BLANCHESTER — A 22-1 run that carried through most of the third quarter Friday night helped Hillsboro’s boys basketball team defeat Blanchester 62-47.
The win was the 11th straight for the Indians (15-2). With its seventh loss in its last 10 games, Blanchester fell to 10-8.
Blanchester played its second straight game without all-time leading scorer Brayden Sipple. Weber believes Sipple will return Tuesday night against Williamsburg.
For Hillsboro, it was another impressive team effort to continue its magical season.
“Give Blanchester credit, they battled us hard,” HHS head coach Miles Burton said. “They’ve been battling injuries and gave us everything we wanted. I was happy to come out on top.”
The first quarter finished tied at 15. Then Hillsboro turned up the defense.
“That first quarter, we weren’t forcing turnovers,” Burton said. “We weren’t in passing lanes enough. Second-quarter we held them to seven points and didn’t look back. When we have good defense and we get out running in transition, we’re a tough team to match up with.”
Blanchester made just 3 of 12 shots in the second quarter. The Indians scored the first nine of the period to take a 24-15 lead. The lead was seven, 29-22, with 1:47 left in the first half.
Brad Miller began Hillsboro’s 22-1 run in the final seconds of the first half with a basket to expand the lead to 31-22 at the break.
Hillsboro held Blanchester without a field goal over the final 1:47 of the first half and through the first 7:35 of the third quarter. It was a balanced scoring run, with only Hunter Price having more than two field goals.
At the end of the run, Hillsboro led 51-23 and never looked back.
“They’re really good,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “They’re a hammer. Our guys were outsized significantly. Hillsboro’s ability to crash the glass and defend with size made it hard for us without Brayden to get our offensive in rhythm.”
Miller and Price led the balanced Hillsboro attack with 12 points each. Price added 14 rebounds while Miller had nine. Ryan Scott had 10 points and seven steals.
“We’ve had six different guys in double figures this year,” Burton said. “Most games we have four in double figures. We have great basketball players and they know they’re better if they get other kids involved. They shared the ball great.”
Bryce Sipple led Blanchester with 13 points. Logan Heitzman added 11. Blanchester was ice cold from the outside, making just 4 of 22 from three-point range.
“I’m so proud of these kids,” Weber said. “When you come to a timeout and you’re bleeding, you know you’re playing as hard as you can.”
Hillsboro started the season with three goals – to have a winning season, to win a league title and to win the sectional. With the winning record now an afterthought, Burton’s team looks to continue a push to a league title.
Jackson and Hillsboro each have one league loss. Jackson has three games remaining in the Frontier Athletic Conference season, while Hillsboro has just two, with the next a pivotal Saturday showdown in Greenfield against McClain.
Sportswriters across the state are taking notice of the Indians’ success, with Hillsboro receiving votes in the Associated Press Division II boys basketball state poll.
Burton, who graduated from Blanchester, knows his team needs to take care of business in those final two league games to achieve the second goal of the season.
“We were pretty surprised to pop up in the AP poll, which hasn’t happened since 1998-1999,” Burton said. “We talk about all the time that the last chapter hasn’t been written on this season. There are so many things that we can do.”
Friday, Feb. 5, 2021
At Blanchester High School
Hillsboro 62, Blanchester 47
(62) HILLSBORO (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ethan Perry 1-1-0-3, Quinton Captain 4-1-0-9, Ryan Scott 4-2-0-10, Jakwon Clark 3-2-0-8, Lawson Parry 3-2-0-8, Hunter Price 5-1-1-12, Brad Miller 6-0-0-12. TOTALS 26-9-1-62.
(47) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Bryce Sipple 4-0-5-13, Brison Lucas 2-0-1-5, Bryce Highlander 2-2-1-7, Seth Akers 2-2-1-7, Hunter Hartmann 1-0-0-2, Colton Wilson 1-0-0-2, Logan Heitzman 5-0-1-11. TOTALS 17-4-9-47.
FIELD GOALS: H 26/65 (Miller 6/9, Price 5/10); B 17/47 (Sipple 4/6, Heitzman 5/8)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: H 9/32; B 4/22
FREE THROWS: H 1/3; B 9/16 (Sipple 5/6)
REBOUNDS: H 40 (Price 15, Miller 9); B 34 (Highlander 6, Wilson 6, Sipple 4, Heitzman 4)
ASSISTS: H 13 (Scott 4); B 6
STEALS: H 16 (Scott 7, Parry 3); B 5
BLOCKED SHOTS: H 1 (Miller 1); B 1 (Heitzman 1)
TURNOVERS: H 15; B 21
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.