BATAVIA — Missing four of its five regular starters, the Blanchester boys basketball team lost at Batavia Wednesday night, 66-40.
Blanchester (10-7) played without leading scorer Brayden Sipple, Brison Lucas, Hunter Hartmann and Bryce Highlander.
Sipple left the Wildcats’ game Saturday night with a sprained ankle. BHS head coach Adam Weber said they are hopeful he will be back next week.
Weber was pleased with the efforts of both his remaining seniors and young players, as they went toe to toe with the top team in the SBC American Division.
“There was major growth by young players who we expect to carry the load next year,” Weber said. “I’m proud of the seniors as well not letting anyone give up mentally or emotionally. They battled Batavia’s bigs with a ton of heart and effort.”
Defense kept the Wildcats in the game early. Blanchester trailed by only four, 20-16, with 2:36 left in the first half.
Batavia (15-2) finally got the offense in gear, outsourcing Blanchester 31-1 over the next 7:57 to put the game away.
Bryce Sipple led Blanchester with 21 points. Seth Akers knocked down a pair of outside shots for six points. Seven different Wildcats scored, but Blanchester shot just 11 of 49 (22.4 percent) from the floor.
“Bryce Sipple kept us afloat offensively,” Weber said. “We just couldn’t string enough stops and finishes together to fully chip away.”
Three Batavia players finished with 14 points. Mason Weisbrodt had 12 rebounds to go with his 14 points. Kenyon Gardner and Max Applegate shared the team lead in points with Wesibrodt.
Still, Weber was proud of seniors like Nolan Gray, Colton Wilson and Logan Heitzman for their efforts keeping the Wildcats in the game as long as possible.
“Batavia didn’t win 13 in a row by accident,” Weber said. “With four starters out, Logan Heitzman was determined to not let his guys play intimidated, and they did not.”
Blanchester returns home to take on Hillsboro Friday night. Hillsboro is coached by Blanchester graduate Miles Burton.
Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021
At Batavia High School
Batavia 66, Blanchester 40
(40) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Bryce Sipple 6-2-7-21, Seth Akers 2-2-0-6, Justin Hogsett 1-0-0-2, Gabe McVey 1-0-1-3, Colton Wilson 1-1-0-3, Gabe Faulkner 0-0-3-3, Andrew Osborn 0-0-2-2. TOTALS 11-5-13-40.
(66) BATAVIA (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Kenyon Gardner 6-0-2-14, Caleb Stewart 1-0-0-2, Max Applegate 6-2-0-14, Mick Heckard 1-0-2-4, Robert Lisk 4-0-0-8, Kyler Myers 2-1-0-5, Ethan Hensley 0-0-1-1, Owen Wiscombe 1-0-0-2, Kellen Epps 0-0-1-1, Mason Weisbrodt 4-0-6-14, Josh Berger 0-0-1-1. TOTALS 25-3-13-66.
FIELD GOALS: BL 11/49 (Sipple 6/18); BA 25/53 (Applegate 6/8, Gardner 6/12)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: BL 5/22 (Sipple 2/7, Akers 2/9); BA 3/12 (Applegate 2/3)
FREE THROWS: BL 13/17 (Sipple 7/9); BA 13/17 (Weisbrodt 6/7)
REBOUNDS: BL 30 (Heitzman 6, McVey 5, Akers 4, Wilson 4); BA 38 (Weisbrodt 12)
ASSISTS: BL 5; BA 13
STEALS: BL 3; BA 11 (Heckard 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: BL 4 (Wilson 2); BA 2 (Weisbrodt 2)
TURNOVERS: BL 14; BA 7
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.