Prep basketball: Juniors shine on Senior Night, Badin handles Summit

HAMILTON — The seniors were listed as the headliners, but the juniors stole the show Tuesday night at Badin High School.

A quintet of juniors paved the way for the Rams boys basketball team, instigating a pivotal second-half run which enabled the Rams to escape upset-minded Summit Country Day 49-39 on Senior Night at Mulcahey Gym.

While the seniors were struggling, BHS coach Gerry Weisgerber sent in an all-junior lineup which turned the momentum decisively in the Green-and-White’s direction in a key 23-4 run that ended the third quarter and began the fourth.


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“One of the coaches said in the locker room, ‘The seniors owe the juniors a big thank you,’ ” Weisgerber said. “The juniors took care of this game for us. They did a heckuva job.”

The all-junior squad was led by Josh Hegemann, who scored seven points, grabbed five boards and dished five assists. Zach Switzer hit three triples while totaling 12 points, sharing the team scoring lead with Spencer Giesting.

Both Switzer and Giesting corralled five rebounds, while Alex DeLong chipped in four points and three steals. Donovan Watkins was active on defense, snagging four steals while helping harass SCD’s leading scorer, Rylan Woods, into a six-point effort.

“(DeLong) has played three or four games in a row where we have got a lot out of him,” Weisgerber said. “(Giesting) typically hits three-pointers, but we scored inside tonight. (Hegemann) is growing as the season goes on. We have a lot of confidence in him running the point. He sees it well. If he doesn’t get the shot he can find someone. He played really well tonight.”

SCD threw a zone at the Rams and they struggled early, needing a Switzer 3 at the first-half buzzer to steal a 19-16 lead. Badin shot 7-of-23 from the field in the first half and committed eight turnovers, but Weisgerber said the Rams’ struggles can be fixed.

“If you watched Summit play all year long, they control the tempo on offense and defense,” he said. “Defensively, they make you earn what you get. I don’t know if the zone bothered us as much as we just didn’t make shots tonight. It is something to take care of, though, as any teams who watched us tonight will definitely zone us. “

SCD was led by Terry Evans’ 15 points. The senior hurt the Rams inside and outside, and his bucket gave the Silver Knights their last lead (25-24) with three minutes left in the third quarter.

Summit was hit with a technical that enabled the Rams to tie the game at 25 before Giesting, DeLong and Hegemann each scored for a 31-27 lead after three quarters.

Badin blew it open at the beginning of the fourth period. Giesting had six quick points, DeLong had a fast-break lay-in and Hegemann turned an offensive board into a traditional three-point play as the Rams jumped out 47-29.

Weisgerber has played 10 guys all year, so he wasn’t surprised to see his underclassmen step up.

“That’s the way it has been,” Weisgerber said. “Saturday night (at Ross) was all seniors, and tonight our younger guys stepped up. It is tough on Senior Night. A lot of stuff behind the scenes, plus it is a Tuesday night. No excuse, though.”

Badin has now won three in a row and stands 14-6. The Rams shot 11-of-24 in the second half and cut their turnovers to four.

SCD was 13-of-37 and committed nine second-half turnovers in falling to 9-12.

The Rams will finish the regular season with a Greater Catholic League Coed Division road game against Roger Bacon on Friday, while Summit travels to Norwood.

Summit Country Day 7-9-11-12—39

Badin 9-10-12-18—49

SUMMIT COUNTRY DAY (9-12): Jimmy Stines 1 0 2; Rylan Woods 2 2 6; Terry Evans 5 5 15; Benjamin Toble 1 3 5; Matt Dahling 4 0 11. Totals: 13-10-39

BADIN (14-6): Joseph Walsh 1 0 3; Nathan Hegemann 0 1 1; Zach Switzer 4 1 12; Spencer Giesting 4 4 12; Justin Pappas 3 0 6; John Berg 1 2 4; Alex DeLong 2 0 4; Josh Hegemann 3 1 7. Totals: 18-9-49

3-pointers: S 3 (Dahling 3), B 4 (Switzer 3, Walsh)

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