Borden escaped a monumental upset with a huge fourth quarter, while Christian Academy of Indiana wasn't so fortunate Tuesday in the opening round of the Class A Borden Sectional.
The host Braves held Lanesville to 0-of-12 shooting in the fourth period to pull away for a 53-35 victory in the opener. The Warriors saw South Central shoot 73 percent in the second half and fell to the Rebels, 52-50.
“Defensively we made some adjustments in the second half that helped, and we hit 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch and got it done,” Borden head coach Doc Nash said.
CAI defeated South Central 59-42 during the regular season, but saw a different Rebels team Tuesday night. The Warriors hit just 5-of-10 free throws in the final quarter and saw two shots to tie fall short as the horn sounded on their season.
“They're playing way better than the first time we played them and playing some different guys,” CAI head coach Steve Kerberg said. “They made the plays down the stretch and we had opportunities, especially at the free throw line, and just didn't make those plays. I don't fault our guys. They played hard.”
Borden (20-1) plays Rock Creek Community Academy (9-12) in the first semifinal Friday night. New Washington (1-20), which received the lone bye in the seven-team sectional, faces off against South Central (6-15) in game two Friday.
Borden 53, Lanesville 35
The sectional hosts bolted out of the gate and led 9-2 midway through the first period behind triples from Brandon Beam and Jalen McCoy. Borden led 14-11 at the end of one, but Lanesville battled back in the second frame to grab a 23-22 halftime advantage.
“We missed wide-open shots in that first half,” Nash said. “They did a great job. They made us shoot from the outside and our kids settled for it. In the second half we attacked the basket more and got better shots.”
With the game tied 30-30 midway through the third quarter, the Braves finished the period with a 7-2 spurt, highlighted by another Beam three. The senior guard pumped in seven of his game-high 16 in the third as the Braves led 37-32 heading to the fourth.
“He's our leader. He's our go to guy,” Nash said of Beam.
The fourth stanza was nothing but Borden defense and more Borden defense. The Braves outscored the Eagles 16-3 in the final quarter as Lanesville did not make a field goal in the final eight mintues. Billy Kirchgessner scored 9 of his 11 in the fourth as Borden defeated Lanesville for the third straight time.
“We just made a concentrated effort in the second half to guard the way we wanted to guard and the way we practice,” Nash said of his team's defense. “We forced them left and forced (Kevin) Zollman and (Justin) Miller into some tough shots.”
Garrett Vick added 11 to make the third Brave in double figures. Borden held Lanesville to just 28 percent shooting overall and dominated the backboards 31-19.
“We challenged our kids to get to the rim in the second half and then we got to the free-throw line,” Nash said. “They responded to the halftime pep talk and we played much better in the second half.”