BLANCHESTER — Much like the first meeting between Blanchester and Bethel-Tate, the Wildcats wore out an undermanned Tiger team in the second half Tuesday night.
A 16-1 run early in the fourth quarter helped Blanchester rally to a 69-60 victory over Bethel-Tate on senior night at BHS.
“We felt, like when we went on the road, in the fourth is where we’ve got to make our move,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “They have limited personnel and had a couple guys in foul trouble.”
In the first half, the Tigers simply could not miss, especially from the outside.
Bethel-Tate (6-13 overall, 4-7 in SBAAC) made 13 of 18 from the floor in the open 16 minutes, including 10 of 13 from three-point range. The Tigers led 40-29 at the intermission.
Senior Jordan Stroud helped the Wildcats creep closer in the third. He scored 10 of his 16 points in the third, including the last six BHS points of the quarter, as Blan cut its deficit to six after three.
However, Stroud picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth and headed to the bench.
Blanchester (7-11, 5-6) continued to surge early in the fourth. Baskets by Brayden Sipple, Jacksson Waialae and Hunter Bare pulled Blanchester within two, 54-52, with 5:27 left.
After a Seth Becker free throw, Sipple scored again to bring the Wildcats within one. Eric Patton followed with a basket with 4:40 left to give Blanchester its first lead since 3-2.
Sipple made 3 of his next 4 from the line. On the fourth, which he missed, Bare grabbed the offensive rebound and scored while being fouled. The three-point play gave Blanchester a 62-55 lead with 3:22 left.
Bethel-Tate got no closer the rest of the way.
Sipple led all scorers with a career-high 33 points. He also had 11 rebounds.
“He was impressive in his pursuit to get to the basket,” Weber said. “We talked after the third quarter. With (Bethel’s) limited personnel, we’ve got to get to the rim. He is special in his ability to take coaching and put it into action.”
Griffin Reinert led the Tigers with 20 points. Tyler Baker added 11. After making 13 of 18 in the first half from the floor, Bethel-Tate made just 5 of 24 in the second half.
It was worse from three-point range. The Tigers made just 2 of 14 from three in the second half.
Blanchester honored its nine senior boys basketball players prior to Tuesday’s game. Those nine seniors are Stroud, Patton, Nevan Coyle, Brant Bandow, Preston Griffin, Wesley Mitchell, Lane Heeg, Noah Armocida and Jake Fischer.
“They come here every day and we enjoy our time together,” Weber said. “The character of this group is superb. When they are together, with each other, I can’t speak any higher as a coach about a group of guys.”
Feb. 6, 2017
@Blanchester High School
Blanchester 69, Bethel-Tate 60
(60) BETHEL-TATE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Seth Becker 2-1-3-8, Cody Johnson 1-1-0-3, Griffin Reinert 6-6-2-20, Alex Manz 2-0-1-5, Jake Collins 1-1-4-7, Jacob Reinhart 2-0-2-6, Tyler Baker 4-3-0-11. TOTALS 18-12-12-60.
(69) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ian Heeg 2-2-0-6, Eric Patton 2-0-1-5, Brayden Sipple 10-3-10-33, Wesley Mitchell 1-0-0-2, Jacksson Waialae 1-0-0-2, Jordan Stroud 6-1-3-16, Hunter Bare 2-0-1-5. TOTALS 24-6-15-69.
FIELD GOALS: BT 18/42 (Reinert 6/13, Baker 4/6); B 24/59 (Sipple 10/17, Stroud 6/15)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: BT 12/27 (Reinert 6/12, Baker 3/5); B 6/19 (Sipple 3/5, Heeg 2/4)
FREE THROWS: BT 12/18 (Collins 4/4, Becker 3/5); B 15/23 (Sipple 10/14, Stroud 3/4)
TURNOVERS: BT 21; B 13
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.