Badin back in district finals for first time since 2014

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

Cooper Ollis scored 26 points as the Rams beat their GCL Co-ed rivals 54-30.

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.

“So we know we were coming in playing 6-10 and 6-8 (post players), 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.”

Badin will play in the district finals for the first time since 2014. The Rams will face the Chaminade Julienne Eagles at UD Arena on Saturday 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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