OXFORD — It was only one minute into the second half, but Badin High School boys basketball coach Gerry Weisgerber had seen enough.
Leading 29-24, the veteran coach simply got the refs’ attention, tapped his shoulders to signal a 30-second timeout and met his team 10 yards from the bench.
Voices were not raised, but the message was received loud and clear by the Rams, who rattled off the next 14 points en route to a 71-50 at Talawanda on Tuesday night.
“At that point, I still didn’t think we were playing defense the way we are capable of playing. We were a little lackadaisical on defense,” Weisgerber said. “The second thing, we ran the same set and two straight times we ran it wrong. It showed me their heads weren’t quite there yet, so we took a timeout and talked about focusing.”
He loved the way his team responded coming out of the timeout.
“That was us,” Weisgerber said. “We got after it defensively, hit the boards and got the ball down the floor. When we do that, we have guys who can get out and score. I was pleased with what we did. We accomplished what we needed to do to get ready for Friday night.”
Badin pulled away from a gutsy Brave team with the big third quarter, improving to 10-2. Zach Switzer led the Rams with 13 points, and John Berg added 10 points and seven rebounds. Leading scorer and rebounder Justin Pappas didn’t play, resting a hurt shoulder.
Senior Joseph Walsh had 10 points and six steals for Badin. He said Weisgerber got the Rams’ attention during the key timeout.
“He told us to finish them,” Walsh said with a smile. “After that, we had the best three minutes of basketball we have played all year. Coach came out and let us know we can’t let teams hang around. All year we haven’t buried a team, and tonight we did.”
Craig James hit three triples and had a game-high 15 points while David Kraushar had 11 points for Talawanda. The Brave shot 10-of-24 from the field in the second half, but they continue to be haunted by turnovers and had 29 on Tuesday.
Talawanda coach Bobby Jones said the effort marked his team’s best performance. The Brave continues to find positives despite an 0-13 record.
“We are continuing to get better,” Jones said. “This group is so positive and sees the bigger picture. We are a game-to-game, practice-to-practice progression. You saw tonight we need to get into the weight room and become stronger basketball players. “
Jones loved his team’s grit to fight back from a 26-14 second-quarter deficit, getting a triple from James at the halftime buzzer to trail 28-22. But he didn’t like how the Rams were able to muscle Talawanda off the ball.
“We spent a lot of time in the weight room in the fall, and it is a good thing we did or we wouldn’t even touch the ball,” Jones joked. “We have to solve that in the offseason, but right now teams are just more physical than us. “
Weisgerber was happy to see 11 players in the scoring column for Badin, which shot 14-of-26 in the second half. The Rams continue to focus on free-throw shooting, seeing practice pay off by hitting 18-of-27 from the line, including 13-of-16 in the second half.
“Baby steps … it is baby steps,” Weisgerber said about the free-throw shooting. “Two games in a row without (Pappas) and we have had people step up. You need that when you are missing your leading scorer and rebounder.”
Badin jumps back into Greater Catholic League Coed Division play Friday at Fenwick. Talawanda visits Little Miami in Southwest Ohio Conference action next Tuesday.
BADIN (10-2): Seth Hargis 3 1 8; Zach Switzer 6 0 13; Joseph Walsh 4 2 10: Nathan Hegemann 1 4 6; Josh Hegemann 2 4 8; Easton Scowden 1 0 3; Donovan Watkins 2 3 7; Spencer Giesting 1 0 2; Ben Grawe 2 0 4; John Berg 3 4 10. Totals: 25-18-71
TALAWANDA (0-13): Ryan Henes 1 0 2; Craig James 6 0 15: David Kraushar 5 0 11; Jonathan Richter 2 0 5; Tommy Winkler 3 0 6; Matthew Bowling 1 2 5; Braden Wright 1 4 6. Totals: 19-6-50
3-pointers: B 3 (Hargis, Switzer, Scowden), T 6 (James 3, Kraushar, Richter, Bowling)