By Michael Marts, The Report
HAMILTON — The Edgewood Cougars traveled to Mulcahey Gym to take on the Badin Rams Tuesday night in a non-conference matchup.
The Rams took home a 69-47 win. The Cougars were balanced in scoring with four players leading the team with eight points.
Badin has won 14 of the last 15 meetings. The Cougars beat the Rams 46-44 on Jan. 4, 2020. Badin has won six of its last seven games, while Edgewood has lost three of its last four.
Badin’s defense came into Tuesday’s matchup allowing 47.4 points per game, and Rams coach CJ Fleming was pleased with his team’s defense.
“We were really worried about their shooters — they have five guys on the floor who can shoot it at all times,” Fleming said. “And No. 1 (Jaylen Barry) was extremely, extremely quick. So we wanted to keep him in front of us.”
The Cougars’ offense came out flat against the Rams, as Badin used a 9-0 run to jump out to a 13-3 lead. The Rams led 25-11 after the first quarter.
Badin’s defensive pressure caused the Cougars to turn the ball over, leading to a shot disparity of 27 to 16 in favor of the Rams.
Badin led the game at halftime 44-18. Kale Reynolds led the Cougars with eight points, and for the Rams, it was Cooper Ollis with nine points.
Barry identified the Cougars’ weakness.
“In the first half, we weren’t really sharing the ball,” he said. “We came out in the second half and started moving the ball more and wearing down their defense, then that’s when we started to score more.”
While the Cougars’ offense sparked in the third quarter, the defense didn’t follow suit. Badin outscored Edgewood 15-14. The 26-point lead expanded to 27 after the third, and the Rams led 59-32 heading into the fourth.
“They made a lot of shots in the first half, and we turned the ball over a lot,” Edgewood coach Jason Osterman said. “When you come out not ready to play, and turn the ball over and the other team was also on top of that playing really well, that’s what happens.”
Badin improved to 9-9 overall after the 22-point win and will travel to McNicholas on Friday.
Edgewood dropped to 6-13 and will travel to Monroe for a big Friday night Southwestern Buckeye League showdown.
Cougars senior guard Eddie Thompson knows one key to success against the Hornets.
“As a team, we need to come out with lots of energy and effort,” he said.