The Rams (10-3) hadn’t played an out-of-state opponent since losing to visiting Holy Cross (Ky.) 52-31 on Jan. 28, 2013.
“I thought we came out a little slow, but we stepped up the tempo in the second quarter and created a lot of havoc on the defensive end and got our energy going,” Badin coach Tom Sunderman said. “Coming off two tough games, sometimes it’s not bad to have a game like this.”
Following 1-point wins over Purcell Marian and Roger Bacon in Greater Catholic League Coed Division play, the Rams put up season-high totals in points and 3-pointers (six).
St. Mary’s (7-8) played without two of its best players. Junior center Caroline Zanghi and junior point guard Caitlin Bish were unable to make the trip.
“We had a couple tapes on them,” Sunderman said. “The hardest thing is comparing New York-style basketball to Ohio and understanding their physicality and their size. They were a little more physical than we were expecting. Part of that is because they use a shot clock up there, so they’re used to a faster-paced game. They’re a little more aggressive because they’ve got to make things happen in a hurry.”
Lancers coach Jason Kline said his team is obviously much better with Zanghi and Bish on the court. That said, he wasn’t happy with his squad’s effort.
“Very disappointing,” Kline said. “We just came out flat, lacking energy, lacking emotion. The girls that weren’t here are three-year returning starters, but I still expect the players to step up and answer the bell. It’s an opportunity for them to step up and be leaders, and it just didn’t happen.
“It’s not acceptable. We drove a long way, and I expected them to perform better than they did today.”
St. Mary’s was never really in the game, falling behind 14-3 in the first eight minutes. The Lancers committed 24 turnovers, getting 10 points from Bridget Mazurowski and seven boards from Lauren Nawojski.
The Lancers traveled to this area because of their connection to La Salle athletic director Keith Pantling, who’s from Lancaster. The St. Mary’s boys played La Salle on Friday and Elder on Saturday, while the girls only played Badin after an area team backed out of a game.
“Once a year, we try to schedule a trip out of town,” Kline said. “It’s good for us to do this. We get to have some good team bonding, see some different schools, see some different players. We’ll take some good out of it.
“We left as the eighth-ranked large school in Western New York. Even though we’re a small school, they rank us up with the large schools. Last year we won 19 games, the year before that we went to the state finals down in New York City and lost in the Final Four. Today’s performance is not indicative of the type of basketball we usually play.”
Kline got to see a little tape of the Rams, and he was impressed with them in person.
Badin has altered its game after losing sophomore guard Shelby Nusbaum to a season-ending knee injury on Dec. 16 in a loss to McNicholas. The Rams, who’ve dealt with several injuries, are 6-0 since that day.
“I think we all know that we have to step up and take bigger roles on the court,” Maher said. “We work together more as a whole, and we play unselfishly. We wouldn’t be where we are without each other.”
Sunderman credited junior varsity players like Kowalski and Claire MacGowan for their varsity contributions.
“We were forced to bring some girls up, and so far it’s working,” Sunderman said. “Do we miss Nusbaum? Yes. Her athletic ability, her ability on defense to create steals and turnovers, her ability to score … we miss those things. But the girls have responded. We’re a little more balanced, and our defense has had to step up. I think that’s where we’ve picked it up a lot.”
Badin will return to action at Northwest on Wednesday. St. Mary’s has a road game against Mount St. Mary (N.Y.) on Friday.
St. Mary’s 3-9-9-9—30
ST. MARY’S (7-8): Sydney Ottomano 0 1 1, Bridget Mazurowski 4 0 10, Parris Maroney 0 1 1, Myla Kline 3 0 7, Lauren Nawojski 1 1 3, Emily Molnar 1 0 2, Sam Geary 1 0 2, Ava Achtyl 1 2 4. Totals: 11-5-30
BADIN (10-3): Emily Maher 8 0 19, Grace Larkin 1 0 3, Emma Broermann 6 3 15, Claire McCurley 1 0 2, Claire MacGowan 1 0 3, Anna Cantwell 1 0 2, Lizzie Kolde 1 0 2, Laney Cosgrove 1 0 2, Jaelynn Scowden 1 0 3, Mickayla Kowalski 3 1 7. Totals: 24-4-58
3-pointers: S 3 (Mazurowski 2, Kline), B 6 (Maher 3, Scowden, Larkin, MacGowan)