HAMILTON — Emma Broermann is looking forward to her collegiate experience in sunny Florida, but first things first.
The 6-foot-2 senior forward is committed to finishing her Badin High School girls basketball career with a deep Division II tournament run and some individual school milestones, a dual quest that’s off to a quality start this season.
“I think as the year goes on, we’re going to get a lot better,” Broermann said Wednesday night after host Badin improved to 2-0 by battering Talawanda 79-36 at Mulcahey Gym. “I have a lot of faith in my teammates, so ultimately state would be our highest goal. I won’t settle for anything less, and I hold all of them to that standard.”
Broermann had Badin’s hottest hand in this Butler County rivalry matchup, sinking 12-of-13 field goals for 24 points and grabbing six rebounds. She sat out the last 11-plus minutes.
Freshman Jada Pohlen (17 points, eight boards) and junior Shelby Nusbaum (13 points) were among the offensive leaders for the Rams, who kicked off the campaign with a 44-40 overtime win at Preble Shawnee on Monday.
“We didn’t play to our potential against Preble Shawnee. We could’ve beaten them by a lot more,” said Broermann, who will continue her career at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. “We didn’t really prepare much for Talawanda. We were in the huddle and I was like, ‘Girls, we’ve got to play our game. Don’t go down to their game.’ And that’s what we did. We had really good energy tonight.”
Badin coach Tom Sunderman has had a full plate of activity since last season ended with a sectional loss to Franklin.
• Nusbaum missed most of last year with a knee injury, but she was cleared to play just before preseason practice began.
• Forward Claire McCurley transferred to Harrison for her senior season.
• Guard Macy Harper, a Xavier University soccer signee, decided not to play basketball as a senior.
• Senior guard Grace Larkin recently suffered a broken finger in practice and will be out 4-6 weeks.
• Junior forward Mickayla Kowalski and junior guard Kelly Havens will be missing some basketball time to attend soccer events. Kowalski wasn’t at Wednesday’s game, and both will be unavailable for Saturday’s contest at Edgewood.
“There’s a lot of moving parts still,” Sunderman said. “I think we’ve got the potential to be a good team, but it’s going to take a lot of work. The biggest thing we’ve got to do is develop our bench. A lot of them are one-dimensional, and they’ve got to be two-dimensional. They don’t have to be three-dimensional, but they’ve got to be at least two.”
Havens had six points, six steals, five assists and three rebounds against Talawanda, and Emily Maher collected six points, four assists and three steals. Maddie Thompson hauled in seven boards.
The Brave — that’s right, Talawanda now goes by Brave rather than Braves — trailed 28-6 at the first stop and 49-11 at haftime as Badin shot 67.7 percent from the floor in the first two quarters. The visitors totaled 31 turnovers in the game.
“We had some better things in the second half,” Talawanda coach Mary Jo Huismann said. “It’s tough when the kids don’t have a whole lot of experience. We just have to keep working on the little things, and they’ve got to get used to knowing where to go and being in the right places.
“They’re eager. They’re working hard. But when they get to the game, they get all excited and put their uniforms on and forget things. And the game moves even faster against a good team like Badin. Things work better when you’re playing against yourselves in practice.”
Kyra Koontz and Jazz Bennett scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, for the Brave (0-2). They had six boards apiece.
This is Huismann’s first year at Talawanda after a Hall of Fame career at Mother of Mercy. She was 696-337 in 46 seasons with the Bobcats.
It’s been a rough start in Oxford. Game 1 was a 74-32 loss to Winton Woods, and a road game against Fairfield looms Monday. Huismann, though, said she’s happy to be coaching the Brave. She believes better days are coming.
“This is a totally new thing for me, and I’m enjoying it,” Huismann said. “It’s different, but it’s a good different. The kids are good. They’re trying. Parents haven’t been on me. The kids just don’t play enough basketball. They’ve got to play more in the offseason. You can really see the difference in a game like this.”
Broermann has that kind of year-round commitment for Badin. She increased her career scoring total to 923 points Wednesday and recently signed with North Florida, an NCAA Division I school in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
“It’s always been a dream of mine to go D-I, so it feels really good to accomplish that,” Broermann said. “I give it to all my (Cincinnati) Angels and Badin coaches. They literally taught me everything I know and made me who I am today.”
She worked with Thom Dartt, founder of Perfect Fit Athletic Recruiting in Toledo, to increase her exposure across the country. Her collegiate decision came down to Austin Peay and North Florida.
“I was set on Austin Peay until I took my visit to North Florida,” said Broermann, who made that visit right after school started this year. “One of the assistants at North Florida (Kayla Oxenrider) was an assistant at Austin Peay, and she continued my recruiting at North Florida because I was already on their list of post players.
“I would consider myself a homebody, but when I went down there, it just felt like home. That’s really what I was looking for. The girls instantly welcomed me. I love all the girls, and I don’t even know them that well. And I instantly clicked with the coaches.”
Sunderman said the UNF program appears to be a good fit for her.
“They’re looking for somebody that can come in and play the post immediately,” Sunderman said. “They said for their league, she’ll be an impact player if she puts the work in.”
The Rams’ offensive output against the Brave was their highest point total since an 80-31 sectional win over Clermont Northeastern on Feb. 17, 2016.
TALAWANDA (0-2): Kyra Koontz 4 3 12; Jada Tegge 1 0 2; Sophie Pohlabel 3 0 6; Jazz Bennett 3 3 11; Maddie Croucher 0 1 1; Ava Wetzel 2 0 4. Totals: 13-7-36