BLANCHESTER — Blanchester and Clinton-Massie spent the fourth quarter Tuesday night trading proverbial haymakers, each team looking for the final push across the finish line.
Thomas Myers gave the Falcons that final push, scoring 11 of his 21 in the fourth as Clinton-Massie defeated Blanchester 54-48.
Myers gave the Falcons a 46-43 lead with 3:02 remaining. Brayden Sipple knocked down a three from NBA range to tie the game at 46 with 2:46 left. The Wildcat faithful erupted.
Blanchester fans were silenced just seconds later as Zach Chowning hit his fourth three-point field goal of the game to give Massie a lead it would not relinquish.
“We were coming back in the game,” CM head coach Todd Cook said. “Their crowd was in an uproar when Sipple hit his. Then Zach came down and hit his. He wasn’t hitting early on. We knew eventually he’d start hitting threes. It kept the momentum in our hands.”
Massie’s lead was 51-48 with 1:29 left. After two Falcon misses, Myers got the second offensive rebound of the possession and scored with 50 seconds remaining.
“He decided to take over the game,” Cook said. “I heard him say on the floor to our point guard Brendan (Lamb), ‘Let’s take this game over.’ They both can when they want to. It’s like flipping a switch. We need to get rid of that switch because it needs to be full time.”
For Blanchester, the Wildcats got early momentum thanks to big dunks by Jacksson Waialae and Hunter Bare.
Sipple scored 10 of his team-high 18 points in the third as Blanchester surged to a 34-27 lead with 3:31 left in the quarter. However, Clinton-Massie outscored Blanchester 8-1 to end the third.
In the fourth quarter, the Falcons were able to hold Sipple to just the three points that tied the game with 2:46 remaining.
However, coming off a disappointing loss at Williamsburg, it was exactly the effort BHS head coach Adam Weber wanted to see.
“Our guys were working hard and executing the plan,” Weber said. “(Massie) has been busting some people up. We challenged them with attitude and pride on defense.”
Over the final 3:43 of the game, Myers scored 17 of Clinton-Massie’s 29 points. Weber was pleased with the effort of his defense but said little things were the difference at the end.
“The thing we’re struggling to understand is that when the game is on the line, going after the ball with vigor doesn’t quite get it done,” Weber said. “You have to box and then go after it. If you hope you can out-muscle a guy to the ball, then a guy like Myers is going come up with it. He’s a talented player.”
Three Falcon players scored in double figures. In addition to Myers’ 21, Zach Chowning added 12 and Griffin Laake had 11. While Blanchester outrebounded Clinton-Massie 37-35, the Falcons had seven more offensive rebounds (21-14).
Sipple added six rebounds to go with his 18 points. Bare added 10 points and nine rebounds. Waialae had six points and 12 rebounds.
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019
@ Blanchester High School
Clinton-Massie 54, Blanchester 48
(54) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Daulton Wolfe 1-0-0-2, Brendan Lamb 1-0-0-2, Zach Chowning 4-4-0-12, Austin Faucett 0-0-1-1, Thomas Myers 7-0-7-21, Griffin Laake 4-1-2-11, Drew Settlemyre 2-0-1-5. TOTALS 19-5-11-54.
(48) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Ian Heeg 1-0-0-2, Tanner Creager 2-1-4-9, Brayden Sipple 5-2-6-18, Jacksson Waialae 2-0-2-6, Jay Ashcraft 1-0-1-3, Hunter Bare 4-0-2-10. TOTALS 15-3-15-48.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.