“I told the girls defense won this ball game,” said Stonebraker after the game. “We held Lizzy Sunderhaus to 10 points and I can’t ask for anything more than that.”
The center of the Tigers defense on this night was Justine Raterman, who dominated the post, eliminating the inside game of Badin. Unofficially, Raterman ended the night with four blocks, four steals, seven rebounds and 11 points. But it was her ability to control the paint defensively that swung the game.
Along with the dominating defensive performance, Versailles controlled the glass out rebounding Badin 30-19.
“We were really able to control the boards tonight,” said Stonebraker.
The other key for the Tigers was an extremely balanced offense. Versailles put eight different players in the scoring column, led by Raterman and Bohman who both finished with 11 points.
“It just wasn’t Emily and Justine out there tonight,” said Stonebraker. “The girls did a great job in slowing down when they had to and being smart on offense.”
Add everything up and it comes out to a third consecutive regional final appearance for Versailles (25-0), where they will play Miami East (24-1) on Saturday at Vandalia Butler.
The two first periods were all Versailles. The Tigers attacked early and often in the first period led by Raterman and Bohman who combined for 9 points. On the other end of the court Badin had trouble finding offense against the Versailles man-to-man defense. When the buzzer sounded it was 16-7 Tigers.
In the second period Badin settled in defensively and the slug fest was on. The Rams were able to keep the Tigers close using defense and Sunderhaus. The senior center connected on eight first half points, but Badin still trailed 29-15 after one half of play.
“This was a MAC/GCL type game, both conferences are brutal and play a very physical game,” said Stonebraker.
Badin finally made their run in the third stanza. The Rams continued playing stellar defense and were able to find some offensive life in the third stanza. With two minutes left in the period they cut the deficit to 27-21, but as it turned that was as close as they would get.
The problem Badin faced in the fourth period was fouls, putting the Tigers in the bonus. With that Stonebraker ordered her troops to slow it way down offensively and win the game from the free throw line.
The Tigers did just that going 22 of 27 on the game from the line, including 13 of 15 in the fourth period. Defensively, Versailles continued dominating the game, as Badin managed just nine points in the final eight minutes, six coming when the game was already decided. That eventually led to the 44-30 victory for Versailles, their second consecutive win over a GCL team.
In the night’s opening game Miami East overcame the suspension of head coach Chad Widener, downing Newark Catholic 53-45. East used quickness to offset the size of Newark’s Amy Clapper, holding her to 13 points. The Vikings were led by Katie Denlinger’s 10 points and got 9 points each from Sarah Skidmore and Rebecca Leffel.
Miami East and Versailles will play for the second time this season. In the regular season the Tigers downed the Vikings 61-44 at Miami East. The Tigers have also eliminated the Vikings from the tournament the past two seasons.
“We won’t need any game film for this game,” said a smiling Stonebraker.