Girls Basketball

Badin hits familiar roadblock, Purcell, in D-II regional final loss

Badin’s Hailey Weber and Purcell Marian’s Dee Alexander fight for position during a free throw attempt on Friday night.

SPRINGFIELD — The roadblock that hindered the Badin High School girls basketball team’s chances of reaching the Division II state Final Four last season stood in its way.

Top-ranked Purcell Marian wasted no time doing it again.

Jayda Mosley knocked down six 3-pointers for a game-high 18 points, reigning Miss Ohio Basketball Dee Alexander had 15 and the Cavaliers opened things up with a 29-2 run on its way to a convincing 75-29 regional final victory over the Rams on Friday night at Springfield.

Badin (20-8) reached the Division II Elite Eight for the fourth straight year and recorded its third consecutive 20-win season.

“I’m not going to talk about this game,” Rams coach Tom Sunderman said. “It was a heck of a run our kids made. This is probably the youngest team I’ve ever coached since I’ve been at Badin. To make it to the regional finals with all kids that live in our district, that all weren’t recruited, that were all Catholic school kids — I’m proud of them.

“I just didn’t want our kids to quit,” Sunderman added. “When you recruit six or seven Division I’s, you get four transfers in, you got 10 girls that live out of district — none of them went to parochial schools in grade school — it’s going to be hard. You have to have all the stars line up, and they didn’t line up.”

Purcell Marian (27-1) is ranked No. 15 in the nation by MaxPreps and has beaten the Rams the last six meetings, including a 64-54 victory in the D-II regional finals last year.

The Cavaliers will face Copley in the state semifinals next Friday, March 15, at 1 p.m. at University of Dayton Arena. Purcell Marian won the Division II state title last season, the Division III state title in 2022, and was the Division III state runner-up in 2021.

“We’ve got a really special group,” Cavaliers coach Jamar Mosley said. “I tell people all the time that as good of basketball players they are, they’re even better student-athletes. They’re just an amazing group.

“There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for any of these girls and just how much they’re bought in to our mission. Our mission is to get better every single day. And today, we definitely got better.”

Purcell scored the game’s first 15 points before sophomore Braelyn Even’s layup put Badin on the board with 4:54 left in the first quarter. The Cavaliers didn’t miss many shots in the first eight minutes.

Purcell led 29-2, and Badin’s Hailey Weber sunk a pair of 3-pointers to close out the opening frame. The Rams weren’t able to make up any ground from that point on.

“We’re going to walk out of here with our heads held high,” Sunderman said. “After two games this season — even at Christmas break — I’m sitting here thinking, ‘What can this team do?’”

What the Rams did was reel off eight straight wins after losing their first two games, and they won 11 of their last 13 to finish the season up.

Even had a team-high 10 points, while junior Gracie Cosgrove and Weber had six for Badin.

Badin led early in the third quarter a year ago when Purcell Marian’s two busloads of students showed up late in the third quarter and Alexander took over. That changed the momentum of the game.

“Last year, we had a chance to win the game,” Sunderman said. “… We had girls that had been here three times — with last year being the third time. So, they had the experience, number one. Number two, (Purcell) didn’t have the four recruits.”

Badin is returning its entire team except for two seniors — Paige Butler and Shelby Mulcare.

“Great kids,” Sunderman said of the two graduating. “Great kids, great role models. We’re going to miss them as a program. But that’s what we build — their characters. I’m proud to be a coach of this group.”

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