BLANCHESTER — Breaking open a tight ballgame with a 13-2 run in the fourth quarter, the Blanchester Wildcats (13-5) defeated Whiteoak (4-16), 77-59, Monday night at Blanchester High School.
Blanchester has one final home game remaining, Friday night against the Bethel-Tate Tigers.
Whiteoak grabbed a 14-12 first quarter lead thanks to an 8-0 run to start the game. Blanchester won the second quarter battle, 19-14, taking a 31-28 lead at the intermission.
The third quarter saw the teams trade the lead back and forth several times, battling to a 25-25 standoff, making it 56-53 BHS after three.
Dylan Miller connected on a pair of treys helping fuel Blan’s 13-2 run as they extended the margin to 14 points, 69-55, in the final period.
Whiteoak was held to just six points in the fourth, an all-too-familiar pattern for WHS head coach Jeremy McGraw.
“It has been that kind of a year for us. We play well and score real well for three quarters but many times, our shots won’t fall and it seems like the fourth quarter has been like this,” said McGraw, an East Clinton High School graduate. “Defensively, when we needed a stop. we just did not get it. Blanchester is so strong and athletic. We just could not stay with them and gave up way too many baskets in the transition game.”
In a losing cause, Brandon Ashbaugh led the Whiteoak scoring attack with 18 points. Sophomore Chase Carraher had 16, including 12 in the third period.
Blanchester placed four players in double figures, led by Miller’s 17. Alec Richardsom followed with 16, including 14 in the middle two periods.
Non-starters Harbor Lovin and Cam Carroll added 13 each. Carroll provided instant offense for his team with nine second quarter points.
“Cam gave us a real spark coming off the bench in that second quarter,” said BHS coach Adam Weber. “He has really stepped up for us recently. I also want to credit Whiteoak for playing us very tough. They had good execution and we had to reach back for something extra to break the game open in that final period. As a team, I thought we had good balance tonight and a lot of players helped contribute.”
The Wildcats had nine different players in the scorebook, with 28 points coming from non-starters.
Feb 8, 2016
@Blanchester High School
Blanchester 77 Whiteoak 59
(59) WHITEOAK (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ashbaugh 6-2-0-18, Carraher 4-2-2-16, Burns 1-0-11, Marler 1-0-2-4, Yeager 0-0-1-1, Martin 1-0-0-2, Wissel 1-0-0-2, McClure 0-1-0-3, Crowe 0-0-2-2. TOTALS 14-8-7-59.
(77) BLANCHESTER (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Richardson 5-2-0-16, D. Miller 1-5-0-17, Grogg 1-0-0-2, Wiederhold 1-0-0-2, Q. Miller 2-0-0-4, Carroll 1-1-8-13, Lovin 5-0-3-13, Stroud 1-0-0-2, Hopkins 2-1-1-8. TOTALS 19-9-12-77.
Bill covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @learjet.