Boys Basketball

‘A reunion’ — Badin, Fenwick to meet a third time in D-II district semis

MASON — Badin coach CJ Fleming didn’t realize just how well his Rams shot from beyond the arc.

To his credit, who’s keeping track when your program is playing its best basketball of the season?

Cooper Ollis scored a game-high 23 points, and the No. 9 seed Rams immediately caught fire from 3-point range to cruise to a 61-32 Division II sectional victory over the No. 10 Clinton-Massie Falcons on Thursday night at Mason Arena.

“It didn’t seem like we made a bunch of 3s tonight,” Fleming said. “A lot of them were open. Our offense is getting the ball moving. If we get it inside-out, and the guys have a great step and are wide open, they’ll jump up and knock it down.”

Badin (14-10) sunk a season-high 13 of 29 (44.8%) from long range, sending the rolling Rams into a district semifinal against Greater Catholic League Coed rival Fenwick on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Mason.

“We predicate our offense on getting reversals and getting good drives and getting the ball to the middle on the short corner versus zone,” Fleming said. “We can get it inside-out, jump up and knock it down.

“Everything starts defensively — being able to get stops and running in transition or being able to press a little bit and get deflections. That’s where our best offense is.”

The Rams, who have won 11 of their last 13, stormed out to a 13-0 lead and didn’t allow Clinton-Massie (12-11) to score until 2:30 left in the first quarter. Badin led 40-12 at the half.

“The deeper we get into the playoffs, the more hyped we get,” Ollis said. “We just want to keep playing. Coach talks about being 1-0 every day — whether that’s practice, film or a game.

“We shot the ball well. I think our press really helped us out. We put them under a lot of pressure.”

Aidan Brown scored 10 points for the Rams, who had 11 players hit the scoring column on Thursday. Badin’s reserves saw most of the action in the second half.

“It’s all about showing up every day,” Brown said. “The way we started the season wasn’t what we wanted. The past month, we’re on a roll. It’s just because we’re showing up every day and through hard work — just doing what we can to get a win.”

Fleming is in his first season as Badin’s head coach and said the program simply looks different since opening things up against Fenwick in mid-December. The Rams went 3-8 before reeling off 10 wins following the halfway mark.

“These guys play incredibly hard,” Fleming said. “They come to practice every single day and compete with one another. That is where the success has been.

“We aren’t good enough to just show up on game night and roll the balls out and play. That’s just not us. But being disciplined and being the tougher team every single night — that’s where we can be good.”

Fenwick’s 67-30 rout of Bethel-Tate sets up a third meeting between the Falcons and the Rams in the district semifinals.

“There’s no easy answer on who you want to play,” Fenwick coach Andy McCarthy said. “When you get to a sectional final, you’ve got to beat somebody good.”

Badin and Fenwick split their two regular-season contests. The Falcons took the first one 58-36 at Fenwick on Dec. 12, and the Rams won 47-41 at Badin on Jan. 26.

“A reunion,” Fleming said. “We’ve had a heck of a year. We had a battle the first game of the year, and we had a battle at Badin a couple weeks ago in late January.

“We talk about it all the time. It’s the next step — play like you never want it to end. Play like every game would be your last. I know it’s kind of cliché, but it’s really true. Especially for those seniors. They want to put that Badin jersey on one more time —want to go out there and wear it one more time and represent your school.”

Fenwick (17-7) had 13 players score on Thursday night, led by Derrick Singletary (10), Ryan Gavigan (8), Bailey Temming (8), Eddie Ferraro (8) and Carrson Sova (8).

The Falcons lost a stretch of four games mid-season but have since bounced back to win seven in a row and nine of their last 11 — powered by senior big men Temming and Sova. 

“It’s been a lot different,” McCarthy said. “When we went through that skid in the middle of the season, I never lost faith in the senior leadership. It’s what’s been carrying us early through the start. It’s what carried us through the tough stretch in the middle. It’s what has carried us through the winning streak. With this group of seniors, we’ve never panicked. That’s been the key. We trust each other.”

The Latest

To Top