Girls basketball: Badin seniors ‘on a mission’

State-ranked Rams beat Hamilton to improve to 18-2, eye deep tourney turn

HAMILTON — Tom Sunderman recalled walking the hallway at Badin High School four years ago.

It was registration night, and the Rams girls basketball coach greeted some of the potential newcomers.

Lauren Christie, an eighth grader at the time, was one of them.

“I asked her, ‘So you’re going to come to Badin?’” Sunderman said. “Her dad, John, was a coach at Fenwick. He said, ‘It’s killing me, but this is where she wants to go.’

“I’m glad she came.”

Christie has played varsity for four seasons and is one of four seniors who have helped power the state’s ninth-ranked Rams to their second-best 20-game record in the history of the Badin girls basketball program.

Only the 1993 team, which went 20-0 and was ranked No. 1 in Ohio in Division II, eclipsed that.

And it was all relative Monday during Senior Night at Mulcahey Gym.

Christie held the fort down inside with seven rebounds, senior Erin Beeber scored a game-high 17 points, senior Lauren Grawe added 16 points and senior Alyvia Hegemann had 13 as Badin rolled to a 70-29 victory over Hamilton.

“You fast forward to today and watch them further,” Sunderman said, “I knew this was going to be a very good class. They’ve turned out good so far. But we’re not done. We’re going to finish strong with this great class. They’ve been on a mission.”

Badin (18-2) has made two Elite Eight appearances in the last two seasons, though Sunderman said that will be no easy task to match following Sunday’s tournament draw.

“We have a tough road ahead of us. This is the toughest state draw that we’ve ever seen of teams in our region.”

Sunderman said the draw went exactly how he thought it would go as the Rams locked up the second seed behind Purcell Marian, which is ranked fifth in the state.

No. 2 seed Badin plays No. 16 Franklin on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. in Middletown.

Sunderman said his Rams, who have won eight in a row and clinched at least a share of the Greater Catholic League Coed title after their victory over Fenwick on Saturday, are feeding off other recent wins against Chaminade Julienne, Elyria Catholic and No. 1-ranked Alter.

Grawe said the Rams have all the momentum they need heading into postseason play.

“I feel like we can go really far in the tournament,” she said. “I feel like everyone has underestimated us because we did lose a great senior class that graduated. But now we have some upperclassmen stepping it up, and I think we can go really far. I think we can do a great job.

“We’re just mostly like a family right now,” Grawe added. “(Coach) Sundy always says get the next play — don’t hang your head, pick each other up and then communicate on the floor. That’s what we do.”

Also contributing to Monday’s win were Badin’s two leading scorers — freshman Braelyn Even (13 points, nine rebounds) and sophomore Gracie Cosgrove (11 points).

“Our high-pressure defense leads to our scoring,” said Even, who leads the GCL Coed averaging 15.7 points a game. “We just have to make sure our defense is on and we’re playing smart. We’re just going to keep on playing our way and focus on us.”

Freshman Korrine Jones paced Hamilton (1-19) with seven points in what was the first girls basketball meeting between the two high schools in the city of Hamilton since the 2016-17 season.

Zariyah Bryant and Kalaia Davis each bucketed six points for the Big Blue.

“We didn’t give up the last two quarters,” Hamilton first-year coach Ciera George said. “We came out slow in the third quarter, but we continued to play. That’s all we can really ask for. It’s a testament to the grittiness that I want them to play all four quarters. … We’ve been preparing our young girls the entire season to play against better teams. I feel like we’re getting there.”


Badin is at Seton to close out the regular season on Wednesday. Hamilton is at league-leading Lakota East for Greater Miami Conference play that same night.

About the Author