning. Jordan Stroud and Dylan (Miller) and Quenton (Miller) were moving the ball really well.”
The Wildcats led 31-20 at halftime, the first time this season the team has had the advantage at the intermission, Weber added.
While Blanchester could never shake Waynesville, the Wildcats also never trailed. With fouls mounting on both sides in the second half, the final outcome would come down to free throw shooting.
“Our guys did a good job of not letting it affect them,” Weber said of the plethora of whistles. “But the thing is, when it got into the bonus, both teams were missing their free throws.”
While Waynesville’s 13 of 21 free throw shooting may be considered sub-par, Blanchester’s 13 for 31 performance, according to Weber, was much worse. In fact, BHS was 6 for 18 at the line in the final period.
“We easily could have put them away,” the BHS coach said. “They made a surge at the end because we were missing free throws.”
Weber said his ’Cats held an 8-point lead with 40 seconds to play then held on for dear life.
“We almost gave it away,” he said.
Jordan Stroud finished with 22 points.
Dylan Miller added 18 points and dished out 6 assists. Harbor Lovin had 12 rebounds to lead the Wildcats. Quenton Miller had 9 rebounds.
JD Wiederhold grabbed 7 rebounds and scored 7 points, which included a “monster, two-hand jam,” Weber said, “that really gave us a lot of momentum late in the fourth quarter.” Wiederhold had another dunk as the final buzzer sounded but it was waved off by the officials.
Quenton Miller and Jacob Burden were both 2-for-2 at the line but the rest of the team combined for just 9 of 27 shooting.