Boys Basketball

Reeling Rams roll to D-II district semifinal win against rival Falcons


By Michael Marts, Staff Writer

MASON — The Badin Rams traveled to Mason Arena to take on the Fenwick Falcons for a Division II district semifinal on Saturday afternoon.

Badin came out on top with a 54-30 win, and the Rams were led in scoring by junior guard Cooper Ollis with 26 points. 

Fenwick’s defense came into Saturday’s game allowing 43.8 points per contest, and Falcons coach Andy McCarthy emphasized this game defensively.

“I thought we did a great job in the zone of containing them, giving ourselves a chance,” McCarthy said. “And I thought we were skittish on offense.”

Both offenses came out slow as it was tied 2-2, and it took nearly five minutes off the clock to score. Badin sophomore guard Eli Stroud hit a 3-point basket to jumpstart the Rams, who led 8-6 after the first quarter.

Stroud hit two big treys for the Rams in the second quarter, forcing Fenwick to call a timeout. In the back-and-forth half, Badin led 22-16 at the half.

Stroud led all scorers with 11 points after two quarters, while Shaefer Janeck paced Fenwick with seven.

Badin coach CJ Fleming was pleased with how his team played in the first half.

“We wanted to make sure we came out ready to go,” Fleming said. “Bailey Temming, player of the year and we had to be really tough on him, but played okay in the first half. Our defense is what kept us in it.”

In the second half, Ollis came out firing, hitting four 3s leading the way for the Rams. With 3:40 left in the third quarter and Badin leading 26-23, Fleming wanted to talk things over.

“I felt like on offense we were still standing a little bit not getting the ball moving,” Fleming said. “Finally we started to get the ball to the middle, pass fake and drive, that opened up some lanes, our shooters spaced, and fortune to knock a couple down.”

Ollis, who had 19 of his 26 points in the second half, was the key for a Rams’ 28-7 closing run to continue their season. 

“So we know we were coming in playing 6’10 and 6’8, so we were gonna have to be tough on the rebounding side and the defense side,” Ollis said. “I thought we were pretty tough. First half I wasn’t hitting too well, and everyone in the locker room said to keep putting them up. The second half got hot. We started playing as a team getting good looks, and they started getting out of control on their press, and we got good shots up — sealed the deal on it.”

Looking ahead, Badin will play in the district finals for the first time since 2014 when they lost to Dayton Stivers in Division III.

The Rams will face the Chaminade Julienne Eagles at UD Arena on Saturday, March 9, at a time to be determined.

“Not change,” Fleming said of his team’s focus moving forward. “We have to adapt or we have to continue to play the way we want to play. Be physical, be tough as heck on the defensive end, and we’ll go from there.”

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