BLANCHESTER — A tenacious defensive effort sparked Blanchester to a 36-24 win over New Richmond Monday in the season-opening girls basketball game at the BHS gym.
The Ladycats (1-0) forced 34 turnovers, with Emma Gundler leading the way with seven steals.
“Emma is the Energizer Bunny out there,” said BHS head coach Bennie Carroll. “We played with an awful lot of effort and it all starts there. For us to have any chance, we have to give great effort defensively and hope we get better offensively.
“All the girls played hard and all did some (good) things.”
Gundler led BHS with seven points while Olivia Gundler and Dakota Watters scored six points each.
Savana Greene led BHS with six rebounds while Watters hauled in five.
Bergen Workman of New Richmond led all scorers with 11 points.
The Ladycats exhibited solid passing in the opening period and held an early 10-3 lead. Olivia Gundler had a couple of assists while Merri Lindsey and Asia Baldwin had nifty passes that led to BHS scores.
But that 10-3 lead turned into a 14-14 tie at the half as New Richmond battled back.
In the third period, Blanchester scored the first four points to go up 18-14 then went over 4:00 without a basket and relinquished the lead. The defense, though, forced six turnover during that span and New Richmond was unable to get in front. It was 18-18 with 3:55 to play in the third.
Greene made a baseline pass to a cutting Emma Gundler who converted to put BHS up 20-18. Olivia Gundler found Elecia Patton for a layup to make it 22-18 at the end of the third.
In the fourth, the offensive play picked up for BHS. Patton drained a three from the right wing with Mckenzie Miller getting the assist. The put the Ladycats up 29-20. With the defense still causing the New Richmond offense to scramble, that nine-point spread was never seriously challenged.
“We were scrappy and hustled and go after it the best we could on defense,” said Carroll. “We were able to create enough turnovers to score some points. Offensively, we have some things to work on but we did enough (tonight) to get the win.”
November 28, 2016
@Blanchester High School
Blanchester 36 New Richmond 24
(36) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Baldwin 0-0-2/5-2 Patton 2-1-0-5 O. Gundler 3-0-0-6 Lindsey 2-0-0-4 E. Gundler 3-0-1/4-7 Miller 1-0-0-2 Greene 1-0-2/2-4 Watters 3-0-0-6 Wilson 0-0-0-0 Farrow 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 15-1-5/11-36
(24) NEW RICHMOND (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Bird 0-0-1/2-1 Hamilton 1-0-1/2-3 Forsee 1-0-4/10-6 Harris 0-0-3/5-3 Workman 4-0-3/5-11. TOTALS 6-0-12/24-24
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports