BLANCHESTER — Unfortunately, Friday the 13th was a bad omen for the Blanchester Wildcats in their matchup against Georgetown as the Wildcats lost a close ballgame, 57-55, on their home floor in Southern Buckeye Athletic & Academic Conference action.
The Wildcats struggled all night long at the free throw line, missing 13 of their 27 attempts.
Despite making a strong comeback against the G-Men in the closing minutes, the Wildcats were not able to cash in when they had their opportunities.
Both Blanchester and Georgetown are now 2-3 in the SBAAC National Division. Williamsburg at 5-0 sits atop the loop following a 45-39 win over Bethel-Tate Friday night. The Tigers are 4-1 in the National Division.
Noah Pack led the G-Men with 18 points, including 10 in the second half. Cameron Brookbank had 13 for the G-Men and Logan Doss had 11, including a trio of three-pointers.
For Blanchester, Dylan Miller had 19 points, 11 in the first half, and Quenton Miller added 12, 10 in the second half, and Jordan Stroud followed with 10.
It was a very physical game, with the teams combining for 47 total fouls. What put Blanchester behind the 8-ball, as the saying goes, was having three starters in foul trouble before the first quarter had elapsed.
“It was difficult for us when I see three starters sitting on the bench, due to fouls just seven minutes into the contest, ” lamented Wildcats head coach Adam Weber.
Georgetown claimed the opening period by a 13-12 margin, which they extended to three points at halftime, 29-26.
“Making matters worse was having them (Georgetown) in the bonus just nine minutes into the game,” Weber continued.
Georgetown also had its share of problems at the charity stripe, going just 13 of 23 in the contest, and making just 8 of 16 attempts in the first half.
“We just didn’t rebound the ball well and with all the missed free throws, those came back to bite us late in the contest,” Weber said.
Georgetown extended its lead to five after three quarters, 41-36, and pushed the margin to eight on a trifecta by Doss, 44-36, in the early stages of the fourth quarter.
Blanchester, not to be denied, steadily chipped away at the deficit, cutting the margin to just three on a pair of Quenton Miller free throws, 55-52, with 1:58 remaining. Stroud’s layup following a steal on the inbound play made it a one point game, 55-54.
Dylan Miller knotted the score at 55-all when he hit the second of two free throw attempts, but for Blanchester, it was their final point of the game.
Jimmy Strickland converted both ends of a one and bonus opportunity for Georgetown’s eventual winning points with 19.1 seconds to play.
Next action for the Wildcats will be Tuesday night in a non-conference matchup with the Norwood Indians.
January 13, 2017
@Blanchester High School
Georgetown 57 Blanchester 55
(55) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Quentin Miller 4-0-4-12, Dylan Miller 6-1-6-19, Lovin 2-0-1-5, Stroud 4-0-2-10, Wiederhold 2-0-0-4, Burden 1-0-0-2, Mitchell 1-0-0-2, Guy 0-0-1-1, Hopkins 0-0-0-0, Baker 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 20-1-14-55.
(57) GEORGETOWN (fg-3fg-ft-tp)Underwood 0-0-0-0, Linville 0-0-0-0, Gast 0-0-0-0, Brookbank 4-2-3-13, Doss 3-3-2-11, Pack 7-0-4-18, Strickland 1-0-4-6, Dietrick 1-0-0-2, Burns 3-1-0-7. TOTALS 19-6-13-57.
Bill Liermann covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet