BLANCHESTER — Natalie Bockman’s layup with 2.0 seconds left Thursday night gave Clermont Northeastern a 48-46 victory over Blanchester.
Blanchester nearly had the game-winner just seconds before. Following a steal, Elecia Patton had a look at the go-ahead basket, but it rimmed out.
The Rockets (3-1) grabbed the rebound and tossed it to Bockman who was ahead of the pack. She finished off the glass to give CNE the lead. A desperation heave by Patton for the win was after the buzzer.
On the offensive end for Blanchester, Olivia Gundler led the charge early, and Patton nearly rallied the Lady Wildcats to victory.
Gundler had 18 points to lead all scorers, but she fouled out with 2:42 left. Blanchester trailed 46-40 with 2:31 remaining.
“When you lose a girl like Olivia, who was playing a really good game, it’s very hard to overcome that,” BHS head coach Bradon Pyle said.
Patton led the BHS comeback, scoring six points over the next 58 seconds to tie the game at 46. Blanchester suffocated Clermont Northeastern on defense, forcing eight Rocket turnovers in the final period.
“We got down a little bit midway through the fourth,” Pyle said. “I told them, ‘don’t give up.’ And they fought their way back in with a few quick baskets. That’s a testament to them. That’s the way they grind. I’m very proud of that effort.”
Pyle credited Patton, Savanna Shank and Lana Roy, among others, for forcing Rocket turnovers that allowed Blanchester back into the game.
“Lana Roy almost had three steals at the end of the game by herself to give us a chance,” Pyle said. “All of those girls were out there busting their tail to give us that last look.”
After scoring just three points in the first half, Patton finished with 16, including nine in the fourth. Lana Roy scored five of her eight points in the first quarter.
Free throw shooting down the stretch didn’t help either side. Blanchester made just 3 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter, while CNE made just 2 of 7.
Bockman tied for CNE top scoring honors with Makayla Drewry. Each had 12 points.
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018
@ Blanchester High School
Clermont Northeastern 48, Blanchester 46
(48) CLERMONT NORTHEASTERN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Olivia Bricker 3-0-0-6, Mackenzie Reese 1-0-1-3, Makayla Drewry 4-0-4-12, Jillian Kirby 2-0-1-5, Taylor Shumard 1-0-0-2, Alyssa Williams 4-0-0-8, Natalie Bockman 6-0-0-12. TOTALS 21-0-6-48.
(46) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Elecia Patton 6-2-2-16, Noelani Tangonan 1-0-0-2, Holly Scott 1-0-0-2, Olivia Gundler 6-0-6-18, Lana Roy 3-0-2-8. TOTALS 17-2-10-46.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.