LEES CREEK — East Clinton hosted Blanchester Thursday night as the SBAAC and county rivals locked horns for the second time this season.
The Wildcats were looking to avenge a 22-point home loss to the Astros earlier this season. The Astros looked determined to not let that happen, as they jumped on the Wildcats early and cruised to a 67-36 win.
It was a strong performance on both ends of the floor for Astro Katrina Bowman as she led the way for the victors.
“She gave us a big lift tonight. She has been working hard and it showed tonight,” EC head coach Jeff Craycraft said.
The Astros came out hot. Bowman led the early charge with six points early to help stake the home team to a 12-4 advantage at the halfway point of the opening quarter. The Wildcats struggled to find offense throughout the first, with several turnovers. EC continued its hot shooting as Libby Evanshine’s jumper gave the Astros a 16-6 lead as the period ended.
Bowman came right back with two more field goals as second quarter action got underway. She nailed an 18 footer and another inside shot to give the home team its largest lead. Olivia Potts long jumper got the Wildcats on the board with their first points of the quarter, stopping what had been an 8-0 Astro run. The Astros, however, still had not cooled off as Gracie Evanshine buried two long threes.
“We were in a little lull and those were two big shots for us,”said Craycraft.
Those three-pointers were followed by yet another Astro three, this time from Kami Whiteaker, who’s basket pushed the lead to 20. A beautiful pass from Lana Roy to Daelyn Staehling for a layup ended the half on a positive note for Blanchester, but the Astros still held a commanding 35-16 advantage at the break.
The intermission did not slow the Astros. Three-pointers from Libby Evanshine, Bowman and Whiteaker all came in the early moments of the third quarter. BHS put up its best quarter of the game, but with the Astros continuing to shoot the lights out, the lead extended to an insurmountable 51-29 at the end of three.
For the Astros, it was their best offensive performance of the year. In total, EC knocked down seven three pointers, as they posted a season high 67 points.
“We have been working on our spacing. We reversed the ball and shared it. That’s when good things happen,” Craycraft said.
Bowman and Whiteaker led the Astros with 16 points each. Libby (13) and Gracie Evanshine (10) also hit double figures for the Astros. Staehling was the lone Wildcat in double figures with 15.
East Clinton improved its record to 4-11 with the win, while the Wildcats fell to 1-14. The Astros will look for their second straight when they host Felicity on Monday. Craycraft said, “We played them tough earlier in the year and hopefully we can come out and shoot the ball well again.”
BHS also is back in action Monday, as they host Reading.
In the reserve game, East Clinton came out on top 50-33.
Jayden Murphy paced the Astros with 16 points. Jozie Jones added 12.
Blanchester was led by Ainsley Whitaker who scored eight points.
Jan 23, 2020
@East Clinton High School
East Clinton 67 Blanchester 36
(67) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Tong 0-0-0-0 L. Evanshine 4-1-4-13 Bowman 7-1-1-16 Whiteaker 4-2-6-16 Jones 0-0-0-0 G. Evanshine 3-2-2-10 Lilly 1-0-0-2 Stonewall 1-0-0-2 Murphy 3-1-1-8 Weiner 0-0-0-0 Boggs 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 23-7-14-67
(36) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Irwin 1-0-0-2 Scott 0-0-1-1 Buerkle 0-0-0-0 Tedrick 0-0-2-2 Mulvihill 1-0-0-2 Roy 2-0-2-6 Winemiller 1-0-0-2 Benne 0-0-0-0 Brown 0-0-0-0 Potts 3-0-0-6 Staehling 6-0-3-15 TOTALS 14-0-8-36
Brian Georges covers high school sports for the News Journal.