Prep girls basketball: Ferrell leads ‘inspired’ Wildcats past Badin



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Prep girls basketball: Ferrell leads ‘inspired’ Wildcats past Badin

Layne Ferrell didn’t have the time or the mind-set for pain Tuesday night.

The Franklin High School junior guard may have suffered a significant wrist injury in the regular-season finale against Valley View nearly two weeks ago, but she performed just fine in a Division II sectional semifinal against Badin.

Ferrell totaled 20 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three steals as the Wildcats girls basketball team began its postseason by ousting the Rams 49-37 at Lebanon.

“I couldn’t feel it at all,” said Ferrell, who played with tape on her right hand and wrist — yes, she’s a right-handed shooter. “Sometimes in practice it’ll start aching, but in the game, my adrenaline rush just took it over and took care of it.”

Ligament damage in her wrist prompted Ferrell to take about a week off. Franklin coach John Rossi obviously didn’t know Ferrell would get hurt when he selected a bye at the tournament draw, but it turned out to be a fortunate move.

“I’m not so sure Layne or the Rogers girl would’ve been able to play an early-round game,” said Rossi, noting that point guard Jordan Rogers was cleared to play Tuesday morning after going through a medical issue. “So we faced a little adversity. We were going to be prepared for whatever personnel we were going to use.”

Ferrell was actually a couple points below her average against Badin, but she got some quality assistance from Emily Newton (9 points, 3 rebounds), Skyler Weir (8 points), Brooke Stover (7 points, 7 rebounds) and Rogers (5 points, 3 assists).

“I’m so proud of our team. That’s the best we’ve played in a long time,” said Weir, a junior guard. “I just felt this big weight off my shoulders. I’ve been nervous for this game for the past week.”

Fifth-seeded Franklin (17-6) pulled away from a 30-30 deadlock in the last 6:10 to earn a sectional final matchup against No. 4 Monroe (17-6) at 6 p.m. on Monday at Lebanon. They split during the Southwestern Buckeye League season.

“Our kids and coaches deserve a lot of credit,” Rossi said. “We knew Badin was going to be extremely tough. We accomplished a lot of the goals that we talked about coming into this game. I thought our kids played inspired.”

The third-seeded Rams (17-7) had some adversity as well. Junior forward Claire McCurley couldn’t play after fracturing her tibia in practice, joining sophomore guard Shelby Nusbaum (out since mid-December with a knee injury) on the bench.

Franklin’s Layne Ferrell (30) blocks the path of Badin’s Mickayla Kowalski (32) during Tuesday night’s Division II sectional semifinal at Lebanon. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

Emma Broermann paced Badin with 12 points and 15 rebounds, and Emily Maher added 12 points. Mickayla Kowalski started in McCurley’s place and had 8 points and 7 boards.

“I thought our girls competed very well,” Rams coach Tom Sunderman said. “We needed a couple big shots to fall, and we missed a few free throws. Sometimes you need the ball to bounce your way, and it didn’t bounce our way today.”

The foul line played a key role in the outcome. The Wildcats were 24 of 29 from the stripe, 11 of 13 in the fourth quarter —- Badin was 10 of 18.

“I’m not saying how, but somehow they got to the foul line 29 times, and that’s the difference in the game,” Sunderman said.

Franklin High School junior guard Skyler Weir talks about Tuesday night’s 49-37 win over Badin in a Division II sectional semifinal at Lebanon.

Rossi said Franklin’s team goal was to get 20 foul shots. Ferrell had nearly that many herself, sinking 14 of 16 attempts.

“That’s what I like to do,” said Ferrell, who’s now made 175 of 206 free throws this season.

The Wildcats totaled 10 of their 17 turnovers in the first half, yet still took an 18-17 lead into the break.

“At first they came out and were super aggressive, and I think it scared us a little bit. We had a ton of turnovers in the first half,” Ferrell said. “But in the second, we came out more composed and handled it a lot better.”

Kaylee Harris (3), Jordan Rogers (middle) and Skyler Weir (20) provide defense for Franklin as Badin’s Grace Larkin (15) handles the ball during Tuesday night’s Division II sectional semifinal at Lebanon. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

Rossi said the plan was to come out in a 2-3 zone and force Badin to shoot from the outside, then mix in some man-to-man in the second half. It worked.

Rogers scored all of her points in the last four minutes for Franklin, and Weir had 5 points and Stover marked 4 in the fourth period. Rogers and Weir contributed key 3-pointers.

“Honestly, every shot I threw up, I thought they were all going in,” Weir said. “The first few shots I rushed. But afterwards, I got back in my rhythm … it was just great. It was amazing.”

“We knew we were going to have to get some output from some of the role players,” Rossi said. “Those kids really stepped up, Brooke Stover in particular. I kind of ripped into her for missing a couple easy ones in the first quarter, and she had a short memory and made some plays late in the game.”

Badin coach Tom Sunderman talks to his team during a timeout in Tuesday night’s Division II sectional semifinal against Franklin at Lebanon. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

The Rams started no seniors and will be losing Anna Cantwell and Lizzie Kolde to graduation.

“We feel like we have unfinished business, but I’m proud of my kids,” Sunderman said. “If you take our first nine players combined, they probably missed 60 games due to injuries and illness, and we went 17-7 against a pretty good schedule. The good part is most of the girls are coming back next year. Some of them are coming back for two more years.”

Franklin 10-8-10-21—49

Badin 8-9-8-12—37

FRANKLIN (17-6): Jordan Rogers 1 2 5, Skyler Weir 2 2 8, Layne Ferrell 3 14 20, Emily Newton 3 3 9, Brooke Stover 2 3 7. Totals: 11-24-49

BADIN (17-7): Emily Maher 5 0 12, Grace Larkin 2 0 5, Mickayla Kowalski 2 4 8, Emma Broermann 3 6 12. Totals: 12-10-37

3-pointers: F 3 (Weir 2, Rogers), B 3 (Maher 2, Larkin)

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