BLANCHESTER – After erasing an 18-point second half deficit, Blanchester faltered down the stretch Friday night and lost to Clermont 64-59 in SBAAC National Divison play at the BHS gym.
Clermont Northeastern is 7-7 overall, 6-2 in the division. Blanchester drops to 5-8 on the year, 3-5 in the division.
In a battle of two sophomore sensations, Brayden Sipple had 32 points for the Wildcats while Skyler Schmidt had 23 points, 19 rebounds and four blocked shots for the Rockets.
A tight first quarter ended with Clermont Northeastern on top 18-16. The Wildcats erased that deficit and took a 20-18 lead early in the second.
But the Rockets scored 14 of the next 16 points and took a 10-point lead into the lockerroom, 32-22. The difference grew to 41-23 and the BHS homecoming crowd was getting antsy as the second half unfolded.
The ‘Cats, however, began to chip away when Sipple converted an old-fashioned three-point play at 5:26. Josh Ashcraft had a big steal that led to a basket then grabbed a defensive rebound and went coast to coast for two, 43-32.
Tanner Creager assisted on a Jacksson Waialae three and BHS cut it to 44-39 with 2:35 to play in the third. Ian Heeg’s steal and assist to Hunter Bare made it 44-41. Early in the fourth, Blanchester completed its comeback when Waialae’s stickback made it 45-44 BHS.
As it happens so many times, the team the makes the big comeback loses its steam. After going ahead, Blanchester fell behind 56-47 and was being beat on the CNE offensive boards.
A Creager runner in the lane brought BHS within 60-56 but the Rockets managed to make just enough free throws late in the game to secure the win.
January 25, 2019
@Blanchester High School
Clermont NE 64 Blanchester 59
(64) CLERMONT NORTHEASTERN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Burns 5-4-2-16 Niehaus 2-09-0-4 Schmidt 9-1-4-23 Reece 3-0-4-10 King 3-0-1-7 Pottorf 2-0-0-4 Stephens 0-0-0-0 TOTALS 24-5-11-64
(59) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Heeg 2-1-0-5 Creager 2-0-1-5 Sipple 10-2-10-32 Waialae 3-1-0-7 Bare 3-0-2-8 Grogg 0-0-0-0 Ashcraft 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 21-4-13-59
FIELD GOALS: C 24-59 (Schmidt 9-18); B 21-65 (Sipple 10-28)
3 PT FIELD GOALS: C 5-23; B 4-19
FREE THROWS: C 11-21; B 13-19 (Sipple 10-13)
REBOUNDS: C-42 (Schmidt 19 Pottorf 8); B-44 (Waialae 10 Sipple 9 Bare 7 Heeg 5 Creager 5 Ashcraft 3)
ASSISTS: c-9 (Reece 4); B-7 (Heeg 2 Creager 2 Waialae 2)
STEALS: C-7 (Reece 3); B-5 (Bare 2)
BLOCKED SHOTS: C-4 (Schmidt 4); B-2
TURNOVERS: C-12; B-13
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports