BLANCHESTER — A night after winning its first-round tournament game, Fayetteville used a late surge to pull away from Blanchester, 60-45.
Fayetteville (13-10) spent most of the first three quarters Thursday night trying to separate itself from Blanchester (4-18). The Rockets led by 11 with 2:38 left in the second quarter, but Blanchester trimmed that deficit to seven at the half.
The third quarter saw Blanchester get as close as three, only to see Fayetteville push the lead back to eight. Baskets by Holly Scott and Daelyn Staehling pulled Blanchester within four again, 44-40, with 1:47 left in the third.
Blanchester got a steal shortly after and a chance to pull within two. However, the layup rimmed out. Fayetteville quickly pushed the ball to the other end and Olivia Crawford scored to give the Rockets a 46-40 lead.
“I feel like every time this season where we’ve made a little run to get back to within three or four, we can’t get that defensive stop and get that basket to get it tied or get ahead,” BHS head coach Bradon Pyle said.
Over the final 9:47 of the game, the Rockets outscored Blanchester 16-5.
“They ran that 2-3 zone against us the whole time,” Pyle said. “My best options offensively limited us defensively in terms of matchups. They had some matchups out there that we weren’t able to counter.
Crawford led the Rockets with 19 points. Kelbee Coffman added 15 while Taylor Malone had 11.
Staehling led the Wildcats with 13 points. Pyle was also pleased with the play of Maddie Wells, who gave Blanchester good minutes in the second half.
“I thought she could match up a little bit better,” Pyle said. “She gave me really good minutes. I’m really proud of that effort.”
Elecia Patton, in her final home game, added 12. With such a young team this season, Pyle commended his three seniors — Patton, Olivia Gundler and Savanna Shank — for the work they’ve done shaping the program’s future.
“I’m proud of what they’ve done to help these younger girls come up,” Pyle said. “They’re always in their ear, giving them advice and pointing them in the right direction. They’ve set a standard for the culture of our program that is exactly what I wanted.”
Blanchester opens sectional tournament play 11 a.m. Saturday against Bethel-Tate at Wilmington.
Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019
@ Blanchester High School
Fayetteville 60, Blanchester 45
(60) FAYETTEVILLE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Cecilia Murphy 3-0-0-6, Olivia Crawford 7-1-4-19, Hannah Wiederhold 4-1-0-9, Taylor Malone 4-0-3-11, Kelbee Coffman 7-1-0-15. TOTALS 25-3-7-60.
(45) BLANCHESTER (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Elecia Patton 3-2-4-12, Holly Scott 1-0-2-4, Olivia Gundler 1-0-2-4, Lana Roy 3-0-4-10, Maddie Wells 1-0-0-2, Daelyn Staehling 4-0-5-13. TOTALS 13-2-17-45.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bymattsexton.