BETHEL — Four days after Clermont Northeastern locked down its share of the SBC National Division boys basketball title by beating Bethel-Tate, Blanchester earned its share the same way.
Blanchester opened the game on a 31-6 run and cruised to an 80-57 victory Tuesday night in Bethel to win a share of the league title, improving to 19-1 overall and 11-1 in the division.
The Wildcats earned a share of the league title for the first time since 2015-16 when they shared the title with Williamsburg.
It was the 14th straight victory for the Wildcats, who haven’t lost since a 73-55 loss at Clermont Northeastern on Dec. 17.
“They came here men on a mission,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “If you’re really good, you should be peaking towards the end. It was bucket after bucket and steal after steal. I was really proud of the way we started.”
Bethel-Tate fell to 7-13 overall and 5-7 in the National Division. The Tigers made just 2 of their first 17 shots from the floor and trailed by double digits from the midway point of the first quarter to the end.
After watching the team’s Monday practice, Weber knew they’d be ready for Tuesday’s game.
“Jacksson Waialae truly did not miss a shot in practice,” Weber said. “Even his own teammates were trying to find a way to keep him from making shots and they couldn’t. We were comfortable as a coaching staff.”
Brayden Sipple led Blanchester with 32 points and eight rebounds. He now has 1,790 career points, just 40 points behind Sabina’s Phil Snow for fifth all-time in Clinton County history.
Hunter Bare added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Waialae added 14 points.
Cooper Reinert led Bethel-Tate with 14 points but made just 5 of 21 from the floor. Austin Brookenthal added 12 points. Bethel-Tate shot just 33.3 percent (21 of 63) from the floor compared to 47.7 percent (31 of 65) for the Wildcats.
The Wildcats also outrebounded the Tigers 45-35 and had 22 assists on 31 made field goals.
Blanchester continues this stretch of three games in four days Wednesday at Hillsboro, to play an Indians team coached by BHS graduate Miles Burton.
Hillsboro is also the city Weber calls home. Just another storyline for the midweek showdown.
“The biggest thing is that I live a mile from the school,” Weber said. “It’s personal no matter how we slice that game. They have a good ballclub and Miles is doing a nice job in his first year there.
“I’m not going to make any predictions, but we’re coming down to play.”
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020
At Bethel-Tate High School
Blanchester 80, Bethel-Tate 57
(80) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Bryce Highlander 1-0-0-2, Brayden Sipple 13-2-4-32, Tanner Creager 3-0-0-6, Jacksson Waialae 5-4-0-14, Trenton Czaika 1-0-3-5, Logan Heitzman 1-0-1-3, Jay Ashcraft 1-0-0-2, Hunter Hartman 0-0-1-1, Hunter Bare 6-0-3-15. TOTALS 31-6-12-80.
(57) BETHEL-TATE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Kyle Smith 2-0-0-4, Cooper Reinert 5-3-1-14, Noah Weis 1-1-0-3, Devonte Williams 2-0-4-8, Blake Stiles 1-0-1-3, Austin Brookenthal 5-0-2-12, Alex Manz 2-1-0-5, Luke Frondorf 3-0-0-6. TOTALS 21-5-10-57.
FIELD GOALS: B 31/65 (Sipple 13/23, Bare 6/12, Waialae 5/11); BT 21/63 (Brookenthal 5/7, Reinert 5/21)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: B 6/18 (Waialae 4/8); BT 5/16 (Reinert 3/11)
FREE THROWS: B 12/15 (Sipple 4/4); BT 10/14 (Williams 4/5)
REBOUNDS: B 45 (Bare 11, Sipple 8, Creager 5, Heitzman 4); BT 35 (Frondorf 7, Reinert 4, Manz 4)
ASSISTS: B 22 (Creager 8, Sipple 5); BT 13 (Reinert 3)
STEALS: B 12 (Sipple 5, Creager 3); BT 8
BLOCKED SHOTS: B 6; BT 6 (Frondorf 4)
TURNOVERS: B 15; BT 19
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.