ST. CLAIR TWP. — Nathan Hegemann knew the Badin High School boys basketball team needed someone to make a play Friday night.
So the senior guard went out and made one.
Hegemann came out of a BHS timeout and went to work, faking left before driving right to give the Rams a 45-44 lead with only 49 seconds left at Edgewood’s Ron Kash Court. Badin wouldn’t trail again and earned a hard-fought 49-46 win.
“I knew we needed someone to step up,” said Hegemann, who had nine points, five steals and five assists. “I mean, we have the talent to beat teams, but at first we didn’t handle their zone defense. I am sure we will hear about our free-throw shooting.”
FRIDAY NIGHT BASKETBALL COVERAGE
The Rams shot poorly all night, hitting only 17-of-42 from the field and 12-of-28 from the foul line. Badin coach Gerry Weisgerber said freebies will continue to be a point of emphasis.
“The whole game came down to something we can control and that is our free throws,” Weisgerber said. “We talked about it all week in practice. I tell these guys in a 22-game schedule, 13 to 14 games are going to be decided at the foul line, and tonight was one which would have been much easier if we knocked down our foul shots.”
Justin Pappas had 11 points and 11 boards to pace the Rams (6-1). Spencer Giesting added 11 points.
Isaiah Gambrell led Edgewood with 12 points and eight rebounds. Johnathan Shepherd came off the bench to score 11 for EHS, all in the first half, as the Cougars fell to 2-7.
Edgewood had leads of 41-37 with 2:16 left and 44-43 with under a minute to go, but faltered both times in dropping its sixth straight game. Five of those losses have been by seven points or less.
Cougars coach John Thomas saw EHS once again start strong with a 21-11 first-quarter lead, only to be undone by 22 turnovers.
The Cougars came out red hot, hitting 8-of-13 in the opening stanza, and that included four triples. But Edgewood scored only three points in the pivotal second quarter that saw Badin grab a 25-24 halftime lead.
“The second quarter was the turning point in the game,” Thomas said. “You know a good team like Badin is going to score and make adjustments, but again, we got away from the things that were successful in the first quarter.”
Thomas said he is happy with his team’s effort despite the losing streak.
“I want my kids to win a game, man, and they do too,” Thomas said. “They come to practice. They work hard. They just need to win a game.”
Badin has won the last 10 games in the Butler County rivalry series. Edgewood’s last victory came on Dec. 27, 2008.
The Rams will travel to Columbus Watterson on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The Cougars visit Talawanda next Friday.
BADIN (6-1): Joseph Walsh 0 1 1; Seth Hargis 2 0 4; Nathan Hegemann 3 2 9; Donovan Watkins 1 1 3; Zach Switzer 2 3 7; Spencer Giesting 4 1 11; Justin Pappas 4 3 11: John Berg 1 0 2; Alex DeLong 0 1 1. Totals: 17-12-49
EDGEWOOD (2-7): Johnathan Shepherd 4 0 11; Peyton Daley 3 0 6: Zach Hamilton 1 0 3: Aaron Frazier 3 0 8: Isaiah Gambrell 4 4 12: Eric Brooks 3 0 6. Totals: 18-4-46
3-pointer: B 3 (Giesting 2, Hegemann), E 6 (Shepherd 3, Frazier 2, Hamilton)
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