BLANCHESTER — Unhappy with his team’s defensive effort in two season-opening losses, Blanchester head coach Adam Weber told his team the effort had to improve.
Tuesday night, the Wildcats responded. Blanchester forced 31 Felicity turnovers in a 66-29 rout of the Cardinals at Blanchester High School.
Blanchester (1-2 overall, 1-1 SBC National Division) held Felicity to just 43 shot attempts. Felicity made just 10 of those (23 percent).
Take away the second quarter when the Cardinals scored 16 points, and Felicity managed just 13 points the remaining three quarters.
Weber’s message was heard loud and clear.
“The interest, execution and effort was very needed,” Weber said. “I give credit to the players for being willing to change what we needed to fix.”
Blanchester’s smothering defense turned into easy offense for the Wildcats. Freshman Brayden Sipple came out on fire, scoring 13 points in the first quarter.
As the Felicity defense shifted, Jordan Stroud got hot in the second quarter, scoring 7 of his 16 in that frame. Blanchester led 35-21 at the half, then outscored Felicity 31-8 in the second half.
Sipple led the Wildcats with 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Stroud added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists. Both players sat for the majority of the second half.
Marcus Simpson led Felicity (0-3, 0-2) with nine points.
Blanchester travels to Clermont Northeastern Friday night for its first road game of the season. Weber hopes his team will take the same defensive intensity with them to Owensville.
“I hope we show this type of focus on the defensive side of the ball for the next 19 games, and on,” Weber said. “There is no reason for us not to be a top-tier defensive team. It’s about choosing to do so, as individuals and as a unit.”
Dec. 12, 2017
@ Blanchester High School
Blanchester 66, Felicity 29
(29) FELICITY (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Clayton Griffith 0-0-1-1, Steven Shelton 1-0-0-2, Jared Boeckmann 2-0-4-8, Matt Hall 1-1-2-5, Marcus Simpson 4-1-0-9, Wyatt Crozier 1-0-0-2, Bryce Reeves 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 10-2-7-29.
(66) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ian Heeg 4-0-2-10, Eric Patton 1-1-0-3, Nevan Coyle 1-0-0-2, Brant Bandow 1-0-0-2, Brayden Sipple 8-3-5-24, Wesley Mitchell 1-0-2-4, Lane Heeg 1-0-1-3, Jacksson Waialae 1-0-0-2, Jordan Stroud 6-0-4-16. TOTALS 24-4-14-66.
FIELD GOALS: F 10/43 (Simpson 4/8); B 24/58 (Sipple 8/14, Stroud 6/16, I. Heeg 4/7)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: F 2/20; B 4/18 (Sipple 3/6)
FREE THROWS: F 7/14 (Boeckmann 4/6); B 14/18 (Sipple 5/5, Stroud 4/5)
REBOUNDS: F 21; B 31 (Sipple 9, Stroud 5)
ASSISTS: F 0; B 13 (Stroud 5, Sipple 4)
STEALS: F 3; B 14 (Patton 3, Sipple 3, Stroud 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: F 0; B 1 (I. Heeg)
TURNOVERS: F 31; B 17
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.