By GREG MENGELT
SALEM — Borden has won another championship.
Saturday’s 59-38 victory over Salem gives the Braves their third consecutive Washington County Invitational title and is their first championship since last March’s unforgettable run through the state tournament.
The 2013 Washington County title marks the first time Borden has ever won the crown three straight years.
“That was something we were trying to motivate our kids with,” Borden coach Doc Nash said. “The kids bought into it. They wanted to do it and they went out and did it.”
Borden beat Salem (2-3) with a balanced attack. Tournament MVP Garrett Vick and All-Tournament selection Zack Gilliam scored 14 points apiece. Senior Brian McGee added 10, senior Josh Vollsted scored nine and Caleb Hart chipped in with seven.
“That’s who we are,” Nash said. “We can put guys out there who can score. They found a way to win.”
The Braves had 14 assists on 20 field goals, led by Josh Vollstedt’s four.
“This team shares the ball real well,” McGee said.
Vick, Gillam and McGee took turns being the Braves’ hot hand. During a tight first quarter, Vick scored five straight points to give Borden a 9-6 lead with 2:59 to go. Hart split his two trips to the foul line and gave the Braves a 12-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Gillam dominated the second quarter. During a 9-2 run that gave Borden a 21-13 lead, Gillam had a hand in all but one Brave field goal. He hit a 10-footer in the lane, scored on a fast break, assist on a Vick layin, scored on an offensive putback then knocked down a pair of free throws. He finished the period with eight of Borden’s 13 points and helped the Braves to a 25-20 halftime lead.
Vick took over in the third. After Josh Vollstedt hit a 3 to open the half, he scored on back-to-back putbacks. After picking up his third foul, he scored on a fastbreak on an assist from Vollsted as the Braves pulled away for a 40-26 lead at the end of three quarters.
McGee scored six fourth-quarter points as Borden pulled away.
“When someone gets hot, we try to get the ball to that person,” Gillam said. “That’s what I love about this team. Everyone can get points.”
One area of weakness was at the charity stripe. The Braves went just 15 of 25 and missed four front ends of bonus opportunities.
“Our free throw shooting was atrocious,” Nash said. “Absolutely horrendous. It was awful. We’ll get better.”
Despite the poor free throw shooting, Borden is 6-0 and has the state’s second-longest winning streak at 16.
“We knew we had a lot to build off of,” Gillam said. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into it.”
“We knew we could be good, but we knew we had to put a lot of hard work into it,” McGee said. “We’re working hard every day to get better.”
The Braves have a week off before a showdown with Paoli on Saturday. The Rams are unbeaten and 10th in Class 2A.
EASTERN PICKS UP FIRST WIN
Eastern earned its first victory of the season with a 59-38 triumph over West Washington in Saturday’s Washington County Invitational consolation game.
Alex Doebler scored 23 points. Jack Hayes added 14 and Grant Newcomb hit a pair of 3s and finished with10 points for the Musketeers.
“It’s real nice,” Eastern coach Scott Newcomb said of the initial victory. “The kids have hung in there. Mentally, it’s been tough on them. I told them to quit worrying about winning and losing and concentrate on doing the right things all the time. The players responded tonight.
The Musketeers jumped out to a 17-9 lead after one quarter and held a 31-24 advantage at the half before pulling away in the second half.
Hayes’ 14 points — along with eight points and nine rebounds in Friday’s loss to Borden — helped him earn first-team all-tournament honors.
“I thought he had a solid performance [Friday night] and tonight I thought he stepped it up even more,” Scott Newcomb said. “Tonight he stepped up his enthusiasm and his overall play and did a really nice job for us.”
WASHINGTON COUNTY INVITATIONAL
BORDEN 59, SALEM 38
Borden 12 13 15 19—59
Salem 11 9 6 12—38
Borden (6-0): Brian McGee 2-4 5-5 10, Josh Vollstedt 3-8 1-4 9, Brady Knight 0-1 0-0 0, Garrett Vick 6-10 2-5 14, Zack Gillam 6-9 2-3 14, Cody Craddoc 2-4 0-0 4, Caleb Hart 1-3 4-6 7. Totals 20-39 15-25 59.
Salem (2-3): Jason Lewis 1-2 0-0 2, Christian Lamb 0-1 0-0 0, Caleb Couch 3-13 0-0 7, Jason Zink 0-2 0-0 0, Jordan Baker 3-10 3-5 9, Derek Cornett 0-1 0-0 0, Seth Hobson 0-3 4-4 4, Jaelen Nice 1-3 0-1 3, Zane Jackson 3-6 1-2 8, Austin Jerrell 0-1 1-4 1, Stephen Kinslow 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 13-46 9-16 38.
3-point field goals: Borden 4-10 (Vollstedt 2-4, McGee 1-2, Hart 1-3, Craddoc 0-1); Salem 3-19 (Nice 1-2, Jackson 1-4, Couch 1-10, Baker 0-3).
Rebounds: Borden 35 (Vick 11); Salem 28 (Jerrell 4).
Assists: Borden 14 (Vollstedt 4); Salem 5 (Baker 2).
Steals: Borden 6 (Craddoc 2); Salem 3 (Lewis, Nice, Jackson).
Blocked shots: Borden 2 (Vick, Gillam); Salem 2 (Nice, Jackson).
Turnovers: Borden 12; Salem 15.
Fouled out: None.
Technical fouls: None.
EASTERN 66, WEST WASHINGTON 54
Eastern 17 14 15 20—66
W. Washington 9 15 11 10—54
Eastern (1-4): Dakota Jackson 3, Jack Hayes 14, Grant Newcomb 10, Jude Olesh 7, Alex Doebler 23, Dakota Snider 2, Jessie Murphy 7.
West Washington (1-3): Ty Bolton 11, Evan Woods 11, Noah Green 1, Lane Trueblood 8, Cody Maudlin 4, Lane Hoover 17.
3-point field goals: Eastern 2 (Newcomb 2); West Washington 7 (Hoover 4, Trueblood 2, Woods).
Free throws: Eastern 20-24; West Washington 15-18.
Fouled out: Eastern — Hayes; West Washington — Trueblood.
Technical fouls: None.