Badin tops Hamilton, eyes GCLC showdown Wednesday vs. McNick

Hamilton’s Kira Ash dribbles the ball while being defended by Badin’s Ally Stang during their game Monday night at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Hamilton’s Kira Ash dribbles the ball while being defended by Badin’s Ally Stang during their game Monday night at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Tom Sunderman thought his Badin High School girls basketball team could have played better Monday night, but he admittedly was trying to save something for an even greater cause.

The Rams used a dominant defense to overcome their own sloppiness and pushed past rival Hamilton 53-42 on Monday at home in the first matchup between the schools since 2003.

Badin (14-6), which is in first place in the Greater Catholic League Coed Central Division, now turns its attention to Wednesday’s home game against second-place McNicholas as the Rams have a chance to claim the title outright.

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“We’ve been playing really strong defense all year,” Sunderman said. “Today we were a little sloppy and not getting some things done we normally do. I will take part of the blame for that. We wanted to save some legs — not to take Hamilton lightly because it’s a big rivalry game, but we play McNick on Wednesday for the outright league championship and I wanted to make sure we are fresh for that too.

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Hamilton’s Anna Cardwell gets knocked down by Badin’s Lauren Krause during Monday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Hamilton’s Anna Cardwell gets knocked down by Badin’s Lauren Krause during Monday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Hamilton’s Anna Cardwell gets knocked down by Badin’s Lauren Krause during Monday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“We will clean some things up,” he added. “We’re typically better than that, so if we can do a better job of handling the ball, taking care of pressure, I like our chances Wednesday night.”

Badin led by as many as eight points in the first half, but a young Hamilton squad cut the gap to one twice before the Rams took a 28-23 advantage into halftime.

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It wasn’t until the third quarter that the Rams were able to break away, taking advantage of a slew of turnovers to build a 16-point cushion that never again would drop below double figures. The Big Blue (6-14) finished with 27 turnovers, 19 of which came off Badin steals. The Rams had 14 miscues.

“I’m not going to complain about our youth,” Hamilton coach Harry Phillips said. “They are growing and maturing. I’m going to go to bat with them all day long. I thought without that third quarter, we played well and played hard. We had turnovers that were uncharacteristic of what we teach. We got away from our stack press break, and when we get away from things that make the game easy for us, we struggle.”

Despite all the turnovers, Hamilton still had chances as the Rams struggled to execute on offense after many of their steals. They missed six uncontested layups in the third quarter and still managed to take a 43-30 lead into the fourth period, while holding the Big Blue to seven points.

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Freshman Shelby Nusbaum led Badin with 14 points and seven steals, while Macy Harper had 10 points and four steals.

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Hamilton’s Sam Fuller takes a shot as Badin’s Emily Maher provides the defense in Monday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Hamilton’s Sam Fuller takes a shot as Badin’s Emily Maher provides the defense in Monday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

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Hamilton’s Sam Fuller takes a shot as Badin’s Emily Maher provides the defense in Monday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

“Our defense stepped up in the third quarter, but we didn’t convert at the other end,” Sunderman said. “Usually we finish those, so we will talk about that (Tuesday), but Wednesday night we can’t miss those. If we miss those Wednesday, that will hurt us.”

Badin shot 35.4 percent (17 of 48), and the Big Blue made 13 of 41 field goals (31.7 percent). Kira Ash led Hamilton with 12 points, but the Rams held Cici Riggins, who was feeling a little under the weather, to 10 points off free throws.

“We can’t put the ball in for them,” Phillips said. “They have to learn to score. The right people have to score. We’re fighting through some stuff but as we move forward. We have Colerain next, so our battle doesn’t get easy.”

HHS will be at Colerain on Wednesday.

Hamilton 9-14-7-12—42

Badin 17-11-15-10—53

HAMILTON (6-14): Alicia Arce 1 0 3, Anna Cardwell 2 2 6, Kira Ash 5 0 12, Cici Riggins 0 10 10, Makayla Rogers 2 0 4, Louisha Anthony 1 0 2, Jade Wells 1 0 2, Samantha Fuller 1 0 3. Totals: 13-12-42

BADIN (14-6): Shelby Nusbaum 3 7 14, Ally Stang 2 0 6, Anna Cantwell 0 2 2, Emily Maher 1 1 3, 2 0 5, Olivia Keene 2 0 4, Macy Harper 4 2 10, Emma Broermann 1 0 2, Claire McCurley 3 1 7. Totals: 18-13-53

3-pointers: H 4 (Ash 2, Arce, Fuller), B 4 (Stang 2, Nusbaum, Krause)

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