Experienced Badgers Play to an Executed Game Plan
February 8, 2024 by Haley Adams

Jan. 31 was a great example of just how much potential Head Coach James Bosley has with his Berkshire Badgers this season.

Game photos click here.

Jan. 31 was a great example of just how much potential Head Coach James Bosley has with his Berkshire Badgers this season.

Before a near-perfectly executed game plan against the Huskies resulting in a 72-37 win, the Badgers were on a four-game skid, losses coming at the hands of Grand Valley, Jefferson, Wickliffe and Cuyahoga Heights.

Our game plan was to get back to playing basketball the way we are capable of playing,” Bosley said. “We have been having great practices and coming out in games and playing well. Some games haven’t gone our way, but we have been competing in all of them. The girls came out from the opening tip and played hard, played with confidence, and when that happens we are a dangerous team to play against for 32 minutes.”

The Badgers put up a strong 20-point performance in the first quarter, with freshman Ivy Martin and senior Hayley Stoddard each with six points. A strong defensive effort from the Badgers held the Huskies scoreless until the six-minute mark, when freshman Ivy Kaminski scored the first two points of the game for the Huskies.

Coach Bosley was thoroughly impressed from start to finish.

As a team, I think we played outstanding,” he said. “This was one of those games where seeing the girls on the same page was fun to coach.”

The Badgers picked right back up from where they left off in the first quarter when junior guard Meredith Bors knocked down her first of two three’s in the quarter, extending her team’s lead to 23-10. Behind Bors’ six and Olivia Masink’s four points in the second quarter, the Badgers held a 32-18 point lead at the half.

Said Martin afterwards: “I think our game plan for tonight’s contest was going to be helpful to get our confidence back.”

Indeed, the Badgers had been struggling to close out contests that were close, so that game plan was to not make the game close by any means. At the end of three quarters, the Badgers held a 56-29 lead. Stoddard led the way with 15 points, nine alone in the third quarter. Masink and Bors each added four in the quarter.

We needed this confidence booster for this game, especially going into the postseason,” Bors said. “I think it’s definitely a big win for us, knowing we dropped 70 points.”

Berkshire would drop 37 points in the second half. Pacing the way was Stoddard with 19 points, 11 rebounds, 10 steals and two assists.

I could tell she was dialed in right from the start of the game,” said Bosley of his senior leader. “She kept her emotions in check. When she plays like that, she is on another level. After seeing the stats of the game, I’m even more proud of her because she ended up with a triple-double.”

The Badgers improved to 8-10 overall and 5-5 in the CVC. Ivy Martin finished with 16 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

Ivy Martin had another solid performance,” Bosley said. “She handles herself well past her years. She is always so even-keel with the ball, but her defense is also something she brings to the team. Ivy was close to having a triple-double of her own.”

The freshman finished with six points in the fourth quarter and provided some guidance for the bench players, as Coach Bosley was also able to give his underclassmen some much deserved playing time.

Olivia Masink had a night that showed how valuable is to our program,” Bosley said. “She’s one of our captains because she is just a natural leader and is always one of the hardest workers every day.”

The junior finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and seven steals. Her junior teammate, Bors, finished with 12 points.

Asked what worked well for the Badgers offensively, Martin and Bors both stressed the fundamentals of the game of basketball.

We were able to do a lot of fast breaks, and moved well to get open,” Martin said.

I talked a bit with Meredith and Ivy about the postseason happening at the end of this month,” Bosley added. “What would you like to see happen before your tournament run? We want to head into the tournament playing our best basketball of the season. I think tonight we saw a lot of positives that we are heading in that direction.

The tournament is going to be different this year using RPI rankings, and we are in a district with 65 teams, so as coaches we are going to have to find our best possible matchups. It would be nice to get a home game or two and show off our amazing facilities.”

Leading Cardinal were freshman Ivy Kaminski, who led the way with 16 points, Emily Pleva with seven, and Brynley Kitzmiller with six. First-year Head Coach Kim Domen’s team fought hard, but the experience of the Badgers proved to be too much.

The Huskies dropped to 4-13, 0-10 in the CVC. Behind a strong freshman and sophomore class, they will be stronger within the next couple of years.

Losing games takes a toll on everyone mentally I think,” Bosley said. “We all take it a little differently, but it’s also hard to win games. We have played a tough non-conference schedule, and our league schedule is no different this year. I tell the girls all the time that we are a team and that everyone we face brings their best against us. As far as what I tell them or how to refocus, it’s more of going over our team goals and what we stand for as a team. This isn’t a group of girls that dwell on the losses; they show up the next day ready to get back to work and learn from it. I’m extremely lucky to have a group like this.”