One of the aims of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic is to create matchups that will be entertaining for fans. The Blanchester vs Beechwood game on Dec. 1 should provide just that. The two schools from opposite sides of the river are about the same in size, but more importantly both teams have a highly regarded sophomore star.
For Blanchester it is 6’3” Braden Sipple. Sipple poured in 22.8 points per game in his freshman season last year for the Wildcats. And, after a very successful AAU campaign this summer, he is receiving college interest from Division I schools. Beechwood counters with Scotty Draud. Draud, also 6’3”, blistered the nets at a 20.6 clip in his freshman season for the Tigers. He is a consensus top 5 sophomore in Kentucky, and like Sipple, is receiving interest from Division I colleges. Draud’s father, Scott Draud, was a star at Vanderbilt in the late 1980’s.
Blanchester is looking to get back on track after an 8-15 season a year ago. Coach Adam Weber’s Cats may have the talent to do just that. In addition to Sipple, Blanchester welcomes back 6’3” Jackson Waialae. The athletic wing scored six points a game a year ago, but could have a big year for the Wildcats. Guards Ian Heeg and Tanner Creager return along with 6’5” post Hunter Bare giving the Wildcats athleticism and size.
The Tigers are coming off a very successful season. They finished 18-13 and advanced to the Elite 8 in the All-A Classic in Kentucky (the small school state tournament). In addition to Draud, Beechwood returns 6’2” junior C.J. Brannen who averaged 10.8 points a game, along with 6’0” Zach Deathridge who hit for 6.3 points a game last season.
This game should provide many opportunities for the two stars to go head-to-head as they are both similar in size and skill set and fill a similar role for their respective teams. And, that should provide some excellent entertainment for the fans!!
Complete information on the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic is available online at: www.ohiovalleyhoopsclassic.com
This story was submitted by Bennie Carroll, manager of the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic.