Girls basketball: Stifling defense paves way for Badin tourney win

Rams force 36 turnovers in 65-30 win over Madison

The Badin Rams most difficult task in their Division II girls basketball tournament game against Madison might’ve been shaking off the cobwebs.

“It was a little bit tough,” senior guard Mahya Lindesmith said about Saturday’s 10 a.m. tipoff. “We’re not the best team when it comes to waking up.”

Nothing like a pressing, man-to-man defense relying heavily on traps to get the juices flowing. Badin forced the Mohawks into 36 turnovers that the Rams turned into a 36-5 advantage in points off turnovers on the way to a 65-30 win on Jerry Lucas Court at Middletown High School’s Paul Walker Gym inside of Wade E. Miller Arena.

Lindensmith, Badin’s leading scorer going into the game with an average of 14.6 points per game, scored 15 against Madison. That was one fewer than senior guard-forward Jada Pohlen, who shook off a scoreless first quarter to finish with 16, matching Madison sophomore Kylie Wells for the game high.

Badin (18-6) is scheduled to meet third-seeded Germantown Valley View in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday at Middletown. Valley View (17-6) advanced with a 42-40 win over fifth-seeded Mount Healthy in Saturday’s second of four games at Middletown.

Second-seeded Badin has won five of its last six games, including the last four.

Badin’s game plan was to get the Mohawks playing faster than they preferred. It paid off, Madison coach Tom McGuire said.

“That’s kind of our (game),” said McGuire, who handles on-court coaching with his father, Brian, on the bench. “We try to slow the game down and be deliberate. I think we did a good job in the first quarter. After that, their depth and experience caught up to us and the way they keep going caught up to us. The way they shoot the ball makes it tough.”

“They’re not used to it,” Rams coach Tom Sunderman said. “It’s a big court – 92 feet. I think they got winded.”

Inexperience also played a role for the Mohawks, who listed just two seniors on their roster.

“We counted them up, and of our 36 turnovers, 31 were by underclassmen,” Tom McGuire said.

Badin embraces the aggressive approach, Lindesmith said.

“It gives us so much confidence and energy,” she said. “We always know we’re going to get something out of it.”

Tenth-seeded Madison (10-13) lost three of its last four games. Saturday’s game was the Mohawks’ tournament opener after a grueling regular-season schedule that included 14 road games and just eight home games.

“We were road warriors,” Tom McGuire said.

One question Madison faces going into the off-season is Brian McGuire’s status after completing a 37th season of coaching. He’s been at Madison since the 1994-1995 season in a variety of roles, including fan as he took a few years off to focus on his primary job.

“I have to talk to the athletic director about what we’re going to do moving forward,” Brian McGuire said. “It’s been working OK to let (Tom McGuire) handle the on-court coaching while I handle the administrative stuff.

“I enjoy coaching with my son,” he added.

Badin, coming off a 63-31 first-round win over 11th-seeded Brookville, forced the Mohawks into 20 first-half turnovers, leading to a whopping 19-0 advantage in points off turnovers.

Grawe scored eight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers from the left corner, to help the Rams take a 15-11 lead into the second quarter.

About the Author