BLANCHESTER – Blanchester bolted out to a 13-0 lead and let Bethel-Tate back into the game very briefly before caging the Tigers for a 79-49 victory.
The victory gave Blan second-place alone in the SBAAC National Division.
Four Wildcats reached double-figures, led by Brayden Sipple with 30 points. He moved past East Clinton’s Wyatt Floyd into eighth place on the Clinton County career scoring list. His total of 1,468 is five points behind Port William great Jack Haley and 13 behind New Vienna legend Dean Cluxton.
Tanner Creager had 12, including 10 in the first quarter. Hunter Bare chipped in with 11 while Jacksson Waialae added 10.
The last of Creager’s points, a pair of free throws, capped a 14-2 run to open the final quarter and gave Blan (10-1, 5-1) its largest lead of the game, 70-37 with 3:31 left in the contest. That’s also when the starters headed to the bench for the evening.
Bethel-Tate (6-6, 4-2) responded to Blan’s game-opening run by pulling to within 17-14 with 1:10 to go in the opening period.
A Creager steal that led to a Sipple layup and a Sipple three just before the end of the quarter turned away that threat.
The Tigers trimmed the Wildcats’ advantage to 25-21 midway through the second quarter. But Blan squashed that threat and took a 36-25 lead into the break with three free throws and a dunk from Sipple, a lay-in on a runout and a put back by Bare, and a deuce by Waialae.
Luke Frondorf led Bethel-Tate with 14.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.