HAMILTON — Coming off a tough Greater Catholic League Coed Division loss last Friday at Fenwick and facing another tough league game this coming Friday against a Chaminade Julienne team ranked second in the state, Badin’s need for a win on Tuesday against Springboro was perhaps even more dire than normal.
Even though Springboro was 5-8 going into the game, the Rams knew it wouldn’t be easy. Besides being a Division II team going up against a D-I squad, Badin was outsized by the Panthers at every position.
The Rams overcame those issues and sinking just 1-of-11 shots beyond the arc, pulling away with some clutch fourth-quarter free-throw shooting for a 55-47 prep boys basketball win on their home court at Mulcahey Gym.
BOYS BASKETBALL COVERAGE
“This is a big win for us, especially after the way we played at Fenwick,” Badin coach Gerry Weisgerber said.
Senior guard Nathan Hegemann scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Rams, who went 10-if-15 from the line in the fourth quarter. Badin (11-3) finished 20-of-28 on free throws, while Springboro went 9-for-17.
“To me, my stats don’t matter,” Hegemann said. “Getting the win is more important. It’s nice, but I’m more excited about the win.”
“Foul shots helped us pull away, which is kind of surprising,” Weisgerber said. “That’s been a problem for us.”
Despite committing 11 fouls in the first half, the Rams increased their defensive intensity in the second, negating Springboro’s size advantage by double-teaming the Panthers’ big men in the low post at every opportunity and forcing eight turnovers while committing only one after halftime.
“All week long, we knew they were big,” the 5-foot-11 Hegemann said. “It just took mental toughness and going to contact.”
Weisgerber was asked if Springboro, with 6-8 senior Michael Berner also filling a low-post slot, is the biggest team Badin will meet all season.
“I hope so,” he observed wryly. “I hope there’s nobody bigger. They’re huge at every spot.”
Garett Powell, Springboro’s 6-7 senior center-forward, scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the first half. He and Hegemann were the only two players to reach double figures in a game that featured 14 lead changes and nine ties.
Badin took the lead for good on when 6-3 junior forward Spencer Giesting connected on two free throws for a 42-41 edge with 6:24 left in the game. That was part of a 9-0 Rams run that started with 6-5 senior forward Justin Pappas’ traditional three-point play on a putback and a free throw. Hegemann followed Giesting’s free throws with a 10-foot bank shot from the right wing before 6-2 senior center John Berg capped the run with another putback.
Springboro took a 25-24 lead into halftime after a first half that featured nine lead changes and eight tie scores. Powell, who went into the game leading the Panthers with an average of 14.8 points per game, scored 16 points, including 6-of-6 on free throws, in the first half for Springboro.
Hegemann, third among the Rams going into the game with an average of 8.8 points per game, scored a team-high eight before halftime, including sinking all four of his free throws.
Neither team led by more than four points through the first three quarters.
While Badin takes on CJ — ranked second in this week’s Associated Press Division II state poll — at home on Friday, the Panthers are scheduled to return to Greater Western Ohio Conference action with a home game against Springfield.
SPRINGBORO (5-9): C.J. Emanuel 2 0 5; Willieon Yates 1 0 2; Noah Moser 1 1 3; Kameron Dickerson 1 0 2; Garett Powell 6 6 18; Landon Palmer 1 0 2; Michael Berner 2 2 6; Connor Grevey 3 0 9. Totals: 17-9-47
BADIN (11-3): Joseph Walsh 0 2 2; Seth Hargis 2 2 7; Nathan Hegemann 5 8 18; Donovan Watkins 1 0 2; Zach Switzer 1 5 7; Spencer Giesting 2 2 6; Justin Pappas 4 1 9; John Berg 2 0 4. Totals: 17-20-55
3-pointers: S 4 (Grevey 3, Emanuel), B 1 (Hargis)
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