LOVELAND – One week ago, the Bethel-Tate Tigers helped the Blanchester Wildcats win a share of the Southern Buckeye Conference National Division title.
Friday night at Loveland High School, the Tigers ended the Wildcats season by defeating Blanchester 52-38 in a Division III sectional tournament game.
Blanchester finishes its season at 14-7. Bethel-Tate, who lost to Blanchester twice during the regular season 58-48 and 52-47, advances to take on top-seed Purcell Marian 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Loveland High School. Purcell demolished Riverview East 85-20 Friday night.
“They were playing a little bit different defensive style,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “They were dictating what we were doing offensively. The last time we played them, we didn’t beat them by making threes.
“We shied away from making plays around the rim. They made plays through contact and we didn’t.”
The Wildcats appeared to be in control late in the first half. An 8-0 run gave them a 19-13 lead with 1:25 left in the first half.
Things went south from there. Bethel-Tate finished the first half on a 7-0 run, including an Evan Iding three as time expired in the half.
In the third quarter, Blanchester scored the first four points on baskets by Nick Hopkins and Quenton Miller.
Bethel-Tate took control of the game from there. A 12-1 run over the final 5:32 of the third gave the Tigers a 32-24 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Blanchester struggled to get anything going offensively. The Wildcats made just 4 of their first 17 shots in the second half.
The Wildcats got no closer than eight points in the fourth and trailed by double digits most of the quarter.
“As a coach, the biggest thing I’m disappointed with is, everyone in the building could see that they (Bethel-Tate) wanted it more,” Weber said. “They were coming up with every rebound they wanted to get. We went small, then we went big, and it was the same result.”
Trenton Weeks led Bethel-Tate with 19 points. Noah Pickleheimer and Jake Stolz each had 11 points.
Quenton Miller and Alec Richardson each had 10 points to lead Blanchester. For Richardson, David Trivett, Cam Carroll, Nick Grogg and Dade Coyle, it marks the final game in their Blanchester careers.
“One loss does not sum up your body of work,” Weber said. “We’re disappointed with the loss, but the work those five guys and the rest of the team put in … this is still another step in the right direction. We had a little bit of a setback. We’re continuing to put the pieces in place.
“The sun will come up tomorrow. Those guys have been very, very important to the growth.”
Feb. 19, 2016
@Loveland High School
Bethel-Tate 52, Blanchester 38
(38) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Alec Richardson 3-1-3-10, Nick Hopkins 2-0-0-4, Quenton Miller 4-2-0-10, Dylan Miller 1-0-2-4, Cam Carroll 1-0-0-2, Harbor Lovin 1-0-1-3, Jordan Stroud 1-0-1-3, Nick Grogg 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 14-3-7-38.
(52) BETHEL-TATE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Evan Iding 2-2-0-6, Noah Pickleheimer 4-0-3-11, Trenton Weeks 8-1-2-19, Jake Stolz 5-0-1-11, Caleb Bastin 2-0-1-5. TOTALS 21-3-7-52.
FIELD GOALS: BL 14/47 (Q. Miller 4/7, Richardson 3/10); BT 21/40 (Weeks 8/14, Stolz 5/7, Pickleheimer 4/4)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: BL 3/15 (Q. Miller 2/2); BT 3/13 (Iding 2/4)
FREE THROWS: BL 7/15 (Richardson 3/5); BT 7/12 (Pickleheimer 3/5)
REBOUNDS: BL 27 (Q. Miller 7, Stroud 5, Wiederhold 5, Richardson 4); BT 31 (Iding 7, Bastin 7, Stolz 6)
ASSISTS: BL 4 (D. Miller 3); BT 12 (Pickleheimer 4)
STEALS: BL 12 (Richardson 4, Hopkins 3); BT 6
BLOCKED SHOTS: BL 2; BT 0
TURNOVERS: BL 11; BT 17
Matt covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @mattsports.