Class A No. 4 Borden overcame a 10-point third-quarter deficit by storming back in the fourth to capture a hard-fought, 61-55 win over host Lanesville and remain undefeated in Southern Athletic Conference play on Friday night.
“They just gutted out a win,” said Braves’ coach Doc Nash. “Give credit to Lanesville. They’re good. But what a win. To come on the road and fight back, it just says a lot about our kids. We challenged our team by looking at it and saying, ‘Who have we beaten?’ I think we came back tonight and beat a pretty darned good team.”
The defending Class A state champion Braves (7-1, 3-0 SAC) lost last week to Paoli, and Borden’s last loss before then came on Feb. 9, 2013. They hadn’t lost back-to-back games since January 2013.
For a time, it looked like that might happen in Lanesville (6-3, 1-1). The matchup was tight throughout the first half and into the third quarter, but the Eagles got some daylight late in the third quarter. Guard Ryan Fulkerson nailed three free throws after drawing a shooting foul beyond the arc, and then an 18-footer on consecutive possessions to give Lanesville a 50-40 lead with 41.8 seconds remaining in the third.
Between Fulkerson’s third-quarter sharpshooting and the play of Eagle forward Jack Ferree, who finished with 27 points on the contest, it looked like Borden would have its hands full in trying to capture its seventh win of the season.
“I think he’s by far the best player in the conference,” Nash said of Ferree. “Coach [Mikel] Miller has a lot of weapons who are hard to match up against.”
But Borden showed its trademark championship poise. Senior forward Garrett Vick came through with two consecutive big plays for the Braves. Plagued with early foul trouble after committing three violations in the first half, Vick saw limited action before scoring inside with 12.9 seconds left in the third quarter and converted a foul shot after being fouled by Lanesville guard Joe Ferree.
With his squad trailing 50-43 seconds into the fourth quarter, Vick went inside again and was fouled on Borden’s first possession. After missing his first foul shot, he grabbed the rebound, was fouled again, and sank the free throw to bring the Braves to within four, 50-46.
That set the tone for a 18-5 fourth quarter whipping of the Eagles, who only got two points from Jack Ferree on two free-throws in the fourth quarter.
“That’s what a four-year starter, a senior who has been through all the wars — that’s what you expect out of Garrett,” Nash said of Vick, who finished with 10 points. “I don’t like the early foul trouble. He’s got to be smarter than that. And I’d have liked for him to have made that free throw. But, look, he gives us great leadership and did it again for us tonight.”
With Vick on the bench, Nash credited the play of reserve guard Caleb Hart as being crucial in the win. Hart finished with 12 points and sank a clutch three-pointer with time running down in the first quarter that gave Borden a 20-19 lead at the end of the first frame. Cody Craddock, who led the Braves with 13 points and scored on two consecutive possessions to give his squad a 57-53 lead with a minute remaining, also was mentioned by Nash.
“Give all our guys credit,” Nash said. “Caleb came in and gave us some support in the first half with some points, and Cody Craddock gave us some important baskets towards the end. It was a good win.
Borden will travel to New Washington Friday night for another Southern Athletic Conference matchup.
BORDEN 61, LANESVILLE 55
Borden 20 9 14 18—61
Lanesville 19 11 20 5—55
Borden (7-1, 3-0 SAC): McGee 7, Vollstedt 7, Vick 10, Gillam 12, Craddock 13, Hart 12.
Lanesville (6-3, 1-1): Jack Ferree 27, Fulkerson 8, Harmon 6, Lane 8, Husband 2, Joe Ferree 4.
Rebounds: Borden 22 (Vick 7); Lanesville 18 (Jack Ferree 6).
Free throws: Borden 16-26, Lanesville 17-22.
Three-point goals: Borden 3 (McGee, Vollstedt, Hart); Lanesville 4 (Jack Ferree 3, Fulkerson).
Turnovers: Borden 11, Lanesville 11.