BLANCHESTER — Saturday night’s inter-county battle between Wilmington and Blanchester was an intense, spirited contest from start to finish.

Wilmington prevailed 54-50 as the Hurricane defense came up strong in the closing minutes to secure the victory at the BHS gym.

“We found a way to finish. We played it well down the stretch and I’m glad for the kids, ” said WHS head coach Javein Cumberland.

Blanchester head coach Mike Malott praised his squad for fighting hard right to the end.

“We really competed against them and played hard the entire game,” Malott said. “In a tough game like this, you look back at a few crucial mistakes which could have changed the outcome. I’m certainly proud of their effort.”

Blanchester’s Bryce Sipple had game-high honors with 23 points, including 15 in the opening half. Jansen Wymer added 15 which included a trio of three pointers.

For Wilmington, Jayceon Kibler had 14 points, and Alex Massie added 12 points. Mikey Brown scored seven of his nine points in the second half.

Blanchester took the first quarter by a 16-13 margin, and led by four at the intermission, 30-26. Normally, the third quarter has been the culprit for the Hurricane, but an 18-9 margin propelled Wilmington to a 44-39 lead going into the final period.

Wilmington extended the lead to seven points (51-44) but a long-distance three pointer by Sipple with 1:40 to play helped Blan cut the deficit to four points, 51-47. Wilmington’s defense came up strong, holding the Wildcats to 20 second half points and nine in the final quarter.

Wilmington travels to Batavia Tuesday night for a rescheduled contest and Blanchester will host Bethel-Tate for Senior Night on Friday.

SUMMARY

Feb 10, 2024

@Blanchester High School

Hurricane 54 Wildcats 50

W^13^13^18^10^^54

B^16^14^9^11^^50

(54) WILMINGTON (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Brown 2-1-2-9, Fickert 2-0-0-4, Rickman 0-0-0-0, Platt 1-0-0-2, Cumberland 3-0-0-6, Custis 3-0-1-7, Massie 3-1-3-12, Kibler 3-2-2-14. TOTALS 17-4-8-54.

(50) BLANCHESTER. (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Sipple 7-2-3-23, Tangonan 2-0-0-4, Wymer 1-3-4-15, Cromer 2-0-1-5, Byrom 0-1-0-3, Malott 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 12-6-8-50.