BY MITZI THOMPSON
NEW WASHINGTON —
Borden took care of business early Friday night against coach Doc Nash’s alma mater New Washington, burying the Mustangs with early scoring and a smothering press for a 48-32 Southern Athletic Conference victory in James Matthews Gymnasium.
With the win, the third-ranked Class A Braves improve to 4-0 in the league, with only a January 25 game at Henryville standing in the path of a possible — and probable — fourth straight outright SAC championship.
“It was a good win,” said Nash, who graduated from New Washington in the late 1990’s, as he walked past his framed All-Star basketball picture hanging in the school’s main hallway on the way into the gym Saturday. “I thought we played really well, really unselfish. That’s the way our kids are. We have plenty of kids who can score, but tonight we made several extra passes to get that good shot.”
Senior Zach Gilliam led Borden’s balanced attack Saturday, scoring 16 points — half of those coming in the first quarter as the Braves jumped ahead 19-4. Sophomore Caleb Hart came off the bench to chip in 10, including three 3-pointers.
The Mustangs (2-7, 0-2), who were led by senior Devin Herron’s 13 points and James Clemons’ eight points and six rebounds, outscored the Braves 20-18 in the second half by cutting down the turnovers and using a too-little, too-late 10-0 run in the final minutes to close a 23-point gap to 13. Freshman Brandon Horton scored six during that run with back-to-back treys.
“It may not look like we’re improving, especially if you’re looking at boxscores,” said New Washington coach Jonathan May, “but these guys are working hard and doing things in practice that are only going to make them better. We are building something … and these guys are going to keep battling.”
New Washington plays at Class 2A No. 4-ranked Clarksville tonight before trying again for its first conference win next Friday when Henryville visits.
Borden will visit a strong Silver Creek (6-2) team tonight.
BORDEN 48, NEW WASHINGTON 32
Borden 17 13 10 8—48
New Washington 4 8 8 12—32
Borden (8-1): Gilliam 16, Hart 10, Vick 7, McGee 5, Kruer 3, Bachman 3, Craddock 2, Volstedt 2.
New Washington (2-7): Herron 13, Clemons 8, Horton 6, Zimmerman 3, Wilson 2.
3-point field goals: Borden 6 (Hart 3, McGee, Kruer, Bachman); New Washington 4 (Horton 2, Herron 1, Zimmerman 1).
Rebounds: Borden 27 (McGee 7); New Washington 21 (Clemons 6, Moore 6).