BLANCHESTER – Entering the fourth quarter down 15 points, Clinton-Massie outscored Blanchester 26-3 in a dominant frame to win 60-52 Wednesday night at BHS.
The Falcons move to 4-5 on the year. They remain 0-3 in the SBAAC American Division. They’re back in action Friday night when they travel Greenfield McClain, a former rival when the two teams were in the South Central Ohio League.
Blanchester falls to 1-7 on the season and will enter 2023 winless in the SBAAC National Division (0-4). The Wildcats will make the trek to Waynesville Friday night hoping for a win in their final fixture of the calendar year.
Massie’s comeback was fueled by a high intensity zone defense that consistently turned the Wildcats over and led to easy buckets. Sawyer Conrad scored a layup through contact and made the foul shot to cut the difference to three with four minutes to play.
Then Jerry Trout hit a fawned after three pointer to bring the Falcons within two. Both Trout and Conrad finished with 12 points on the night.
“Our big motto has been ‘control the controllables’ all year. Come fourth quarter, we said, ‘You got to control your attitude and your mindset on the defensive end’ and we came out in a 1-3-1 and got after them. That was the recipe right there,” Clinton-Massie head coach Steve Graves said.
After a number of interceptions and some long outlet passes that led to easy layups, the Falcons were celebrating a season-defining comeback victory.
Miles Theetge led the defensive charge with two steals and scored six of his game-high 14 points in a massive fourth quarter. Ryan Dillion went for 10 points; Cale Wilson for 12 to finish the scoring for CMHS.
“I think all the guys did very well. The big shot for us was when Jerry Trout, who had sat a lot of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter, comes in and hits a big three. But, kudos to him, it was just an overall team effort, man,” Graves said.
Blanchester played great basketball for three quarters, as Zach West hit two third quarter three pointers that felt like exclamation marks in his 11-point outing. Bryce Sipple scored 15 in three quarters but was held to two free throws in the fourth, finishing with 17.
The Wildcats did not make a fourth quarter field goal.
“[We didn’t] take care of the basketball. It really came down to that. We really struggled under the pressure there in the fourth quarter and started making some questionable decisions,” said BHS head coach Mike Mallott.
In the JV contest, the Falcons dominated the Wildcats on their way to a 48-25 victory. Brady Russell and Brighton Rodman went for 15 and nine, respectively, for Massie; Braz Byrom put in eight and Aidan Basham scored six for BHS.
Dec 28, 2022
@Blanchester High School
Clinton-Massie 60, Blanchester 52
(52) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Sipple 6-0-5-17 Tangonan 2-0-0-4 West 4-2-1-11 Wymer 2-1-4-8 Cromer 5-0-1-11 Creager 0-0-0-0 Taylor 0-0-0-0 Malott 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 19-3-11/24-52
(60) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Conrad 5-0-2-12 Dillion 5-0-0-10 Wilson 3-0-6-12 Trout 5-1-1-12 Muterspaw 0-0-0-0 Theetge 5-0-4-14 Lamb 0-0-0-0 Trick 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 23-1-13/20-60
Matthew Butcher is a student at Ohio University and covers high school basketball for the News Journal.