Girls basketball: Badin opens postseason with 10th straight win

MIDDLETOWN — Erin Beeber didn’t shy away from the facts Wednesday night.

The senior guard said the focus and drive for the Badin High School girls basketball team remains the same as it was during the regular season.

The No. 2 seeded Rams flexed that focus and drive during a 71-6 victory over No. 16 Franklin in a Division II sectional opener at Middletown’s Wade E. Miller Arena.

Badin, which moved to 20-2 and has won 10 straight, built a 53-0 halftime lead.

“Not much has changed,” Beeber said. “We just take it one game at a time. Obviously, we have one goal, and that is state. I think a lot of people kind of counted us out this year because we lost a lot of seniors, but we have that goal in mind, and we’re just going to take it one game at a time.”

Badin, ranked eighth in the Division II Associated Press state poll, moves on to face No. 17 New Richmond at 2 p.m. Saturday at Middletown.

“We talked all year about it being about us,” Rams coach Tom Sunderman said. “We had to come out and not play to the score. We came out at halftime and played the same game, just at a half-court situation.”

Freshman Braelyn Even and sophomore Gracie Cosgrove each had a game-high 15 points for Badin, which shot 29 of 54 (53.7%) from the floor and forced 31 turnovers.

“This definitely gives us a good starting point,” said Beeber, who bucketed 10 points. “It definitely gives us some motivation to keep going. It shows what we can do and make a statement to other teams.”

Rams senior Alyvia Hegemann added 13 points, while fellow senior Lauren Christie had seven points and five rebounds. Even brought down a game-high eight boards.

“Our coach emphasizes that it’s someone different every night,” Beeber said. “We just have to continue to play together and know that we can trust everybody. The fact that anybody can go out and score in double figures just says a lot about us and our confidence in each other.”

Senior guard Lexi Blevins connected on two free throws to put Franklin on the board with 2:45 left in the third quarter. Badin led 62-2 at that point.

Junior forward Sophia Aldridge bucketed two more points for the Wildcats 25 seconds later. Blevins hit two more free throws in the fourth quarter.

Franklin finished the season at 5-18

The last time both teams faced one another, Franklin downed Badin in a 49-37 tournament contest on Feb. 20, 2018.

Sunderman said despite his Rams going a week stretch without playing, he was pleased to see them come out on all cylinders.

“We hadn’t played in a week,” Sunderman said. “We went a stretch where we played eight games in 19 days and then we’re not playing for seven days. We wanted our girls to make sure they were stretched.

“We were able to mix in our other girls because that’s our future. When you’re able to juggle today’s team with your future, it’s good to be able to prepare them for tournament play.”

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