WILMINGTON – The Blanchester Ladycats season came to an end on Saturday, as they were defeated by No. 6 seed Bethel-Tate, 42-37, in a Division III Southwest District tournament game at Fred Summers Court.
Despite falling behind by a big margin in the early minutes of the contest, Blanchester fought to the very end. Bethel-Tate ran off the first 10 points of the contest, en route to a 16-2 first quarter advantage. The Ladycats rebounded with a strong showing in the second period, outscoring the Lady Tigers by a 10-6 count, but still trailed by 10 at the intermission, 22-12.
“We came out really slow and hesitant offensively,” BHS head coach Bradon Pyle said. “We weren’t moving or getting anything going. Luckily the girls responded well once they settled in a little.”
Keeping up the fight, the Blanchester sliced the margin by two points in the third period (11-9) to make the deficit single digits going into the final period, 31-23.
“The girls never quit,” said Pyle. “Being down 16 early, working it back to six and then getting back down by 15, most teams would’ve thrown in the towel there but our girls continued fighting and clawing”
Although Blanchester held Bethel-Tate to just three field goals in the final period, the Lady Tigers capitalized at the free throw line, converting five of their seven attempts.
One of Blanchester’s three departing seniors, Elicia Patton tried her best to chip away at the deficit, converting four treys in the final period, and a total of five in the second half. Her final three came with 51 seconds to play in regulation, cutting the margin to five, but the Ladycats could not score any points the remainder of the contest.
Patton concluded her BHS career with 24 points, which included 18 in the second half of play.
Fellow seniors Olivia Gundler and Savannah Shank scored six and two points, respectively, in their final contest.The Ladycats end the season with an overall record of 4-19.
Unfortunately for the Lady Cats, they missed crucial opportunities from the free throw line, making just eight of their 15 attempts. Bethel-Tate was six of nine from the charity stripe.
“The effort is a testament to the mentality of this team,” Pyle concluded. “We didn’t have the best season in terms of wins and losses but these girls are competitors and constantly give their best effort. I’m incredibly proud of these girls and especially the precedent that has been set by our three amazing seniors who are of the absolute best character.”
With the victory, Bethel-Tate advances to Wednesday night’s upper bracket quarterfinal, facing No. 3 Deer Park at 6 pm.
In other results from Saturday’s games played at Wilmington, No. 4 Summit Country Day defeated Ripley Union Lewis, 37-22, and Mariemont defeated Reading, 36-23.
Tournament action resumes Tuesday night at Summers Court with a pair of games, as No. 2 Williamsburg faces North College Hill at 6 p.m., followed by the East Clinton Lady Astros against Clermont Northeastern with a start time of 7:30 p.m.
February 16 2019
Div III Southwest Dist
@Fred Summers Court, WHS
Bethel-Tate 42 Blanchester 37
(42) BETHEL-TATE (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Bee 4-0-0-8, Wheeler 1-1-1-6, Sandker 1-0-0-2, Burton 6-0-0-12, White 1-1-5-10, Stolz 2-0-0-4. Gardner 0-0-0-0. Team Totals: 15-2-6-42.
(37) (BLANCHESTER) (2fg-3fg-ft-tp) Patton 3-5-3-24, Tangonan 0-0-0-0, Brown 0-0-0-0, Gundler 1-0-4-6, Scott 1-0-1-3, Roy 1-0-0-2, Shank 1-0-0-2, Staehling 0-0-0-0. Team Totals: 7-5-7-37.