HILLSBORO – Steadily pulling away in the second half, the Hillsboro Indians defeated the Blanchester Wildcats 69-55 Friday night in a non-league boys basketball game at HHS.
The Indians are now 5-4. The victory halted a four-game losing streak for Hillsboro.
The Wildcats drop to 2-6.
Hillsboro’s Philip Mycroft had 21 points, seven of which came in the final period. He had 12 in the first half. Ethan Watson added 15.
“We had some key people really step up for us,” Hillsboro head coach Bruce Miles said. “Both Mason Swayne and Ryan Scott gave us valuable minutes and helped get us going. We were able to attack their 2-2-1 defensive approach in the second half asnd got the ball to our key people in our offensive sets.”
Brayden Sipple led Blanchester with 23 points, nine in the first quarter and eight more in the second. Jordan Stroud tallied 16 for the Wildcats.
The Indians made 16 of 21 free throw attempts, all coming in the second half. In fact, Hillsboro was 6 of 7 in the third quarter and 10 of 14 in the fourth quarter.
“They were able to control the tempo and, basically, they out-muscled us,” said BHS coach Adam Weber. “They got to the line several times and made the most of their opportunities.”
Hillsboro held a 14-13 lead after one, as Sipple and Mycroft battled it out on the offensive end.
“Brayden is an awesome player,” Weber said. “Every time he steps on the floor, you know you can count on him to score at least 20. He drops in 20 or more consistently. We just need more production from some others.”
Stroud and Sipple scored all 14 of Blanchester’s points in the second but the ‘Cats were behind 31-27 at the break. The Indians balanced attack was too much for the visitors from Clinton County.
In the third, Hillsboro again displayed balanced with five different players scoring. The Wildcats finally received contributions from several players but fell behind 49-40 after three.
In the final period, Stroud tried to put the Wildcats on his back, scoring eight points but the Indians were too sharp at the line and never trailed.
Blanchester will face Bethel-Tate Friday night while Hillsboro will meet Fayetteville-Perry on Jan. 9.
December 29 2017
@Hillsboro High School
Hillsboro 69 Blanchester 55
(55) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp)Patton 1-1-0-3 Coyle 2-1-0-5 Bandow 2-0-0-4 Sipple 10-1-2-23 Mitchell 0-0-0-0 Heeg 1-0-0-2 Stroud 6-0-4-16 Fischer 1-0-0-2 Waialae 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 22-5-6-55
(69) HILLSBORO (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Wayne 1-0-5-7 Scott 1-1-0-3 Haines 1-0-0-2 Watson 6-1-2-15 Clark 2-1-2-7 Keets 3-0-6-12 Mycroft 10-0-1-21 Crawford 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 25-3-16-69
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.