BY MITZI THOMPSON
Borden managed to keep things close for two quarters Friday, but Orleans built an insurmountable third-quarter lead and outlasted the Braves 50-32.
The loss was the second straight for the Class A No. 4-ranked Braves after last week’s 44-41 setback against No. 8 Christian Academy.
On Friday, Orleans — ranked 10th in Class A — efficiently and effectively took care of business from the foul line (a perfect 22 for 22), from the floor (68 percent from inside the 3-point arc) and on defense. After leading by just five at the half, the Bulldogs (10-4) held Borden to just one field goal in the third quarter for a 32-18 advantage going into the fourth.
“They just completely outplayed us,” said Borden coach Doc Nash, whose team knocked Orleans out of the state tournament last season in the first round of regional play. “They took us out of every set play we tried to run. For some reason we just looked brain dead out there. I don’t know why. But you have to give them credit, they just straight kicked our butts.”
The Braves (10-3) shot 34 percent from the field on 12-for-35 shooting. Senior Garrett Vick accounted for seven of those buckets and finished the game with 17 — more than half of Borden’s points. His old-fashioned 3-point play scored the Braves’ only points in the third quarter.
“We felt confident but not overly comfortable with a five-point lead after the first half,” said Orleans coach Tom Bradley. “Borden’s too good a team to come out and relax, because they can get on a run and bury you. We didn’t want to let that happen. I was really pleased with the way our kids played.”
Orleans led the entire game, though it was within reaching distance for the Braves for a little while.
After trailing by five early in the second quarter, sophomore Caleb Hart drained a 3-pointer, making it a 13-11 game. Bulldog guard Chase Hall answered back immediately with a trey of his own, sparking a 7-2 spurt.
Vick scored eight of Borden’s 15 first-half points and finished with 17.
Orleans beat the Braves in rebounding as well, 22-15. Borden was 6 for 9 from the free throw line and hit two of his 13 3-point attempts.
The Braves are back action today at Evansville Day. Last Saturday’s Southern Athletic Conference game against Henryville, which was postponed due to inclement weather, will be played on Feb. 18.
ORLEANS 50, BORDEN 32
Orleans 11 9 12 18—50
Borden 8 7 3 14—32
Orleans (10-4): Stephen Phillips 18, Cale Hall 11, Chase Hall 7, Kamen Ray 6, Burton Gerkin 4, Murphy Wheeler 4.
Borden (10-3): Garrett Vick 17, Caleb Hart 5, Zach Gillam 4, Brian McGee 3, Josh Vollstedt 3.
3-point field goals: Orleans 2 (Ch. Hall, Ca. Hall); Borden 2 (Vollstedt, Hart).
Rebounds: Orleans 22 (Ca. Hall 8); Borden 15 (Gillam 6).