Ashton Lovely reached a rare milestone Saturday. But she was happier about the team milestone.
And so was all of the Greeneview family after the girls basketball team overcame a slow start and rolled in the second half to a Division III district title with a 55-40 victory over Badin.
“Right now I honestly don’t care,” Lovely said about surpassing 2,000 career points. “This win means more than anything, and I don’t really care about points.”
Greeneview, which has the word family printed on the back of its warm-ups instead of last names, won its first district title since 1981. This was the Rams’ first district appearance in 12 years.
The Rams will be back at Springfield High School at 6:15 Wednesday for a regional semifinal against Columbus Bishop Ready, a 59-57 winner Saturday over Richwood North Union.
“I’ve come and watched these games since I was little and I just never thought we’d have the opportunity to be here,” Lovely said. “And it just feels good that we finally are.”
The way things started for the Rams (23-3), it looked like Badin (13-13) might be moving on. Badin led 13-4 before the Rams began to chip away.
“That first quarter was a little rough for us,” Rams coach Gregg Haines said. “Emotions were going crazy. But once the girls settled down they played Greeneview basketball.”
When Badin’s two post players spent most of the second quarter on the bench in foul trouble, the Rams went to junior Sophie Sonneman. She scored six points in the second and the Rams rallied to a 26-22 halftime lead. Sonneman finished with 21 points.
“We played a little too excitable in the first half,” Badin coach Tom Sunderman said. “Sometimes when you jump on those early leads it comes to back to backfire on you. And your girls get a little too excited, and you rush some shots.”
Lovely, who has averaged 21 points over four seasons, scored 10 of her 19 points in the second quarter.
“She knows the makeup of the game, she knows what’s going on, she knows what she needs to do,” Haines said. “If she needs to get her teammates involved she will, if she needs to take the game over she will.”
The Rams didn’t let up in the second half and survived the game’s physical nature. Lovely went down hard in the second quarter and was motionless on the court before walking off. She came back a minute later. She faced double teams almost every time she touched the ball from one end of the court to the other. She probably had a double-double in points and being knocked to the floor.
“We’ve played in physical games like this, but this was definitely one of the more physical ones,” Sonneman said.
The Rams were killing the clock when Lovely took a hard foul with 1:10 left that was ruled intentional. She made both free throws. The first one was point No. 2,000.
“That’s pretty special,” Haines said. “Everybody celebrates 1,000 points, but 2,000 … it’s insane.”
Annika Pater led Badin with 13 points.
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