Boys Basketball

Badin holds Summit scoreless in second quarter on its way to second-straight win

HAMILTON — Cooper Ollis and the Badin High School boys basketball team aren’t just listening to what first-year coach CJ Fleming is preaching in practice. 

They’re putting it all into action in game situations. Defense, particularly.

Ollis scored a game-high 15 points, sophomore Eli Stroud contributed with 13 and Badin held Summit Country Day scoreless in the second quarter on its way to a 41-33 victory at Mulcahey Gym on Saturday night. 

“We’re just taking in what coach is teaching us,” Ollis said. “We’re taking all of that and using it in games. You can tell that we’ve definitely made a change from last year. We’re looking a lot better so far.”

Fleming got his first-career win as a head coach on Friday with a 47-38 triumph at Carroll, which was followed up with his first home victory Saturday. 

“A win’s a win. We get to add another W to the column,” Fleming said. “That’s always a good sign. We kind of got off to a slow start and ended up giving up zero points in the second quarter (Saturday) — then kind of pushed our lead in the second half. 

“But turnovers killed us,” Fleming added. “They killed us and killed us. A lot of our turnovers led to easy buckets and run-outs for them. That’s impossible to guard. Those points are on our offense. But our guys fought. They made a run — we made a run right back them.

“I’m proud of our guys. Our first back-to-back night — our home opener — it’s pretty special. I appreciate all the fans coming out, all the students. We had a big student section. It was good for the boys to put another W on that column. It’s special for this group.”

Through the first three games this season, Fleming said his Rams have to protect the ball a little more and play through pressure defenses. On the other hand, he noted defense is what’s propelling them in the early going. 

Summit led 13-6 after one quarter before going over 12 minutes without scoring. That’s when Badin made its comeback.

The Rams shot 14 of 32 (43%) from the floor and 7 of 12 (58%) at the free throw line.

“It’s not going to be easy. They’re just not going to go out there and give it to us,” Fleming said. “The defensive end of the floor is where we’re trying to pride ourselves in getting stops. We’ve got a lot of work to do on the offensive end. The defensive end has to continue to improve. Giving up zero in an entire quarter — to go down seven to up five — that’s a drastic change.

“We’ve got to get a lot better on both sides of the floor and just continue to improve. It’s a long season. The winter is long. We’ve got some really good teams coming up on our schedule that we’ve got to be ready for.” 

Badin (2-1) has two games on the road — at Northwest on Friday and against Hamilton in the Butler County Classic at Fairfield on Saturday, Dec. 30 — to close out the 2023 portion of its schedule.


Stroud made an immediate impact in his first action at the varsity level on Saturday. 

“I’ve seen him in practice,” Fleming said. “I’ve seen him perform extremely well in practice, and practice relates to the game. It correlates. Normally, if you have good days and good weeks in practice, ultimately, you’re going to play a lot better.” 

The sophomore guard was brought up from the junior varsity squad while senior Aidan Brown participates in a high school football showcase in Texas. 

“It’s two-fold. I think he got a chance because he absolutely deserved it,” Fleming said. “He has worked his butt off from the moment that I got here. He has taken almost more strides than anybody in the program. And if you look at him, he’s not physically imposing. He’s maybe 5-8. But he works his tail off.  

“Congratulations to Aidan Brown for being in the Blue-Grey All-American Game down in Dallas, Texas — so that’s an unbelievable honor for him. We’re very proud of him,” Fleming added. “But guys got to step up. Last night (Friday), Chandler (Taylor) stepped up in an enormous way. Cooper stepped up. Tonight, it was Eli. We’re very thankful for that. Super happy for him.” 

Stroud fired 5 of 7 from the floor, including 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. 

“New coach — a lot of energy,” Stroud said. “It’s bringing us all together. Practices are up and down — all fast-paced. It’s getting us all energetic and together. We came off a big win. We just continued off of that.”


Badin forced 12 turnovers on the night and took full advantage of holding Summit Country Day scoreless for nearly 12 minutes. That gave the Rams all the momentum they needed to pull ahead in the second half.

“When your offense is going — so is their offense,” Ollis said. “It’s not going to do us any good. You’re going to have to make stops and put it into the offensive side. If you put both sides together, it’s going to be a good outcome.  

“It’s been nonstop,” Ollis described Badin’s practices. “It’s defense in practice. If you can’t get stops, you’re not going to win. Practices are hard. But once you get through them, it’s going to help you out in games. The winning record has us on a good start, so that’s what we’re hoping for.”

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