Boys Basketball

‘We made a statement’ — Badin’s impressive run cut short in D-II regional semifinal loss to ranked Wyoming


VANDALIA — Badin used a mixture of toughness, grit and grind to reach a place it hadn’t been to in several years.

“Maybe we made a statement for now and in the coming years with what can be accomplished,” Rams senior Aidan Brown said.

Boys basketball on New London Road is back.

Cooper Ollis scored 16 points and Brown added 11 as Badin’s impressive run ended with a 50-38 loss to sixth-ranked Wyoming in a Division II regional semifinal on Thursday night at Vandalia Butler.

“What these guys have done this year, it’s truly remarkable,” Rams first-year coach CJ Fleming said. “The way that the whole year planned out, I tell them all the time that each game was a chapter in our book. It just kept going and going and going.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the job that they did. Couldn’t be more proud of — not even on the basketball floor — but what they do, how they carry themselves, how they represent Badin is truly special. I’m very fortunate to be able to coach this group of guys. It stings, but it should sting because of how much these guys care, how much work they put in. It’s something special.”

Badin ended the season 16-11 following a 3-8 start and reached the regionals for the first time since 2002. 

“That’s the standard now of how hard these guys play, and they bring it every night,” Fleming said. “I’m just so proud of what they’ve done and how high the eight seniors set the bar for things moving forward.”

The Rams graduate Connor Wright, Drew Enginger, Alex Ritzie, Spencer Fiehrer, Cameron Mueller, Grant Wissman, Brown and team manager Luke Franchini.

“I’m so happy of how much my guys enjoyed this year and enjoyed Badin basketball once again,” Fleming said. “I know there were some tough years in the mix, but I had so much fun with this group. And I feel very blessed to be able to be at Badin.

“Everything outside of basketball — getting to know these kids, being in this school — that has been the true and special part.”

Wyoming (24-3), the Cincinnati Hills League champion, won its eighth straight and will face Alter (20-7) in the regional finals Saturday at 7 p.m. in Vandalia. Alter cruised by Jonathan Alder 63-42 on Thursday.

“Wyoming’s a very good team,” Fleming said. “They’ve had a heck of year. They have a great core with those three young guards. They played very well tonight.”

Wyoming coach Matt Rooks said the scouting report for Badin matched up perfectly Thursday. The sharpshooting Rams didn’t get enough good looks at the hoop due to the Cowboys’ lengthy lineup.

Badin fired just 10 of 51 (19%) from the floor.

“The last couple of games, they’ve been doing a great job of driving and kicking to the shooter,” Rooks said. “So, we were trying to take that away from them and make them just shoot over our length. Our big guys do a good job down there.

“But a lot of respect for Badin,” Rooks added. “Well-coached, scrappy bunch. They do guard well. I thought it bothered us a little early, but we made some shots.”

Kellen Wiley scored a game-high 17 points and Devin Evans got the Wyoming offense clicking early from behind the arc to finish with 16 points.

“They play good defense,” said Ollis, a junior. “I mean, we were 0 for 12 from 3 in the first half. When they went into that zone, it was tough to get shots up. Props to them. They played good defense.

“I expected them to be athletic,” Ollis added. “They handle the ball, drive to the basket and that’s what they did. They did a good job with that.”

Wyoming’s defense never relaxed and created multiple transition layups in the fourth quarter to outscore Badin 23-16.

Brown said the Rams are walking away with their head held high.

“I think it was just the hard work and what we were buying in to with Coach Fleming,” Brown said. “What he was teaching us was just amazing.

“The way we played every single game,” Brown added. “The way we fought every single game. I think we were the toughest team out on the court every single game. Tonight, we just didn’t hit shots. But when we hit shots, we were a pretty dangerous team.”

“Badin basketball, it’s obviously not looked at like it could as a program,” Ollis chimed in. “But this group of seniors and everybody else — and it even comes down to the waterboy — everybody was tagging along. It was just a great season. I love every one of them. I want to thank my coaches and players. It was an awesome season. I think we really turned the program around.”

The Latest

To Top