GOSHEN — The ball was in Ian Heeg’s hands, 75 feet away from a potential winning score, and just six seconds remained on the clock.
It was just enough time for the Blanchester Wildcats.
Heeg tossed the ball ahead to Brayden Sipple, who drew the lone defender to him before passing to Eric Patton. Patton’s five-foot jumper as time expired gave Blanchester a thrilling 71-69 victory.
It almost didn’t go down that way.
“When Ian picked up the turnover, I looked up and we had 5.7 (seconds left),” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “In all of my wisdom, I almost considered a timeout.
“But when I saw the ball in Sipple’s hands, there is nothing else we can draw up that could work out any better than that.”
It was the second big play in a row started by Heeg. With Blanchester trailing by three with 70 seconds remaining, Heeg found a wide-open Jordan Stroud who buried the game-tying three.
It set the stage for Patton, who missed just one shot from the floor and finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
“Eric played lights-out,” Weber said. “Probably the best game I’ve ever watched him play or coached him. We’ve had our struggles with clutch finishes. He had a clutch finish, because you talk about the weight of the world on that last shot.”
Even with 25 turnovers, Blanchester played one of its best offensive games. The Wildcats (8-12) had 17 assists on 27 field goals and made 10 of 15 from beyond the arc.
“We took care of the ball when we were looking to attack,” Weber said. “We might have had quite a few turnovers on bad passes, but when we were trying to get to the rim, we had better ball security.”
Stroud had one of his finest games in his high school career. He finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, two shy of a triple-double.
“He had some of the best looks that created some of the best scoring opportunities against what I consider to be a very top-tier defensive team,” Weber said.
Goshen (10-10) has lost all five games this year to Clinton County schools, including four losses in the last five games. The Warriors’ lone win in that stretch was a 74-68 win over SBAAC National Division champion Georgetown.
Sipple had another monster night for Blanchester. He finished with 28 points and 8 rebounds. Blanchester outrebounded Goshen 40-26, including 14-7 on the offensive glass.
Deonte Bailey led four Goshen players in double figures with 19. Tony Moore, Christian Kollmorgen and Kyle Proffitt each had 13 points.
Goshen erased a 13-point second half deficit to take the lead with 2:06 left but had just one point the rest of the way.
Blanchester wraps up its regular season at Williamsburg Friday, then against a yet-to-be-determined American Division opponent in the SBAAC Scholarship game Saturday night in the Blanchester Middle School gymnasium.
February 13, 2018
@Goshen High School
Blanchester 71, Goshen 69
(71) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Eric Patton 4-1-1-10, Nevan Coyle 1-1-0-3, Brayden Sipple 10-4-4-28, Wesley Mitchell 1-0-1-3, Jacksson Waialae 4-2-0-10, Jordan Stroud 7-2-1-17. TOTALS 27-10-7-71.
(69) GOSHEN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Brandon Harrison 1-0-0-2, Deonte Bailey 6-2-5-19, Tony Moore 5-3-0-13, Christian Kollmorgen 5-3-0-13, Victor Hill 2-0-1-5, Kyle Proffitt 6-1-0-13, Adam Slusher 2-0-0-4. TOTALS 27-9-6-69.
FIELD GOALS: B 27/54 (Sipple 10/17, Stroud 7/12, Patton 4/5, Waialae 4/8); G 27/59 (Bailey 6/15, Proffitt 6/11, Moore 5/12, Kollmorgen 5/11)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: B 10/15 (Sipple 4/4, Stroud 2/2, Waialae 2/5); G 9/26 (Moore 3/7, Kollmorgen 3/8)
FREE THROWS: B 7/17 (Sipple 4/8); G 6/11 (Bailey 5/10)
REBOUNDS: B 40 (Stroud 10, Sipple 8, Patton 6, Mitchell 4, Waialae 4); G 26 (Bailey 7, Proffitt 6, Moore 4)
ASSISTS: B 17 (Stroud 8, Sipple 4, Coyle 4); G 14 (Slusher 4, Harrison 3)
STEALS: B 9 (Heeg 2, Stroud 2); G 14 (Proffitt 4, Harrison 3, Kollmorgen 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: B 1 (Sipple 1); G 4 (Proffitt 2, Bailey 2)
TURNOVERS: B 25; G 15
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.