BLANCHESTER — At the start of the fourth quarter, Felicity was thinking about returning Friday night to Blanchester.
Looking to spoil the BHS Homecoming, the Cardinals were six.
Evan Malott handled things on the offensive end for the Wildcats while Bryce Sipple was the man on defense. Their contributions early in the fourth quarter propelled Blanchester to an 80-63 victory over Felicity in the SBAAC National Division game.
The win puts Blanchester at 5-10 this year and 2-6 at Nationals. Felicity falls to 5-9 overall and 2-6 in the division.
Malott opened the scoring in the fourth with his four three-pointers of the night. Moments later, Sipple assisted on Malott’s fifth three-ball and the Wildcats were rolling, 59-47.
On the other end of the field, Sipple took his second and third charges of the night to keep the Cardinals away from the idea of a rally.
“That’s what we’ve been striving for all year,” Blanchester head coach Mike Malott said. “Strong defense, smart offense…that’s what we can be.” We have shown flashes but we haven’t had everything in place for four quarters.
Coach Malott called Sipple the “heart and soul” of the Wildcats team.
“We have a lot of players that are playing really, really hard,” Malott said. “Whatever courageous thing he could do, he will do.”
Blanchester lost to Felicity 74-64 in overtime on the Cardinals’ home court earlier in the season.
Having Sipple and Evan Malott play key roles Friday night in keeping the Wildcats ahead was a turnaround from that loss at FHS.
“At Felicity, down the stretch, we didn’t make any winning plays,” Coach Malott said. “We missed nine free throws in the fourth (quarter). We only do one and we don’t work overtime. Tonight we made those (winning) plays.
THIS STORY WILL BE UPDATED WITH PHOTOS AND STATISTICS.