BLANCHESTER – Blanchester’s third comeback, which included a 20-4 run, was a charm in a 62-55 victory Friday against Batavia.
The Wildcats (8-3) fell in a 21-6 hole late in the opening period after a 13-1 Bulldog run but Blan scored the next 14 to pull within 21-20.
After Blan having nearly two minutes to either tie or take the lead, Batavia took advantage of being in the bonus the last four minutes of the half to push its margin back to 30-23, going 6-of-8 at the free throw line.
The Wildcats cut Batavia’s lead to 35-34 early in the second half but quickly fell behind again, 43-34 after the Bulldogs reeled off nine straight points.
Then Alec Richardson and Jordan Stroud took over. Stroud’s bucket started the 20-4 run. Richardson hit a two, a three and a pair of technical free throws to trim Batavia’s margin to 45-43 with 49 seconds left in the third quarter. Richardson’s steal under the Batavia basket and heave to Stroud at the other end for two knotted the game at 45-45 just before the end of the quarter.
Stroud’s two tied the game at 47 in early in the final period. Nick Grogg got the ball back after his steal to bury a three to push Blan’s lead to 50-47. Richardson would ultimately cap the run with another pair of technical free throws with 4:38 left in the contest to put the Wildcats up 54-47.
Batavia (8-4) wasn’t done yet. It took the lead one more time, 55-54 with 1:15 left after five straight points by Ty Wolfe.
Blan responded with a three to take the lead for good and then salted the game away at the free throw line.
Richardson led all scorers with 15 points. He was one of four Wildcats in double-figures. Dylan Miller and Quinton Miller had 12 each while Stroud added 11.
Three Bulldogs reached double-figures, led by Shawn Adams with 14. Wolfe finished with 13. Garrett Kraus had 12, all but one in the first quarter.
In the JV game, Batavia won 54-38 behind Kaleb Moell’s 22 points. Lane Heeg and Eric Patton had 10 each for the Wildcats.
Moell also led the Bulldog freshmen in a 37-33 losing effort with 10 points. Ian Heeg led Blan with 11.
Jan 15, 2016
@Blanchester High School
Blanchester 62 Batavia 55
(55) BATAVIA (fg-ft-tp) Sickles 1-1-3, Wolfe 5-0-13, Sammons 1-4-6, Adams 5-3-14, Kraus 5-2-12, Richardson 1-0-2, Gibbs 0-0-0, Maxson, 2-1-5, Woods 0-0-0, Total 20-11-55. 3-point goals: 4 (Wolfe 3, Adams). FTM-FTA 11-15, 73 percent.
(62) BLANCHESTER (fg-ft-tp) Grogg 2-1-6, D. Miller 3-4-12, Richardson 4-6-15, Stroud 4-2-11, Weiderhold 0-1-1, Carroll 0-0-0, Hopkins 0-0-0, Lovin 1-3-5, Q. Miller 5-2-12, Total 19-19-62. 3-point goals: 5 (D. Miller 2, Richardson, Grogg, Stroud). FTM-FTA 19-36, 53 percent.
Shawn covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.