No question, the Borden girls’ basketball team has had one heck of a 2011-12 campaign.
During the regular season, the Braves (17-6) won their first outright Southern Athletic Conference championship in 10 years. Then last Saturday, they repeated as Class A Borden Sectional champions by defeating New Washington in the sectional championship game, 45-34. It was Borden’s 10th sectional championship overall and its fourth in the class basketball era.
But in order to win their first regional title in program history this weekend, the Braves will have to play their best basketball of the season.
Borden will face undefeated and Class A No. 2 Barr-Reeve (22-0) at approximately noon on Saturday in the second semifinal of the Class A West Washington Regional.
If the Braves win, they will most likely play Class A No. 5 Northeast Dubois (19-4) in the regional championship at 8 p.m. on Saturday. The Jeeps will open the regional at 10 a.m. on Saturday against Tecumseh (11-11).
Borden head coach Terry Rademacher knows a thing or two about Barr-Reeve through family connections. His brother, Joe Rademacher, is the Vikings’ varsity assistant coach, while his niece, Amber Rademacher, is Barr-Reeve’s junior varsity coach.
“I’m pretty familiar with the whole program,” Terry Rademacher said. “They’re quick and they play really good defense. They score a lot off of their defense. If they get turnovers off of their defense, they can score off their fast break.”
The Vikings have one of the stingiest defenses in the state. They rank 18th in Indiana in scoring defense, yielding 35 points per game.
Barr-Reeve has held seven opponents below 30 points this year. One of those foes was North Daviess, which lost to the Vikings in last Saturday’s Class A Barr-Reeve Sectional title game 50-24.
Three Barr-Reeve players have double-figure scoring averages. Senior Tya Harmon leads the Vikings at 16.3 points per game. Fellow senior Lindsey Graber averages 10.9 points a contest, while sophomore Jenna Knepp scores 10.8 per clip.
Despite Barr-Reeve’s impressive record, Terry Rademacher plans on preparing for the Vikings like any ordinary opponent on Borden’s schedule.
“You do the things that you do all year,” he said. “We’ll emphasize a few things Barr-Reeve does, but (the Braves’ preparation) won’t be anything different.”
Borden’s defense has been the catalyst to its successful season as well. The Braves rank 21st in the state in scoring defense at 35.2 points per game. In Borden’s three sectional wins over Christian Academy of Indiana, Rock Creek Community Academy and New Washington, it yielded 22.3 points per game.
“It started with our defense being able to limit our opponents’ field-goal percentage,” Rademacher said about his players’ defense in the sectional.
Another key factor in the Braves’ successful season is their experience. They only lost one player to graduation and have five players who are either seniors or juniors.
Senior forward Erin Mikel, who missed the first six games of the season because of injury, leads Borden in scoring (18.2 points per game) and rebounding (6.7 per contest).
Borden senior forward Allison Rademacher is averaging 11.5 points and 5.2 rebounds a contest. Braves’ senior center Allison Bishop averages 5.3 boards a game.
“It’s pretty much all the same players, as we lost only one player,” Coach Rademacher said about his veteran-laden team. “They’ve got a quiet confidence about them. Clearly, experience allows you to play 32 minutes a lot better. They’re all experienced and they’ve all been through it.”
CLASS A WEST WASHINGTON REGIONAL
10 a.m. — Tecumseh (11-11) vs. Northeast Dubois (19-4)
Noon — Borden (17-6) vs. Barr-Reeve (22-0)
8 p.m. — Semifinal winners