Prep basketball: Second-ranked CJ overcomes strong Badin effort to win, clinches GCLC North title

Badin’s Joseph Walsh (1) watches his foul shot during Friday night’s game against Chaminade Julienne at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Badin’s Joseph Walsh (1) watches his foul shot during Friday night’s game against Chaminade Julienne at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

HAMILTON — While the Chaminade Julienne High School boys basketball team celebrated wildly in the locker room Friday night, veteran coach Joe Staley walked out, found a seat, looked up with a smile and just shook his head.

“Refuse to lose, the motto everyone talks about, these kids have it,” Staley said. “We looked like two different teams from the first half to the fourth quarter, didn’t we?”

The Eagles overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit against Badin, roaring back to not only snare a big road victory but clinch the Greater Catholic League Coed North Division title courtesy of a 58-54 decision in front of a standing-room-only crowd at Mulcahey Gym.

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Justin Pappas gave Badin a 46-36 lead early in the fourth period and the Eagles owned the game from there, storming back to finally take the lead 53-52 on a Milton Gage lean-in with 1:17 left.

Gage had 11 of his 14 points in the final quarter and Jack Nauseef had five of his team-high 15 to lead the comeback for the state’s second-ranked Division II team.

“This is what our guys have done all year,” Staley said. “They have played unbelievable in the fourth quarter in crunch time all season. We are led by Nauseef and Gage. They come to play and have ice water in their veins.”

The comeback was aided by seven Badin turnovers in the final stanza, ruining a fabulous three-quarter effort from the hosts.

Badin’s Justin Pappas (13) shoots between Chaminade Julienne’s Dan Nauseef (32) and Milton Gage (15) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Badin’s Justin Pappas (13) shoots between Chaminade Julienne’s Dan Nauseef (32) and Milton Gage (15) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

Pappas led all scorers with 20 points and grabbed 10 boards, while Seth Hargis and Nathan Hegemann each added eight points in the losing effort.

BHS coach Gerry Weisgerber said while he was happy with his team’s effort, he hopes his Rams learned a hard lesson about closing out a game against a tough opponent.

“It is the stuff we have to learn,” Weisgerber said. “We are up 10 in the fourth quarter and we knew they would up the pressure, and they had a couple of kids that went mostly one-on-one against us and hit some big shots. “

The Rams switched up their offense by moving Pappas to the free-throw line and the Badin senior big man took advantage, beating the Eagles off the dribble for buckets.

Chaminade Julienne’s Brandon Gibson (13) is caught between Badin’s Zach Switzer (10) and an unidentified BHS defender during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Chaminade Julienne’s Brandon Gibson (13) is caught between Badin’s Zach Switzer (10) and an unidentified BHS defender during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

Weisgerber said it was a switch that obviously worked. Staley said the Rams caught CJ off guard.

“We moved me from the post to the high post,” Pappas said. “I knew I could get by my man and score.”

“Hamilton Badin is a real good basketball team, and they knew us better than we knew them,” Staley said. “Watching film, Pappas never put the ball on the floor, and he put it on the floor all night.”

A back-and-forth first half saw the Eagles jump out 11-2, only to see Badin close the gap to 18-15 after the first quarter. Led by Pappas’ seven points, the Rams built a 30-27 lead at halftime.

Both teams shot well all night, with Badin hitting 11-of-24 in the opening half and 20-of-44 overall. CJ started out 7-of-12 in the opening quarter, cooling off in the middle two periods before nailing 8-of-12 in the final stanza.

Chaminade Julienne’s Jack Nauseef (10) drives between Seth Hargis (2) and Nathan Hegemann (3) of Badin during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Chaminade Julienne’s Jack Nauseef (10) drives between Seth Hargis (2) and Nathan Hegemann (3) of Badin during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

Pappas gave Badin a 52-49 lead with 1:30 left, but Gage had the next six points — aided by two Badin turnovers — to grab a 55-52 advantage with 18 seconds left.

Staley opted to foul as Badin crossed midcourt, and the Rams accommodated by missing the front end of the one-and-one. Dominic Wilcox was fouled and hit both for a 57-52 lead, and Hegemann was fouled shooting a 3 with two ticks left. He made the first two before intentionally missing the third.

Pappas said the Rams will rebound from the result.

“We lacked that mental strength in the final quarter,” he said. “We have to learn to keep our foot on the pedal and play all 32 minutes. Physically, we have the talent to match any team in the state in Division II, but we still have to work on the mental edge.”

Badin’s Joseph Walsh (1) gets knocked backward while defending Chaminade Julienne’s Jack Nauseef (10) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Badin’s Joseph Walsh (1) gets knocked backward while defending Chaminade Julienne’s Jack Nauseef (10) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

“Going forward, we have to learn from today’s game,” Weisgerber said. “We have to learn how good we can be like we were in the second and third quarter and maintain that in the fourth quarter. We knew they would make a run. We just didn’t handle it.”

Badin fell to 11-4 overall and 3-4 in the GCLC Central. The Rams will travel to St. Xavier on Tuesday.

Brandon Gibson added 14 points for CJ, which improved to 15-1, 8-0. The Eagles will host Thurgood Marshall on Tuesday.

Chaminade Julienne 18-9-9-22—58

Badin 15-15-14-10—54

CHAMINADE JULIENNE (15-1, 8-0 GCLC North): Larry Turner 2 0 4; Dominic Wilcox 2 2 7; Jack Nauseef 5 2 15; Brandon Gibson 6 2 14; Milton Gage 5 4 14; Daniel Nauseef 2 0 4. Totals: 22-10-58

BADIN (11-4, 3-4 GCLC Central): Joseph Walsh 1 0 2; Seth Hargis 3 2 8; Nathan Hegemann 1 6 8; Donovan Watkins 1 0 2; Zach Switzer 2 0 5; Justin Pappas 9 1 20; John Berg 0 2 2; Josh Hegemann 2 1 5; Spencer Giesting 1 0 2. Totals: 20-12-54

3-pointers: C 4 (J. Nauseef 3, Wilcox), B 2 (Switzer, Pappas)

Badin’s Seth Hargis (2) makes contact with Chaminade Julienne’s Jack Nauseef (10) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Badin’s Seth Hargis (2) makes contact with Chaminade Julienne’s Jack Nauseef (10) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

Badin’s Spencer Giesting (11) and Chaminade Julienne’s Dominic Wilcox (5) watch a shot by Wilcox during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Badin’s Spencer Giesting (11) and Chaminade Julienne’s Dominic Wilcox (5) watch a shot by Wilcox during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

Chaminade Julienne’s Brandon Gibson (13) works inside against Badin’s John Berg (15) and Donovan Watkins (5) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Chaminade Julienne’s Brandon Gibson (13) works inside against Badin’s John Berg (15) and Donovan Watkins (5) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

Badin’s Seth Hargis (2) drives to the basket during Friday night’s game against Chaminade Julienne at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Badin’s Seth Hargis (2) drives to the basket during Friday night’s game against Chaminade Julienne at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS

Badin’s Zach Switzer defends Chaminade Julienne’s Larry Turner (4) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS
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Badin’s Zach Switzer defends Chaminade Julienne’s Larry Turner (4) during Friday night’s game at Mulcahey Gym in Hamilton. CJ won 58-54. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY TERRI ADAMS