NEW WASHINGTON — Borden used a well-executed defense to shut down the host Mustangs’ biggest weapons and fired off an offensive arsenal of their own en route to a 57-43 Class A New Washington Sectional championship victory Saturday night.
The win gives the ninth-ranked Braves their third title in four years and sends them to next Saturday’s West Washington Regional against the winner of the Loogootee Sectional, which will be determined after Monday’s championship game between No. 4 Vincennes Rivet (18-4) and No. 6 Barr-Reeve (17-3).
“This is a great feeling,” said Borden senior guard Shelby Kirchgessner, who scored 13, grabbed six steals and was instrumental in quieting New Washington’s offense Saturday. “[We won sectional] my freshman and sophomore years, but this is definitely the best one. This one means a lot to me.”
Defending champion New Washington looked in charge and under control early on, charging ahead 14-8 with stellar shooting (6 for 8), including a pair of old-fashioned 3s and eight points from senior guard Ashley Johnson.
After the first quarter buzzer sounded, though, the wheels all but fell off.
New Washington (12-9) went 0 for 8 from the floor for six minutes thanks to a Borden triangle-and-2 defense that keyed on and shut down Johnson and her teammate, senior Courtney Amick. The Braves, meanwhile, used a 22-3 run that spanned the half to take a 30-17 lead.
“We got away from our flow of the game offensively,” said New Washington coach Terry White, “and we have had a tendency this year to allow our offense to dictate what we do defensively. So if we’re struggling on one end, suddenly we’re struggling on both ends. But, hey, Borden is a good team. They have a lot of players who really understand their roles.”
Junior guard Kristen Nestor led the Braves with 18 points, including 4-of-5 3-pointers — two of which helped spark the big 22-3 run. Sophomore Natalie Ruedinger scored 13 and collected 21 rebounds.