BATAVIA — After three quarters of a highly physical boys basketball game Tuesday night, Batavia trailed Blanchester by just four points.
In the fourth quarter, Brayden Sipple took over.
Sipple scored 23 of Blanchester’s 26 points in the fourth as the Wildcats pulled away for a 66-45 victory at Batavia High School.
“He knew it was time to do what he does,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “We knew it was going to be physical, hands-on defense. He knew he had to get downhill, get into the lane and finish.”
The Wildcat junior finished with 41 points, 31 of which came after halftime. He also had eight rebounds. Sipple drove to the basket time and time again in the final period and either scored or got to the free-throw line.
“We isolated him on the side,” Weber said. “We were trying to see if they would slide somebody over to help. He just finished one after another after another. It was strong. It was powerful.”
The final scoreline was not indicative of the tight, tense nature of the previous three quarters. Batavia used physical defense to stymie the Wildcats (11-1) in the first half.
The game was tied at the intermission at 26, and Sipple had just 10 points and three fouls to his record.
Batavia (3-10) slowed Sipple in the first half, but couldn’t stop him in the second half and especially in the fourth quarter.
With Sipple’s 41 points, he has eclipsed the 1,500-point career scoring mark at 1,509. He passed Port William’s Jack Haley (1,473) and New Vienna’s Dean Cluxton (1,481) on the Clinton County all-time scoring list, regardless of gender.
Sipple is sixth all-time. He needs 321 points to move into the top five. Phil Snow of Sabina is fifth at 1,830 career points.
Despite the gaudy numbers for Sipple, each player in Blanchester’s six-man rotation came up with big plays when the Wildcats needed them.
“This team is rare because they all know when it’s their time to do something,” Weber said. “Nobody ever complains about it. They just want to win. This team truly just wants to win.”
Tanner Creager filled the scoresheet. He had six points, six rebounds, eight assists and seven steals.
Batavia sophomore Mason Weisbrodt led the Bulldogs with 20 points and 15 rebounds. Batavia struggled offensively in the fourth, making just 1 of 12 from the floor.
Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020
At Batavia High School
Blanchester 66, Batavia 45
(66) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Braden Roy 1-0-0-2, Tanner Creager 3-0-0-6, Brayden Sipple 15-0-11-41, Jacksson Waialae 4-2-0-10, Jay Ashcraft 1-0-0-2, Hunter Bare 2-0-1-5. TOTALS 26-2-12-66.
(45) BATAVIA (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Max Applegate 2-1-2-7, Robert Lisk 1-0-0-2, Austin Hart 0-0-1-1, Kenyon Gardner 1-0-0-2, Aaron Stepp 3-0-3-9, Mason Weisbrodt 7-0-6-20, Jeff Shepherd 1-1-1-4. TOTALS 15-2-13-45.
FIELD GOALS: BL 26/56 (Sipple 15/29, Waialae 4/11, Creager 3/5); BA 15/58 (Weisbrodt 7/17)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: BL 2/7 (Waialae 2/5); BA 2/17
FREE THROWS: BL 12/18 (Sipple 11/15); BA 13/20 (Weisbrodt 6/10)
REBOUNDS: BL 39 (Bare 9, Sipple 8, Roy 7 Creager 6, Ashcraft 5); BA 41 (Weisbrodt 15, Applegate 6)
ASSISTS: BL 9 (Creager 8); BA 6 (Applegate 3)
STEALS: BL 12 (Creager 7, Sipple 3); BA 6 (Lisk 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: BL 7 (Bare 6); BA 3
TURNOVERS: BL 13; BA 17
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.