Girls Basketball

Even’s bucket in final seconds lifts Badin past Alter

SPRINGFIELD — Braelyn Even got the impression that the third encounter between the Badin and Alter high school girls basketball teams wasn’t going to be anything like the others. Not even close. 

The freshman forward zoned it all out in the waning moments on Tuesday night. 

Gracie Cosgrove scored a game-high 17 points, Even bucketed the game-winning basket with 2.2 seconds remaining and Badin gutted out a 49-47 Division II regional semifinal victory over top-ranked Alter at Springfield. 

“We just kept on picking each other up,” said Even, who received a pass from teammate Lauren Grawe inside the paint as time was winding down with the score knotted up at 47. “We said, ‘We got this. We’re not losing this game.’” 

Even put up a contested shot off the backboard and through the net, sending the Rams to their third-straight trip to the regional finals. They’ll face Purcell Marian on Friday at 7 p.m. at Springfield.

Alter, the defending Division II state champion, knocked Badin out of last year’s tournament in the regional final. 

Badin, which tied seventh in the final state poll, moves to 24-2 with its 14th straight win since a 63-47 home loss to Alter on Jan. 7. The winning streak includes a 79-56 win at Alter on Jan. 23. 

“It was a little more exciting than I wanted,” Rams coach Tom Sunderman said. “We thought it was going to come down to a five-point game. They handled us at our place by 16 — we handled them by 23. There was no way it was going to be like that tonight. You’ve got two teams that are wanting to fight to get to that next step. It’s do or die. I was proud of how our girls stayed the course.” 

Even finished with 12 points for Badin, which led nearly the entire game. Cosgrove drained three 3-pointers to boost the Rams in a foul-heavy first quarter, and an Alyvia Hegemann bucket gave Badin its largest lead of the game at 17-8 with under a minute left in the opener. 

The Rams kept the momentum on their side throughout the second quarter, which saw Even, Grawe and senior Lauren Christie each get stuck in foul trouble. 

Badin took a 23-19 lead into the locker room. 

“We knew, our coaches told us coming in, that they’d have their runs, and we’d have our runs. It was just how we responded to it,” Cosgrove said. “When they had their runs, we just pushed through and didn’t let that get to us. We kept our energy up and picked each other up.”

Alter tied it up at 27-27 on a pair of Maddie Moody free throws with 2:30 left in the third quarter. But Badin surged back on top to take a 35-31 lead heading into the final eight minutes. 

Christie knocked down a 3-pointer to open up the fourth quarter, giving the Rams a 38-31 lead. The Knights went on an 11-0 run, which was capped off by a Moody basket that made it 42-38 with 3:59 left to play. 

Christie fouled out during Alter’s scoring spurt. 

“We had to adapt to three players having four fouls and a player fouling out,” Even said. “But I think we stayed calm. They made runs, and we made a final run to finish it out.” 

Badin went on a 9-2 run, and Grawe’s two free throws put the Rams ahead 47-44 with 28.3 seconds left. 

Alter junior Riley Smith knocked down a 3-pointer to tie it at 47-47 with 10 seconds remaining. Then Even followed that up with her game-winner. 

Alter had one last desperation 3-point attempt from Hannah Mayse as the buzzer sounded, but it caromed off the rim. 

“I thought that’s how it would be tonight,” Alter coach Christine Hart said. “We know each other so well. We knew both teams were going to be well-prepared. I’m not surprised that it was close.” 

Smith scored a team-high 14 points for the Knights, who ended their season at 23-4. Mayse finished with 13, and Moody had 10. 

“We hadn’t won a game this big that was this close in a while,” Sunderman said. “Most of our scores we’ve put it to teams. We’ve talked about it before. We’ve beat some good teams by double-digits. But to see the girls, and some young players, make that last play is huge.” 

Purcell Marian (24-2) defeated Bexley 63-24 in the first regional semifinal at Springfield on Tuesday. 

“We told the girls today, ‘There’s no pressure. Let’s go out and have fun,’” Sunderman said of Purcell Marian, which won the Division III title last season. “They’re the team that everyone is talking about. It’s Purcell. Nobody’s talked about Badin all year, and we love that.” 

The Latest

To Top