BLANCHESTER — Free throw shooting proved to be the difference Monday night as the Blanchester girls basketball team edged Clinton-Massie 51-49 at BHS.
Lana Roy’s two free throws with 1:20 remaining in the game gave Blanchester (1-4) the lead for good. Blanchester made 9 of 10 from the line over the last 3:13, and 18 of 27 total for the game.
Clinton-Massie got to the line just nine times, making four.
“The girls have been through a lot of adversity,” BHS head coach Bradon Pyle said. “I’m really proud of the effort they put forth. I told them it was like a little Christmas present. Getting that first win is a big one.”
Three straight three-pointers by McKenzie Avery turned a four-point deficit into a one-point CM lead, 41-40, with 4:25 left. Aiden Eades made it a three-point lead with 3:30 left.
Blanchester went ahead, and stayed ahead, at the free-throw line. Over the last 3:13, Blanchester scored 11 of its 12 points from the charity stripe.
It was a tough shooting night for Clinton-Massie, as the Falcons made just 20 of 78 from the floor (25.6 percent) and 5 of 25 from outside the arc (20 percent).
Meanwhile, Blanchester cleaned up inside. Both of the Wildcats’ starting post players had double-doubles. Daelyn Staehling had 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Ainsley Whitaker had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
“We’ve preached all year that our offense has to run through our post,” Pyle said. “Daelyn and Ainsley have an advantage almost every game. There’s not a girl stronger in the league than both of them. It was a big night for them.”
Olivia Potts also scored in double figures for Blanchester with 11 points.
Avery led the Falcons with 17 points, eight rebounds and six steals. Eades and Miranda Crawford each had eight points.
The result was the third straight narrow loss for the Falcons (0-4) to a fellow county school. They have losses to East Clinton, Wilmington and Blanchester by a combined seven points.
Monday, Dec. 21, 2020
At Blanchester High School
Blanchester 51, Clinton-Massie 49
(49) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Holland Jaramillo 1-1-0-3, Sydney Crowe 2-1-0-5, Aidan Eades 4-0-0-8, Miranda Crawford 3-0-2-8, McKenzie Avery 6-3-2-17, Maddie Phipps 3-0-0-6, McKenna Branham 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 20-5-4-49.
(51) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Emma Winemiller 1-0-0-2, Kaylee Coyle 1-0-1-3, Lana Roy 1-0-4-6, Olivia Potts 3-1-4-11, Ainsley Whitaker 4-0-3-11, Daelyn Staehling 6-0-6-18. TOTALS 16-1-18-51.
FIELD GOALS: CM 20/78 (Avery 6/18, Eades 4/17); B 16/37 (Staehling 6/10, Whitaker 4/7)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: CM 5/25 (Avery 3/10); B 1/5
FREE THROWS: CM 4/9; B 18/27 (Staehling 6/8, Roy 4/4, Potts 4/7)
REBOUNDS: CM 39 (Phipps 10, Avery 8, Crawford 6); B 46 (Whitaker 13, Staehling 12, Roy 6, Winemiller 5)
ASSISTS: CM 9 (Eades 4, Crawford 3); B 9
STEALS: CM 19 (Avery 6, Eades 5); B 5
BLOCKED SHOTS: CM 1 (Branham); B 3 (Coyle 2)
TURNOVERS: CM 15; B 34
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.