BLANCHESTER — New Richmond built a seven-point fourth quarter lead Tuesday night, then held on to defeat Blanchester 65-60 in the SBAAC Bud Phillips Scholarship game at Blanchester High School.
With the game tied at 46 early in the fourth, New Richmond (9-13) scored seven points in a row. After Max Ernst made two free throws and Jason Ackerman made one, Triston Smith was fouled while making a three.
Smith’s four-point play gave New Richmond a 53-46 lead with 5:16 left.
Blanchester tried to mount a comeback. Baskets by Jacksson Waialae, Brayden Sipple and Jordan Stroud pulled the Wildcats within one with 2:22 left.
After Jonathan Lang made three of four from the line, Nevan Coyle buried a three with 1:10 left. Blanchester trailed 61-60.
The Wildcats (8-14) had two possessions in the final minute with a chance to take the lead. The first ended in an offensive foul, the second ended in a turnover out of bounds.
“It’s frustrating,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “The physical tools are there. They are about as good as you can ask for. It was just a lack of mental focus.”
New Richmond put the game away by making 4 of 6 from the free throw line over the final 23.6 seconds.
Sipple led Blanchester with 26 points. He was 11 of 12 from the foul line. Stroud finished with 19 points.
Lang led four Lions in double figures with 20. Ernst finished with 15.
Blanchester will open tournament play 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 against third-seeded North College Hill. Weber knows what to expect.
“It’s going to come down to handling their pressure,” Weber said. “That’s not a secret. They’ve got five guys that can flat-out pressure the ball. At some point, it’s showtime. You either turn it on, or the lights go out.”
Feb. 20, 2017
@ Blanchester High School
New Richmond 65, Blanchester 60
(65) NEW RICHMOND (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Jonathan Lang 4-3-9-20, Griffin Delisle 4-3-0-11, Triston Smith 3-2-2-10, Herwens Horgan 0-0-1-1, Tyler Heskamp 2-0-1-5, Max Ernst 5-0-5-15, Jason Ackerman 0-0-3-3. TOTALS 18-8-21-65.
(60) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Nevan Coyle 1-1-0-3, Brayden Sipple 7-1-11-26, Jacksson Waialae 2-1-1-6, Jordan Stroud 7-1-4-19, Hunter Bare 2-0-2-6. TOTALS 19-4-18-60.
FIELD GOALS: NR 18/50 (Ernst 5/7, Lang 4/10, Delisle 4/7); B 19/53 (Sipple 7/17, Stroud 7/16)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: NR 8/22 (Delisle 3/4, Lang 3/5); B 4/13
FREE THROWS: NR 21/33 (Lang 9/12, Ernst 5/6); B 18/24 (Sipple 11/12)
TURNOVERS: NR 9; B 16
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.