With superior ball movement, host Borden overcame a first-half deficit and a bigger Silver Creek team Thursday, 59-49 in arguably the Braves’ biggest win of the season.
Borden is 9-1 after beating the Dragons for the first time since 2008.
“They’re a pretty solid team for us to beat,” Borden coach Terry Rademacher said. “Any win is a big win and Silver Creek is a good opponent for us. It’s always good beating a larger school.”
Borden trailed 14-9 after one quarter and 28-26 at the half before outscoring Creek 16-11 in the third quarter and 17-10 in the fourth for the victory.
“They’re very fundamentally sound,” Silver Creek coach Scott Schoen said of the Braves. “They execute the basics. We don’t execute the basics. They handle the basketball, they do the little things. Until we do the little things, we’re not going to be a very good team.”
The Dragons jumped out to their early lead behind Alexis Barnett, who knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored eight points in the opening period.
“Alexis is starting to come on,” Schoen said. “She’s played well in practice and she’s starting to transfer things over from practice to the game. We have to get some others to do that.”
Borden pulled within two points by scoring 17 second-quarter points, eight of which came from Kristen Nestor. The junior guard hit two of the Braves’ three second-quarter 3-pointers.
“The 28 points we gave up in the first half, I’m sure that’s the most we’ve given up in any half,” Rademacher said. “Offensively, we did a great job the whole game. We did a good job of getting shots. We did a good job of penetrating and we hit some big 3s to keep us in the game in the first half.”
The Dragons pushed the lead to 35-30 with five minutes left in the third quarter when Kelsi Scott scored six straight points. However, seven seconds after her third basket of the period, she picked up her third foul.
When Scott went to the bench, Borden went on a 10-4 run over the next 3 minutes and 23 seconds.
“She’s got to realize [she needs to stay out of foul trouble],” Schoen said of Scott. “We put her back on the floor and she picks up a stupid foul. Until she realizes it, there’s only so much we can do. We’ve been talking about it all year.”
The Braves’ run prompted Schoen to put Scott back in the game at the 1:30 mark of the third quarter. On the inbound play after her re-entry, Scott picked up her fourth foul. Again, she had to go to the bench.
“That was just a gamble we had to take,” Schoen said.
“That was big,” Rademacher said. “It takes a scoring threat away from them at the end of our press. Obviously, that’s big. When she’s in the game, she’s tough to handle.”
Borden outscored the Dragons 17-10 in the fourth quarter. Five of the Braves’ 17 points came at the foul line.
Natalie Ruedinger led Borden with 20 points. She scored 16 of her game-high 20 in the second half.
“Good players are good players, but even good players can’t score the whole game,” Rademacher said of Ruedinger. “She just kept plugging away and finally some shots stared falling. Over 32 minutes, she’s going to be hard to slow down.”
Carson Casey added 15 points and often led an effect Borden fast break.
“Her ballhandling has improved tremendously this year, and also she’s healthier,” Rademacher said of Casey. “You can see she moves much smoother. She also does a great job on defense all the time.”
Despite spending almost the entire night in foul trouble, Scott scored 15 points. When she was in the game, Borden had few answers for the 6-foot junior.
“I think we tried every defense we have to try to slow her down,” Rademacher said of Scott.
Silver Creek fell to 3-10 with the loss and has dropped six of its last seven games. Still, Schoen believes the Dragons can finish strong, starting when they will host Salem in a Mid-Southern Conference contest on Saturday.
“We’re young. We’re still trying to grow,” he said. “I feel like if we get all our pieces playing the right way, we have a chance. We gotta keep fighting. If Kelsi stays on the floor, we’re as good as anybody and better than most teams. We just have to figure out a way to keep her on the floor.”
Borden also will be back in action on Saturday with another tough test at 7-4 Paoli.
BORDEN 59, SILVER CREEK 49
Silver Creek 14 14 11 10—49
Borden 9 17 16 17—59
Silver Creek (3-10): Haley Baxter 5, Bailee Popp 2, Alexis Barnett 19, Tori Martin 5, Lauren Polston 3, Kelsi Scott 15.
Borden (9-1): Abby Ellis 10, Kristen Nestor 8, Sarah Hurst 1, Shelby Kirchgessner 5, Natalie Ruedinger 20, Carson Casey 15.
3-point field goals: Silver Creek 6 (Barnett 4, Polston, Martin); Borden 3 (Nestor 2, Kirchgessner).
Free throws: Silver Creek 3-5, Borden 16-19.