BLANCHESTER – A nearly four-minute Fairfield scoring drought in the third quarter proved to be the difference Wednesday night as the Lions fell to Blanchester 69-58.
Trailing by nine at the half, Fairfield came out of the locker room on fire. The Lions scored seven points in the first 50 seconds of the second half to pull within three, 33-30.
Blanchester, using the same formula of stingy defense and strong rebounding that helped them to a win Tuesday night, caught fire itself.
The Wildcats (11-5) went on a 13-0 run over the next 3:20 to take a 46-30 lead with 3:50 left in the third. Fairfield would go 3:40 without a point until Wyatt Evans broke the drought with 3:30 left in the quarter.
Blan expanded its lead to 20, 52-32, with 80 seconds left in the period.
Fairfield (9-11) made one more run at the Wildcats. A 9-0 run going into the fourth quarter pulled the Lions within 52-41.
Three pointers by Klay Walker and Jensen Daulton helped cut the Lion deficit to 57-47 with 6:30 to go. Fairfield made 5 of its first 6 shots in the fourth.
In the end, Fairfield had no answers for JD Wiederhold and Alec Richardson. They combined for the last 10 Blanchester points to put the game away.
“We didn’t make a single three-pointer,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “We’ve been preaching all year that I don’t know if that’s our best weapon. It seems like they’re figuring it out that if they go after the rebound and you attack the glass, they’re hard to stop.”
Wiederhold had a big night. He led Blanchester with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Richardson added 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 assists. Blanchester had 42 rebounds on the night for an even 100 over the last two days.
“JD had a monster night and we are blessed to have him,” Weber said. “But when we need to go small, we can also put teams off-balance.”
Evans led the Lions with 20 points. Klay Walker added 9 points.
Winners of three straight, Blanchester closes a four-game in six-day stretch at home Friday against Bethel-Tate. Weber encouraged both teams to don a particular piece of equipment for the huge SBC showdown.
“We’ve been trying not to overlook these games,” Weber said. “We’ve been trying to use these games as feeder games to what we know is pretty much the season. I feel very confident going into Friday.
“Bethel-Tate better come and bring their battle hats because I’m pretty sure we’re going to be ready to go after it.”
Feb. 3, 2016
@Blanchester High School
Blanchester 69, Fairfield 58
(58) FAIRFIELD (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Cody Gragg 1-0-0-2, Klay Walker 3-3-0-9, Kayden Lamb 2-2-0-6, Ethan Putnam 3-1-0-7, Wyatt Evans 9-0-2-20, Jenson Daulton 3-1-0-7, Mason Cain 0-0-3-3, Jesse Current 1-1-0-3, Wyatt Harris 0-0-1-1. TOTALS 22-8-6-58.
(69) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Alec Richardson 9-0-0-18, Nick Hopkins 2-0-0-4, Quenton Miller 1-0-0-2, Dylan Miller 3-0-2-8, Cam Carroll 0-0-1-1, Harbor Lovin 3-0-0-6, Jordan Stroud 2-0-7-11, JD Wiederhold 8-0-3-19. TOTALS 28-0-13-69.
FIELD GOALS: F 22/56 (Evans 9/17, Walker 3/8, Putnam 3/9); B 28/72 (Richardson 9/17, Wiederhold 8/12)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: F 8/24 (Walker 3/6); B 0/11
FREE THROWS: F 6/11 (Cain 3/4); B 13/22 (Stroud 7/10)
REBOUNDS: B 42 (Wiederhold 15, Stroud 7, Q. Miller 6, Richardson 6)
ASSISTS: B 10 (Richardson 3, D. Miller 3)
STEALS: B 10 (Richardson 5)
BLOCKED SHOTS: B 3 (Wiederhold 3)
TURNOVERS: F 14; B 9
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @mattsports.