BLANCHESTER — A three-minute scoring drought in the fourth quarter Friday night proved too much for Blanchester to overcome as they fell to Gamble Montessori 76-72.
Brayden Sipple, who returned to the lineup, scored with 5:00 left to pull Blanchester within two, 61-59.
Blanchester wouldn’t score again until Colton Wilson scored with 2:00 left. His basket ended a 9-0 Gator run.
“We tried zone, we tried man-to-man, we tried some junk 1-3-1,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “We were not here on a mission to guard. It’s that simple.”
Gamble Montessori struggled at the free-throw line late which allowed Blanchester back into the game. However, Blanchester got no closer than four points down the rest of the way.
Sipple led Blanchester with 36 points. He now has 2,397 career points, just 11 behind Wilmington’s Jarron Cumberland for first all-time in Clinton County history. Cumberland is also next on the OHSAA list, as the former Hurricane and Cincinnati Bearcat is 16th all-time.
Sipple will have a chance to break the record Saturday at Williamsburg. He was injured in the first quarter of the previous meeting against the Wildcats.
“He’s done everything that (BHS trainer Carrie Ottopal) has asked of him,” Weber said. “He’s not 100 percent. He’s fighting through some pain. He’s a fighter.”
Gamble Montessori had a balanced scoring attack led by Sean Caldwell, who had 19 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals. Mike Norton added 17 points, while Dalon Owensby had 15. Desmond Davis had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Blanchester honored its six seniors before the game. Sipple opened the game on the bench so seniors Bryce Highlander, Hunter Hartmann, Nolan Gray, Colton Wilson and Logan Heitzman could start on senior night.
Weber expects the seniors to get at least one more home contest, as the Wildcats still have a makeup game to play at home against Bethel-Tate.
Friday, Feb. 12, 2021
At Blanchester High School
Gamble Montessori 76, Blanchester 72
(76) GAMBLE MONTESSORI (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jeremiah Neblett 3-0-2-8, Mike Norton 4-0-9-17, Sean Caldwell 5-2-7-19, Dalon Owensby 6-0-3-15, Bassouri Kante 3-0-1-7, Desmond Davis 5-0-0-10. TOTALS 26-2-22-76.
(72) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Bryce Sipple 2-0-2-6, Brison Lucas 1-1-0-3, Bryce Highlander 2-2-1-7, Seth Akers 0-0-1-1, Hunter Hartmann 3-2-1-9, Brayden Sipple 11-5-9-36, Colton Wilson 1-0-1-3, Logan Heitzman 3-0-1-7. TOTALS 23-10-16-72.
FIELD GOALS: G 26/55 (Owensby 6/13, Caldwell 5/9); B 23/53 (Bra. Sipple 11/20)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: G 2/15 (Caldwell 2/5); B 10/21 (Bra. Sipple 5/8, Highlander 2/5, Hartmann 2/2)
FREE THROWS: G 22/35 (Norton 9/15, Caldwell 7/7); B 16/24 (Bra. Sipple 9/10)
REBOUNDS: G 38 (Davis 10, Caldwell 6, Neblett 6, Owensby 5); B 29 (Heitzman 7, Highlander 4)
ASSISTS: G 10 (Caldwell 3); B 9
STEALS: G 9 (Caldwell 4); B 6 (Bra. Sipple 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: G 1; B 4 (Heitzman 2)
TURNOVERS: G 13; B 17
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.