BLANCHESTER – Williamsburg assumed a one-game lead in the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division race Friday after defeating Blanchester 66-57.
Blanchester’s started strong on homecoming night, but faltered in the second half as Williamsburg surged.
Blan shot 53.8 percent in the first half, making 14 of 26 shot attempts. Williamsburg made 12 of 31 shots (38.7 percent).
“We came out and hit some shots,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “They went to the zone and quickly realized that was a bad idea. We went into halftime feeling good about most of our defensive form – rotations and things like that.
“The plan was to wear them out with transition, and it looked like it was going that direction.”
The same stats tell the story of the second half. Blanchester still shot fairly well, making 42.1 percent in the second half. However, they attempted just 19 shots.
In a fourth quarter when Blanchester trailed from start to finish, Blan attempted just eight shots.
“(Williamsburg) did make some defensive adjustments as far as making a commitment to stop or slow down the transition game,” Weber said. “The other thing is we got careless with some of those transition passes.”
By comparison, Williamsburg took 36 shot attempts in the second half, getting numerous second and third chances. ‘Burg also made the free throws it needed to at the end, making 6 of 9 in the fourth.
“The biggest thing in the second half that was the difference was they just absolutely beat us on the physicality-type plays,” Weber said. “The big guy (Jacob Wells) was altering a lot of our shots down there.
“They just played better in the second half and we never really stepped up to keep them off the glass.”
It was two big runs that decided the game. In the third quarter, trailing 39-32 with 7:10 remaining, Williamsburg went on a 17-4 run to take a 49-43 lead.
In the fourth quarter, after homecoming king Alec Richardson made a three to open the period, Williamsburg scored the next seven to take a 58-48 lead.
Blanchester got no closer than seven the rest of the way.
Williamsburg’s five starters were their five scorers, and all five scored in double figures. Landen Ridener led the way with 16, while Wells added 15.
Dylan Miller led BHS with 18 points. Richardson finished with 13.
Thanks to Clermont Northeastern’s win over Bethel-Tate Friday, Williamsburg finds itself on top of the National Division at 5-2. Blanchester, Bethel-Tate and CNE at 4-3 in second place.
Blanchester has less than 24 hours to recover. They will travel to Felicity for a makeup game at 3 p.m. Saturday.
“I don’t know if having a dance right after this game is playing in our favor,” Weber said. “Biggest thing is, we’ve still got a lot of season left to play. We need a couple things to go our way.”
Joining Richardson, who was crowned homecoming king, was Allie Evans, who was crowned homecoming queen prior to Friday’s game against Williamsburg.
Jan. 29, 2016
@Blanchester High School
Williamsburg 66, Blanchester 57
(66) WILLIAMSBURG (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Landen Ridener 6-4-0-16, Austin Wellman 5-3-0-13, Nate Bogan 3-1-3-10, Jacob Wells 6-0-3-15, Drew McKibben 5-2-0-12. TOTALS 25-10-6-66.
(57) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Alec Richardson 5-2-1-13, Nick Hopkins 0-0-2-2, Quenton Miller 2-0-0-4, Dylan Miller 6-4-2-18, Harbor Lovin 1-0-0-2, Jordan Stroud 4-0-1-9, Nick Grogg 2-1-0-5, JD Wiederhold 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 22-7-6-57.
FIELD GOALS: W 25/67 (Ridener 6/10, Wells 6/14, McKibben 5/16, Wellman 5/11); B 22/45 (D. Miller 6/13, Richardson 5/9, Stroud 4/7)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: W 10/24 (Ridener 4/4, Wellman 3/6); B 7/14 (D. Miller 4/8, Richardson 2/4)
FREE THROWS: W 6/9 (Bogan 3/4, Wells 3/4); B 6/11
TURNOVERS: W 11; B 15
Matt covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @mattsports.