BLANCHESTER — Blanchester head coach Adam Weber couldn’t have scripted his team’s senior night any better.
His Wildcats never trailed and all seven of his seniors contributed in a 58-39 win over East Clinton Tuesday night at BHS.
“That was the most complete, well-rounded game we’ve played,” Weber said. “We took a couple poor shots early, and once we understood that was not going to put us in control, I felt like we snapped out of that.”
Blanchester scored the first seven points of the game and led 14-7 after one quarter. The Wildcats pushed the advantage to 10, 25-15, at halftime.
East Clinton was never able to get its deficit to single digits the rest of the way. Blanchester led by as many as 21 in the third quarter.
“This team has always been a team that can create plays for each other,” Weber said. “I was really pleased with some of the passes to create shots for a teammate.”
The Astros’ JT McCarren tried to pull his team back into the game late in the third quarter. He scored East Clinton’s last eight points of the third and all 13 of East Clinton’s points in the fourth.
“He’s just a spark for us,” EC head coach Tony Berlin said. “He can turn things around on either end of the floor with his defensive presence or his offensive presence.”
However, even McCarren’s heroics could only pull the Astros within 12, 44-32, with 5:52 left. Blanchester scored the next 11 points to put the game out of reach.
“It seems like it’s been consistent all year,” Berlin said. “We’ll fight back and get it to within 12, and we’ll come down and take an ill-advised shot and they get a run-out.”
It was a tough night offensively for the Astros. Take away McCarren’s shooting line — 7 of 20 — and the rest of the Astros made just 5 of 31 shots (16.1 percent).
“I felt like our defensive presence and our defensive execution was on point,” Weber said. “We were playing pretty committed to help-side with (Wyatt) Floyd and McCarren. Overall, we were very good fundamentally.”
McCarren led all scorers with 27 points. No other Astro had more than four points.
Eight different Wildcats scored, and three seniors scored in double figures. Nick Hopkins and Dylan Miller both scored 13 points while Quenton Miller added 11. Frank Guy, Blake Baker, Harbor Lovin and JD Wiederhold also played well in their next-to-last home contest.
“Across the board, everybody was contributing to the success of the night,” Weber said. “I’m happy for these kids because they’re great young men and they’re a lot of fun to coach. There is still a lot of basketball to be played.”
FEBRUARY 14, 2017
@Blanchester High School
Blanchester 58, East Clinton 39
(39) EAST CLINTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Brendon Jenkins 0-0-1-1, JT McCarren 7-2-11-27, Wyatt Floyd 2-0-0-4, Cameron Conner 1-0-0-2, Jacob Olds 1-0-0-2, Matt Mitchell 1-1-0-3. TOTALS 12-3-12-39.
(58) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Frank Guy 2-1-0-5, Blake Baker 1-1-0-3, Nick Hopkins 5-1-2-13, Quenton Miller 4-1-2-11, Dylan Miller 5-1-2-13, Jacob Burden 2-0-0-4, Jordan Stroud 2-1-0-5, JD Wiederhold 1-0-2-4. TOTALS 22-6-8-58.
FIELD GOALS: EC 12/51 (McCarren 7/20); B 22/47 (Hopkins 5/9, D. Miller 5/10, Q. Miller 4/8)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: EC 3/14 (McCarren 2/3); B 6/17
FREE THROWS: EC 12/14 (McCarren 11/12); B 8/13
TURNOVERS: EC 12; B 10
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton