Behind the 1-2 punch of Clayton Rhyne and Lane Bruning, New Hope rallied in the fourth quarter on Saturday to capture perhaps one of its best wins in program history, defeating previously undefeated and host Cincinnati Christian 69-65.
“It was a great bounce back win following a tough loss the night before (a 65-61 setback to Eastern Pike),” New Hope coach Shane Roese said. “Before the game we talked about this being a character game and staying committed to the process.”
The Statesmen tried to position themselves for an opportunity to win in the fourth quarter, rallying every time Cincinnati Christian positioned itself to potentially get some separation on the scoreboard.
Cincinnati Christian (11-1), an OHSAA Division IV school located in the suburb of Fairfield, opened up an early 12-5 lead that New Hope closed down to 17-16. The Cougars then went ahead 28-21, but the Statesmen again closed the gap to trail just 28-26 at intermission. Cincinnati Christian tried to come out of the gate strong in the second half, stretching its lead back up to six, but the Statesmen ended the third quarter trailing just 48-46.
“They posed a lot of challenges for us with their speed and pressure, but we were able to answer every run with one of our own,” Roese observed. “Everyone played their role well and it was a good team win.”
That’s when the Statesmen made their move, opening the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run to seize a 55-48 advantage. New Hope scored on its first four possessions of the period, with Bruning scoring two field goals, Rhyne knocking down his fourth triple of the night and Xander Rink scoring a basket.
The Statesmen maintained their advantage until the Cougars battled back to trim their deficit to just a point at 66-65 with 23 seconds remaining.
That’s when Bruning was fouled, and the junior post stepped to the free throw line and made three of four attempts to put away the win.
Bruning had nine of his 11 points in the fourth quarter and Rhyne followed with eight points.
The Statesmen outrebounded the Cougars 32-22, including pulling down eight offensive rebounds that led to 12 second-chance points that were critical in the win.
New Hope made 28 of 49 (57.1 percent) attempts, compared to the Cincinnati Christian going 28 of 58 (48.3 percent).
Rhyne shot 12 of 21 from the field, including 4 of 6 (66.7 percent) to lead the Statesmen with 30 points. The senior wing also controlled six rebounds.
Hunter Cavanaugh followed with 12 points, Bruning posted a double-double of 11 points and 13 rebounds and added five assists and four blocks. Xander Rink turned in 10 rebounds and fished out four assists.
Caleb Brown poured in a game-high 33 points to lead the Cougars.
The Statesmen (8-3) host Westfall on Tuesday at the Ohio Christian Maxwell Center. The junior varsity tips at 6:30 p.m., followed by varsity.
New Hope Christian 69, Cincinnati Christian 65
NEW HOPE — Hunter Cavanaugh 4-2-12, Adam Rink 2-0-4, Andrew Swank 2-0-4, Clayton Rhyne 12-2-30, Xander Rink 4-0-8, Lane Bruning 4-3-11. Three-point goals — Rhyne (4) and Cavanaugh (2). Total — 28-49 7-11 69.
CINCINNATI CHRISTIAN — Jonah Wilson 7-0-14, Brandon Rogers 2-1-7, Caleb Brown 14-2-33, Alex Mullins 1-0-2, Jacob Parnell 3-0-6, Tyler Booth 1-0-3. Three-point goals — Brown (3), Rogers (2) and Booth. Total — 28-58 3-4 65.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
New Hope Christian 13 15 18 23 69
Cincinnati Christian 16 14 18 17 65