Badin High School’s boys basketball team was in need of some holiday cheer Thursday night, and it came in the form of a somewhat improbable victory.
The Rams rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit and blanked Dayton Christian 12-0 in the second overtime period, securing a 61-49 triumph in the first round of the Clinton-Massie Holiday Tournament.
“We got off to a rough start, but it was a team game in the end. Everyone contributed,” Badin senior guard Sam Mathews said. “Once we hit overtime, we were like, ‘We’re not losing this game.’ ”
Mathews (17), senior Jakob Tipton (15) and sophomore Zach Switzer (11) all turned in career-best scoring performances for the Rams (4-2), who ended a two-game losing streak.
Badin will meet host Massie for the championship at 8 p.m. on Friday. The football-delayed Falcons opened their season with a 59-47 win over Blanchester in Thursday’s nightcap.
“That was a very good team. They could play with our schedule,” Rams coach Gerry Weisgerber said of Dayton Christian (4-2), a member of the Metro Buckeye Conference. “We just kind of wore them down in overtime. We’ve got individuals who can score and do that. We’ve just got to get more consistency with all of them.”
The Warriors got 19 points from Matt Welker, but 15 came before halftime. He was hounded by Badin senior Daunte DeCello the rest of the night.
DeCello scored 8 points, while Switzer had 9 points in OT and totaled seven rebounds. Tipton grabbed a game-high nine boards.
The Rams were down 25-14 at the break. Weisgerber said his squad’s defense became more tenacious and less gambling from there, and an offensive adjustment paid off as well.
“We put in the four-out/one-in instead of our regular motion offense. It worked very well,” said Mathews, who also had three assists. “We were knocking down shots and getting better shots.”
Badin led only once in regulation, 40-38 on a Tipton stickback with 3:14 remaining. Dayton Christian’s Ryan Fair converted a driving layup not long thereafter, and it was a 40-40 affair heading to OT.
The first four-minute extra period ended in a 49-49 deadlock after the Warriors’ Anton Webb buried a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left. But Dayton Christian wouldn’t score again.
Did the Warriors simply run out of gas in the last four minutes of the game?
“A lot of them did,” Dayton Christian coach J.T. Holliday admitted. “I thought our guys had a great, great first half. We executed exactly the way we wanted to do it.
“Matt was playing awesome, but they made good adjustments at halftime and took him out of the game, and our guys haven’t seen that before. They face-guarded him, which is smart. We can exploit that to get looks that we want, but guys have got to step up.
“It kind of felt like a sectional game, which is what we wanted. We just didn’t keep our composure. We let them rattle us a little bit. It’s hard to swallow, but it’s a blessed opportunity to get better at something we haven’t seen yet.”
Switzer marked 6 points in the second OT, starting and ending the 12-0 surge with baskets. He totaled 11 points in the Rams’ first five games.
“Once they went to the press in that second overtime, I was telling these kids, ‘If anybody presses us, our eyes ought to light up. We should break it and score,’ ” Weisgerber said. “And that’s what we did.”
Dayton Christian 12-13-7-8-9-0—49
BADIN (4-2): Jakob Tipton 7 1 15, Daunte DeCello 2 4 8, Sam Mathews 6 2 17, Caleb Meyer 1 0 2, Joseph Walsh 0 2 2, Seth Hargis 1 0 3, Nathan Hegemann 1 1 3, Zach Switzer 5 0 11. Totals: 23-10-61
DAYTON CHRISTIAN (4-2): Anton Webb 3 0 7, Shawn VanNoy 1 0 2, Ryan Fair 4 1 10, Matt Welker 7 3 19, Luke Swanger 2 5 9, Seth Griswold 1 0 2. Totals: 18-9-49
3-pointers: B 5 (Mathews 3, Switzer, Hargis), D 4 (Welker 2, Fair, Webb)
Badin girls 57, Blanchester 25: The Rams rolled in the girls portion of the Clinton-Massie Holiday event, notching a season-high point total while putting no players in double figures.
It was their first game without sophomore guard Shelby Nusbaum, who suffered a season-ending knee injury during last Saturday’s loss to McNicholas.
“Tonight was a confidence builder for some of these girls,” Badin coach Tom Sunderman said. “They’re starting to realize what they can do on the varsity level.”
The Rams (5-3) aren’t anywhere close to full strength. Macy Harper (ankle) was also out Thursday, while Emma Broermann is playing through a foot problem.
The injuries have forced players like Jaelynn Scowden, Claire MacGowan and Mickayla Kowalski to step forward, and they combined for 22 points against Blanchester.
“We’ve got to find a little bit different identity now,” Sunderman said. “Not having Nusbaum makes us smaller, so we’re going to have to be a little more aggressive on the defensive end to create more scoring opportunities. We did that in the second half tonight.
“Our biggest problem this year is we haven’t been able to knock down jumpers, and MacGowan gives us another shooter. Once you score some easy baskets off your defense, your offense tends to get a little more confidence. Our aggressiveness led to some cheap scores in the second half, and then we started knocking down 15-, 16-, 18-footers.”
Claire McCurley paced Badin with 9 points. MacGowan, Broermann and Emily Maher all had 8, Scowden and Kowalski added 7 apiece, and Grace Larkin chipped in 6.
Dakota Watters led the Wildcats with 12 points.
The Rams will meet Legacy Christian Academy (10-1) for the C-M Holiday championship on Friday at 6:30 p.m. Legacy topped host Massie 48-32 in Thursday’s first semifinal.
Badin’s girls are seeking their first regular-season tournament title since winning the U.S. Army Holiday tourney in December, 2003, at Fairfield.
BADIN (5-3): Claire MacGowan 3 0 8, Anna Cantwell 0 1 1, Emily Maher 3 2 8, Lizzie Kolde 1 1 3, Grace Larkin 3 0 6, Jaelynn Scowden 3 0 7, Mickayla Kowalski 3 1 7, Emma Broermann 3 2 8, Claire McCurley 2 3 9. Totals: 21-10-57
BLANCHESTER (3-5): Olivia Gundler 1 0 2, Elecia Patton 2 0 5, Dakota Watters 4 4 12, Regan Ostermeier 2 1 5, Casey Kingsland 0 1 1. Totals: 9-6-25
3-pointers: BA 5 (MacGowan 2, McCurley 2, Scowden), BL 1 (Patton)