Good things come to those who wait and Christian Academy was tired of waiting.
The Warriors snapped an 11-game losing streak to host Borden Friday night with a 44-41 win over the second ranked team in Class A. It was CAI’s first victory at Borden since January 21, 2000.
“It’s so hard to break through things like that,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerberg said. “It’s hard to get your kids to believe sometimes. Borden’s been good for several years. It’s hard to beat them, especially [at Borden]. To come into their building, where our sectional is, and win: it’s huge.”
Class A No. 14 CAI (9-3) shot a scintillating 65 percent from the field and was a near perfect 8 of 9 in the second half. In contrast, Borden netted only 34 percent overall.
“We got good shots tonight,” Braves head coach Doc Nash said. “They just didn’t go in.”
Borden (10-2) led 34-30 midway through the fourth quarter before the Warriors grabbed control. CAI went on a game changing 8-2 spurt that was highlighted by a James Martin triple and capped by a Shelby Rose put back.
The Warriors hit just enough free throws down the stretch and never trailed again en route to its ninth win of the season.
“We held there in the fourth and got a four-point lead and had them where we wanted,” Nash said. “I switched defenses and then Martin hit a 3. Give him credit, that was a big shot to cut it to one. Then we missed a shot in the paint, they hit that first free throw and got the put back on the second one and were up 38-36 and the game was over. Any type of confidence we had at that point was gone.”
CAI’s Nic Reed led all scorers with 16 and Martin added 12, including a pair of 3s.
“Coach has always told us that [Borden] is the team we need to beat if we want to be a marquee program,” Martin said. “Coach Kerberg and really instituted a hard work ethic for the team and we really have worked hard. Everyone has improved so much from last season. If we keep working hard in practice, we can beat good teams like this.”
Early in the second quarter Caleb Hart buried one of his three 3-pointers to give the home team a 12-6 lead. Right when Borden looked as if it would extend its lead to double figures, the Warriors responded with a 13-6 run to end the half to close within 20-19 at intermission.
The Braves’ Garrett Vick pumped in six of his team-high 14 in the third frame as the hosts led 32-30 heading to the final eight minutes. CAI responded again by not missing a fourth-quarter field goal and notched it second straight win.
“I’m so proud of my guys tonight,” Kerberg said. “They played hard and followed the game plan. Borden is tough and plays so hard and we’re trying to be like that. It’s a big mental hurdle to knock off the champ, so that should give us a lot of confidence.”
Borden is back in action tonight at Southern Athletic Conference rival Henryville. CAI also plays tonight hosting West Washington.
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 44, BORDEN 41
Christian Academy 6 13 11 14—44
Borden 9 11 12 9—41
Christian Academy (9-3): James Martin 12, Aaron Eldridge 7, Shelby Rose 5, Nic Reed 16, Conner Chalfant 4.
Borden (10-2): Brian McGee 4, Josh Volstedt 4, Garrett Vick 14, Zack Gillam 8, Caleb Hart 11.
3-point field goals: Christian Academy 2 (James Martin 2); Borden 4 (Caleb 3, McGee).
Rebounds: Christian Academy 24, Borden 23.
Turnovers: Christian Academy 10, Borden 4.
Free throws: Christian Academy 8-16, Borden 5-7.
JV: Borden 40, Christian Academy 27.