ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Blanchester held off a furious Clinton-Massie rally to defeat the Falcons 68-52 Friday at Brian P. Mudd Court.
The Wildcats (6-1) jumped out to a 13-4 lead midway through the opening quarter and pushed that lead to 28-13 midway through the second quarter after a 7-0 spurt.
Blan’s lead stayed in double-digits until a 13-2 Clinton-Massie run cut the Wildcats advantage to 48-44 with 5:50 left in the contest.
Massie’s comeback started with Nate Baker and Brendan Lamb converting steals into buckets. Blake Ireland, Baker and Lamb then knocked down threes.
Lamb shared team-high scoring honors with Jordan Redman with 11 points. Tate Olberding added 10.
Tanner Creager squashed any CM hopes of a victory with a pair of threes, one of them the old-fashioned way, to push Blan’s lead back to double-digits, 54-44 with 5:03 to go in the contest.
“It was a rough night for him early on, and I was into him. We needed someone to step up and he stepped up and turned the momentum right back to us,” Blanchester head coach Adam Weber said about Creager who finished with 14 points.
Clinton-Massie (0-4) got within single digits on its next possession, but that was as close as it would get the rest of the evening.
“We have to find out how to play four quarters. We’re going to have a little more leadership on the floor. We’re just looking for answers. What can we do to improve as a coaching staff, as a team? Even though we’re 0-4, we still have 18 regular-season games. We still have a long way to go,” CM head coach Todd Cook said. “The thing is they work very hard. And they worked hard for a good second half, and some spurts in the first half. We have to do a much better job coming out ready to play early in the game.”
Brayden Sipple and Hunter Bare combined to score the next eight points to give Blan a 62-48 cushion with 2:01 remaining in the game.
“It’s a road game against a historical rival, and we haven’t had huge success over here. When you lose one on the road (Tuesday at Clermont Northeastern) and come on the road against a rival that’s had your number, it’s a bounce-back as good as we hoped for. With playing limited bodies, they’ve done a good job maintaining the same level of play on both sides of the ball. They bounced back physically like I had hoped,” Weber said. “We still have things to clean up. We need to do better on close-outs and rebounding, things we did well early on. We need to refocus.”
Sipple finished with a game-high 34 points. His career scoring total unofficially stands at 1,350 points, good for 14th on Clinton County’s career scoring list. Sipple is four points behind Blanchester’s Michelle Gephart for the school’s all-time scoring record for all players.
Bare joined Sipple and Creager in double-figures with 11 points.
Dec 20, 2019
@Brian P. Mudd Court
Blanchester 68 Clinton-Massie 52
(68) BLANCHESTER (fg-ft-tp) Creager 4-3-14, Sipple 11-11-34, Waielae 2-0-5, Ashcroft 1-0-2, Bare 5-1-11, Roy 1-0-2, Heitzman 0-0-0. Total 24-15-68. 3-point goals: 5 (Creager 3, Sipple, Waielae). FTM-FTA 15-19, 79 percent.
(52) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-ft-tp) Faucett 2-2-6, Lamb 5-0-11, Olberding 5-0-10, Baker 3-1-8, Euton 0-0-0, Redman 5-0-11, Ireland 1-0-3, Meyers 1-0-3. Total 22-3-52. 3-point goals: 5 (Redman, Lamb, Ireland, Baker, Meyers). FTM-FTA 3-8, 38 percent.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.