ADAMS TOWNSHIP — Clinton-Massie boys basketball coach Todd Cook has been waiting for his team to play a complete four-quarter game.
Saturday night, against Blanchester, Cook’s team obliged.
Clinton-Massie shot a staggering 61 percent from the floor in an 83-60 victory over the Wildcats.
“It was a team effort,” Cook said. “I think everybody contributed. We haven’t played for four quarters the entire year. We haven’t shot that well all year long either.
“This is something we’ve been waiting for. We are a talented group. It’s just getting all people to play together.”
Early success shooting from the outside opened up space in the lane for the Falcons, and they took advantage. Clinton-Massie made 26 of 39 from two-point range, and only 2 of those 26 came from outside the painted area.
“We’re starting to get some of our outside shots to fall,” Cook said. “That just adds to the inside game. I don’t want two post players to be our top scorers. I want a post player and a guard to be so that I know we’re working inside and outside.”
A competitive opening quarter turned into a big Falcon advantage thanks to a 19-3 run over the final 6:42 of the second. Clinton-Massie led 39-26 at the half.
“We seem to struggle when our opponent is in our head,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “The easy ones don’t fall, then we start chucking shots that wouldn’t be considered efficient.”
Jordan Stroud tried to keep the Wildcats in the game, He made back-to-back threes, then had a steal that eventually led to a Quenton Miller basket. Blanchester trailed 43-36 with 5:00 left in the third.
Quenton Miller rattled off four points in a row to cut the Falcon lead to 45-40 with 2:38 left in the third.
Thomas Myers had an answer for the Falcons. Myers converted on back-to-back three-point plays which pushed Clinton-Massie’s lead back to 51-40.
The Wildcat deficit was nine, 53-44, when Stroud picked up his fourth foul with 26.1 left in the third. Between then and when he returned to the game with 3:56 left, Clinton-Massie outscored Blanchester 17-9, putting the game out of reach.
“We didn’t play horribly,” Weber said. “We got down in the second quarter, and I saw the mood of our mindset change. We started off well. I felt like some of us lost belief when they got up.”
Myers led the Falcons with 26 points. He also had seven rebounds. Griffin Cook added 20 points, while Nick Chowning had 14 points and eight assists. Of the 20 shots Clinton-Massie missed on the night, they got the offensive rebound on 9 of those 20 misses.
Stroud continued his strong stretch of play for Blanchester, leading the Wildcats with 21 points. Weber has watched the junior progress throughout the year.
“His poise, his shot selection, his complete game has really made growth,” Weber said. “Early in the year, I was not happy with where he was. Right now, I’m getting very, very happy with his growth and willingness to learn.”
In addition, Quenton Miller and Dylan Miller each added 15 points.
Blanchester (7-8) returns to league play Friday with a home matchup against Clermont Northeastern. Weber doesn’t believe there will be carryover from Saturday’s defeat.
“This was a rivalry game between communities,” Weber said. “We lost, so they get to hold the crown for a year. The biggest thing is, what do we want our fans to remember of this group.
“If it’s up to me, I want them to remember a group of guys having fun with a lot of talent and a lot of brotherhood and we finish it the way we want to finish it.”
Clinton-Massie (4-10) will travel to Hillsboro Tuesday night, looking to avenge an early-season loss.
“When Hillsboro came here, it was an opportunity for us to win,” Cook said. “It’s going to be crucial that we execute early. The more we get in the flow early, the more we can continue to go with it.”
January 21, 2017
@Clinton-Massie High School
Clinton-Massie 83, Blanchester 60
(60) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Nick Hopkins 1-0-0-2, Quenton Miller 6-1-2-15, Dylan Miller 4-4-3-15, Harbor Lovin 1-0-2-4, Jordan Stroud 8-3-2-21, JD Wiederhold 0-0-3-3. TOTALS 20-8-12-60.
(83) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Thomas Myers 10-0-6-26, Griffin Cook 6-4-4-20, Nick Chowning 4-1-5-14, Noah Greathouse 2-0-0-4, Trey Uetrecht 2-0-1-5, Chris Demler 4-0-0-8, Bailey Leforge 2-0-0-4, Drew Settlemyre 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 31-5-16-83.
FIELD GOALS: B 20/54 (Stroud 8/14, Q. Miller 6/10, D. Miller 4/19); C 31/51 (Myers 10/13, Cook 6/13, Chowning 4/6, Demler 4/6)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: B 8/24 (D. Miller 4/14, Stroud 3/5); C 5/12 (Cook 4/7)
FREE THROWS: B 12/16 (D. Miller 3/4, Wiederhold 3/4); C 16/23 (Myers 6/8, Chowning 5/5, Cook 4/5)
REBOUNDS: B 26 (Hopkins 6, Wiederhold 5, Q. Miller 4, Stroud 3); C 32 (Myers 7, Uetrecht 7, Demler 5, Cook 4)
ASSISTS: B 12 (Q. Miller 4, Hopkins 2, Burden 2, D. Miller 2); C 15 (Chowning 8, Uetrecht 3, Cook 2)
STEALS: B 7 (D. Miller 2); C 10 (Cook 3, Chowning 3, Uetrecht 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: B 1 (Wiederhold 1); C 0
TURNOVERS: B 15; C 13
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton