BY HANSON CRAFTON
The Borden Braves girls basketball team sent a message to all other Southern Athletic Conference teams Tuesday with a 52-32 drumming of defending SAC champion New Washington.
“We have continued to play good basketball since our first game,” Borden coach Terry Rademacher said of his 4-0 Braves.
Borden came out and played tough physical defense and put constant ball pressure on the Mustang ball handlers and fast close outs to all shooters.
Contesting every shot and gunning for every loose ball and rebound, the Braves overwhelmed New Washington from the start to take a 14-6 lead after one quarter.
Borden turned it on in the second quarter. With a double-digit lead, the Braves began to turn up the pressure on the Mustangs, causing turnovers and errant passes.
New Washington was having trouble getting anything going on offense. With Borden continuing to run and play good defense the Mustangs soon found themselves in a big hole. The stout Borden defense limited the Mustang offense to only two points in the quarter, which came with just 40 seconds left, and Borden took a 22-8 lead into the half.
New Washington regrouped at the half and came out blazing in the third. Senior Ashley Johnson got on a roll and found herself getting to Borden’s basket at will. Two separate times New Washington cut the Borden lead to 10, but 3-point answers by Shelby Kirchgessner halted both runs.
The Braves scored the final eight points of the third to take a 38-20 lead into the final quarter.
The Braves made it impossible for New Wash center Caroline Ricks to get anything going. Every time she received a touch in the post she was greeted by at least two Borden bodies forcing her to kick the ball out to the perimeter. Johnson continued her hot half in the fourth — she scored 15 in the second half — but the defecit was just too large to overcome.
“We shot the ball real well and did a good job defending,” Rademacher said. “Johnson is one of the best players in Southern Indiana. She had 19 but she had to work hard for them.”
Borden had hot shooting all night, hitting six 3s, three of which came from Kristen Nestor. Nestor finished with the nine points and had three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior Abby Ellis posted a stat line of five points, five assists, five rebounds and a steal, while Natalie Ruedinger led the Braves with 16 points. Kirchgessner had nine points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals off the bench in the victory.
Johnson led all scorers with 19 points. Brooke Abbott had four points and six rebounds. Ricks finished with just three points but had eight rebounds and two blocks.
New Washington (3-3) plays again on Thursday when it hosts Rock Creek Academy. Borden goes on the road to play Shoals on Saturday.
BORDEN 52, NEW WASHINGTON 32
New Washington 6 2 12 12—32
Borden 14 8 16 14—52
New Washington (3-3): Ashley Johnson 19, Brooke Abbott 4, Caroline Ricks 3, Courtney Amick 2, Lexie James 2, Emilee Holloway 2.
Borden (4-0): Natalie Ruedinger 16, Shelby Kirchgessner 9, Kristen Nestor 9, Carson Casey 7, Abby Ellis 5, Sarah Hurst 4, Alexis Ohlmann 2.
3-point field goals: New Washington 1 (Johnson); Borden 6 (Nestor 3).
Rebounds: New Washington 20 (Ricks 8); Borden 22 (Ruedinger 5, Ellis 5).
Assists: New Washington 10 (Amick 4); Borden 12 (Ellis 5).
Steals: New Washington 5 (Amick 2, Abbott 2); Borden 8 (Ruedinger 3).
Blocked shots: New Washington 2 (Ricks); Borden 0.
Free Throws: New Washington 1-2; Borden 12-15.