READING — A 21-3 run to open the second half propelled Reading to an 82-66 win over Blanchester in boys basketball action Tuesday night at Sports Plus in Reading.
Blanchester (1-2) held the lead after one quarter and only trailed by three, 41-38, at the intermission.
Brandon Ross, who sat the entire second quarter with two fouls, came off the bench in the third for the Blue Devils (3-0) and led the charge.
Ross had 11 of his team-leading 24 points in the third period as Reading pulled away at their home-away-from-home for this season.
“The difference was (Reading) was able to have a little adversity in their face and still do what they came to do,” BHS head coach Adam Weber said. “We did some of that early, but then we went off script. Guys came down and never advanced the ball to a teammate.”
Ross was one of five Blue Devils in double figures in scoring. Don’nek Patterson added 13, TJ Manning and AJ Brown each had 12 while Nash Morgan scored 10 points.
Reading crashed the offensive boards, pulling down 27 offensive rebounds to just eight for Blanchester.
For the Wildcats, foul trouble forced starters Ian Heeg and Hunter Bare to the bench for long stretches of the contest. Weber was pleased with how some of his bench players performed.
“The foul trouble hurt,” Weber said. “At the same time, it gave us a chance to look at some other people. I thought the guys who came in during that second quarter and brought it back within three did a great job.”
Tanner Creager and Brayden Sipple combined to score 51 of Blanchester’s 66 points. Creager led all scorers with 26 points. He also had six rebounds.
“Through three games, (Creager) is truly the one guy that his toughness and eagerness to win is never questioned,” Weber said. “He has his mistakes with the rest of them, but you can see the look in his eyes. He kept fighting.”
Sipple added 25 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.
Blanchester opens SBC play Friday night against Georgetown. After facing Lockland, Beechwood and Reading to open the season, Weber believes his team is ready.
“We are really fortunate to have three opponents like this to start the season,” Weber said. “We’re going to go into Friday with that giving us an advantage. We’ll let the dust settle from these three, then we’ll go into conference opponents where our confidence will be a little bit more stable.”
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018
@ Sports Plus, Reading, Ohio
Reading 82, Blanchester 66
(66) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ian Heeg 1-1-4-7, Braden Roy 1-0-0-2, Tanner Creager 8-3-7-26, Brayden Sipple 6-0-13-25, Jay Ashcraft 0-0-2-2, Hunter Bare 1-0-0-2, Matthew Grogg 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 18-4-26-66.
(82) READING (fg-3fg-ft-tp) AJ Brown 4-0-4-12, Brandon Ross 8-6-2-24, Gabe Van Skaik 2-0-1-5, Logan Stidham 1-1-0-3, TJ Manning 5-2-0-12, Don’nek Patterson 5-0-3-13, Nash Morgan 3-3-1-10, Cole Baker 1-0-1-3. TOTALS 29-12-12-82.
FIELD GOALS: B 18/41 (Creager 8/16, Sipple 6/10); R 29/78 (Ross 8/14, Manning 5/12, Patterson 5/19)
3 POINT FIELD GOALS: B 4/8 (Creager 3/5); R 12/28 (Ross 6/10, Morgan 3/5)
FREE THROWS: B 26/33 (Sipple 13/16, Creager 7/9, Heeg 4/4); R 12/26 (Brown 4/8)
REBOUNDS: B 37 (Sipple 12, Creager 6, Ashcraft 5, Bare 5); R 45 (Patterson 12, Van Skaik 6, Baker 6)
ASSISTS: B 6 (Sipple 3); R 18 (Manning 4, Ross 3, Brown 3)
STEALS: B 7 (Creager 2, Sipple 2); R 12 (Baker 4, Manning 3)
BLOCKED SHOTS: B 6 (Bare 3, Creager 2, Sipple 1); R 4 (Baker 2)
TURNOVERS: B 24; R 10
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.