HAMILTON — The Badin High girls basketball team survived a late rally by Edgewood for a 44-37 victory on Monday at Mulcahey Gym.
It was a huge win for the Rams (13-8) who are down four starters, two with season-ending injuries.
“We talked about it [injured starters] before the game,” Badin coach Tom Sunderman said. “It’s not an excuse. Everybody is going to practice every day, everybody’s got a job to do, the girls stepped up, and I thought we executed our game plan to perfection.”
Despite those starters being out it, Jada Pohlen, Mickayla Kowalski and Emma Adams did just that — they stepped up. The trio combined for 36 of their team’s 44 points.
“It feels really good that even with some starters out that we can still bring ourselves together and pull off a win,” said Pohlen, a sophomore guard.
Badin’s defense was the key to winning this game, shutting down Edgewood’s top three players. Carissa West, Zoe Stephens and Callie Hunt — who on the season average a combined 31 points per game. They were held in check to only a combined 25 points for the night.
Sunderman instructed his team to play more zone, forcing the Cougars to take plenty of untimely shots. The scheme worked in the early in the first quarter with guard Laney Cosgrove causing a couple of turnovers to help push Badin’s lead to 12-6 with two minutes left to go in the period.
Edgewood (15-6) then got some life from its star guard. On back to back possession, West converted on a couple of three-point plays to tie the game up right before the end of the first quarter. West led Edgewood with 11 points on the night.
At the start of the second, the Rams began to pull away a bit, after scores by Pohlen and Kowalski. That put Badin up 23-15 at halftime.
Down big in the third, Edgewood began to play a full-court pressure defense, not fazing the home team at all as the Rams moved the ball around for some easy buckets.
Towards the end of the fourth quarter, Badin pretty much had the game in its hands leading 40-30 with two minutes to go. Edgewood would not go down without a fight though.
The Cougars went on a 7-0 run to get within three after a Hunt layup. Sunderman then called timeout to regroup his team.
On Edgewood’s very next play, Hunt received a pass from under the basket only to be met by Badin’s Jillian Smith for the block and the steal. It was free throws the rest of the way for the Rams with Edgewood trying to extend the game. But it was too little too late as Badin prevailed.
Kowalski finished with 14 points for Badin, while Pohlen had 12 and Adams notched 10.
The Rams wrap up the regular season at home on Wednesday against McNicholas. The Cougars do the same against Little Miami at home.