HAMILTON — According to Northwest High School boys basketball coach Nick Argentati, there was no secret formula that led to the Knights’ demise at Badin on Tuesday night.
The Rams pulled away from a two-point lead late in the third quarter and ran away from Northwest for a 70-52 win at Mulcahey Gym.
“Definitely the last six minutes of the game (Badin) was just tougher than we were,” Argentati said.
TUESDAY NIGHT BASKETBALL COVERAGE
Senior Justin Pappas had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Rams and smiled when asked about Badin’s toughness.
“Yes sir, I do believe we are one of the toughest teams you are ever going to see,” Pappas said. “It was a really big win and put us in a good place to springboard into the rest of the season.”
“This group, I like the way they play,” Rams coach Gerry Weisgerber said. “They get after it and won’t back down from people. They are going to battle. I don’t have to worry about that part going into every game. They will give it everything they have for 32 minutes.”
Badin had nine players score while moving to the 4-0 for the first time since 2013-14. Junior Zach Switzer had 17 points and seven boards, while senior Joseph Walsh added 14 points and five assists.
The number of Rams scoring is a plus, according to Weisgerber, who praised his senior guards Walsh and Nathan Hegemann (six points, three assists).
“It’s a process,” Weisgerber said. “The two seniors (Walsh and Hegemann), they played a lot last year coming off the bench. Now they are starters, and they are getting better at the decision making. You can see it progress where they know what to run and get us into the right sets we want to run.”
Badin trailed after the first quarter before grabbing a 30-28 lead on a Switzer bucket on the last play of the half.
The Rams were never behind in the second half, slowly extending the lead. Northwest (1-3) was able to keep the game close behind the play of senior Keyshawn Bourrage. The 6-foot-5 forward had a game-high 23 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, but once he went to the bench in the final quarter with his fourth foul, the game got away from the Knights.
The Rams outscored Northwest 24-10 in the final stanza and Argentati said Bourrage’s absence in the fourth quarter hurt, but Northwest’s 17 turnovers were just as critical.
“The first three quarters, we had a bunch of turnovers that let them stay in the game,” Argentati said. “We had some turnovers in the second quarter that let them get back into the game, and then we are in a two-point game and turn it over and things kind of unraveled.”
Badin was 15-of-29 from the field in the second half and turned the ball over three times. The Rams held Northwest to 17-of-45 shooting.
Juniors Josh Hegemann, Spencer Giesting and Alex DeLong provided some quality play off the bench for Badin.
“The kids off the bench tonight, that was big,” Weisgerber said. “(Giesting) and (DeLong) have played about 30 seconds this year and came in and gave us all kinds of quality time in the first half. (Giesting) gave us a big bucket just on hustle. When other kids see that and how people react to that, they want to keep it going.”
The Rams will resume Greater Catholic League Coed Division play at home Friday against Carroll, while Northwest visits Edgewood in Southwest Ohio Conference action.
NORTHWEST (1-3): Steven Grau 1 1 4; Elijah Horton 1 0 2; Isaiah Loveless 1 2 5; Tyre McKinney 2 1 6; Dae’Mon Cherry 1 0 3; Desani Hill 0 2 2; Keyshawn Bourrage 9 4 23; Evan Mahaffey 2 2 7. Totals: 17-12-52
BADIN (4-0): Joseph Walsh 5 2 14; Seth Hargis 3 0 6; Nathan Hegemann 3 0 6; Donovan Watkins 1 0 2; Zach Switzer 4 8 17; Spencer Giesting 1 0 3; Justin Pappas 6 2 15; Alex DeLong 0 2 2; Josh Hegemann 2 1 5. Totals: 25-15-70
3-pointers: N 6 (Grau, Loveless, McKinney, Cherry, Bourrage, Mahaffey; B 5 (Walsh 2, Switzer, Giesting, Pappas)
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