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Clark County Sports

February 4, 2014

H.S. GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Braves are SAC champs again

Borden wins second conference title in three years with 53-31 win over Hornets

BORDEN — Thus far, it’s been quite a season for the Borden boys’ basketball team, sitting at 11-3 and ranked eighth in Class A as it defends last year’s Class A state championship.  

The Borden girls aren’t doing too bad, either. And now, they’re adding hardware to the school’s trophy case.

After a slow start, Borden kicked it into another gear in the second quarter, outscored visiting Henryville 16-4 in the frame to blow it wide open and cruise to a 53-31 win over the Hornets on Monday night. The victory gave the Braves (15-2) the outright SAC championship as they finished with a perfect 5-0 record. It was Borden’s second SAC crown in the past three seasons.

“You always want to win your conference,” said Borden guard Shelby Kirchgessner, a senior who has gotten somewhat accustomed to her team’s success in the SAC. “But really, we like to just take them one at a time. That’s our big thing. Now we go onto the next game.”

Even if they say they’re looking forward, it’ll be hard not to look back on a dominant conference season for the Braves.

In its four SAC games besides a narrow 52-51 win at South Central last Saturday, Class A No. 10 Borden won by an average margin of 26.25 points and have not lost to a fellow Class A team this season. The Braves’ only losses came to Class 3A Salem and Class 4A Seymour, and it took the Owls overtime to shake off Borden.

Meanwhile, Henryville (10-9, 4-1 SAC) quietly ran through the SAC itself, turning Monday’s game into a de facto championship.

And the Hornets were up to the task in the early going.

Neither team could get a foothold in the first quarter, and it took three minutes for the Braves to open the scoring on a 3-pointer by Abby Ellis. Henryville came right back with baskets from Sadie Spears and Emily Hollis to lead 4-3, and grabbed a 6-5 edge on a nifty dish from Emma Hendricks to Hollis for a cutting layup with 2:02 remaining in the period.

That would be the last time Henryville held the advantage.

Ellis scored the next four points, while Borden turned up the effort on defense with full-court pressure. The results were immediate, as the Hornets committed four turnovers in the first 1:47 of the second quarter, which led to a basket from Natalie Ruedinger and a three-point play from Carson Casey for a 14-8 Borden lead.

Spears found teammate Abbi Robertson for a jumper from the elbow to cut it to 14-10 with 2:41 left before the intermission. The Hornets would not score again for nearly five minutes and Ruedinger was just getting started.

“That stretch was probably the difference in the game,” said Henryville coach Josh Conrad. “They got more physical at that point, and we stood straight up and weren’t ready to take the shot or make the next pass. Borden got aggressive and pounded on us a little and we didn’t do the things we needed to do to deal with that.”

Ruedinger, a sophomore, proved eager to put the Hornets away. The sophomore, who wasn’t on the team the last time the Braves won the SAC, scored four points as part of Borden’s closing kick before halftime and repeatedly got in the lane for short, uncontested jumpers. She scored Borden’s first two baskets out of halftime, as a 14-10 lead ballooned to a 27-10 spread.

“I’ve never done it in my high school career,” said Ruedinger, who finished with a game-high 19 points to go with six rebounds. “I think it’s awesome to win it. But our goal is to win a sectional.”

Henryville got a 3 from Reagan Hensley to cut the deficit to 31-17 with 4:16 left in the third period, but the Hornets would get no closer. From there, Ruedinger went back to work with five quick points, while Casey added two baskets as part of an 11-0 run that left no doubt as to whom would walk out with the title. The Hornets fought Borden to a stalemate in the final period, but never seriously threatened.

“This is a good conference and we’re happy to win it,” said Borden coach Terry Rademacher. “We have played good basketball [during conference]. We did an excellent job on defense and, after the first quarter, had both sides [offense and defense] playing pretty well. We did a solid job from beginning to end.”

Ellis had 18 points for Borden and went 2-of-3 from the 3-point line, while Casey also reached double figures with 10 points. With one championship down, the Braves move on to focus on their third game in four days tonight, when they travel to Clarksville.

Haley Huddleston came off the bench to lead Henryville with seven points. Eight different Hornets found the scoring column and gave Conrad a bit of a bright spot to focus on. Henryville will travel to Madison Shawe tonight. Conrad stressed that with just two seniors on the roster, the loss should serve his team will when it comes to future clashes in the SAC.

“We did a good job early on, but we kind of dropped our heads and let ourselves get into a hole,” Conrad said. “But we’re young and we’ll learn to keep our heads up and keep playing.”

Borden will visit Clarksville tonight.



Henryville    6  4 10 11—31

Borden        7 16 19 11—53

    Borden (15-2, 5-0 SAC): Carson Casey 10, Abby Ellis 18, Sarah Hurst 0, Shelby Kirchgessner 2, Natalie Ruedinger 19, Kristen Nestor 2, Kaelan Harmes 2, Alexis Ohlmann, Paige Schindler 0, Riley Schindler 0.

    Henryville (10-9, 4-1): Tami Burgin 2, Sadie Spears 2, Emma Hendricks 0, Emily Hollis 6, Abbi Robertson 4, Hannah Nunn 3, Reagan Hensley 5, Hannah White 2, Haley Huddleston 7, Lesha Dallas 0, Becca Hunt 0.

    3-point field goals: Borden 2 (Ellis 2); Henryville 2 (Huddleston, Hensley).

    Rebounds: Henryville 16 (Hollis 4); Borden 23 (Ruedinger 6).

    Steals: Borden 13 (Casey 4); Henryville 8 (Hollis 3).

    Blocked shots: Borden 0; Henryville 2 (White 2).

    Turnovers: Borden 18, Henryville 26.

    Free throws: Borden 9-14, Henryville 5-5.

    Fouled out: Robertson.

    Technical fouls: none.


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