By MITZI THOMPSON
Rock Creek started off strong but couldn’t finish, and Borden did what it does best in the opening rounds of the Class A Borden Sectional on Tuesday night.
Lanesville used a second-half run to put away the Lions 75-64 in game one, while the host Braves played like champions in a 64-38 win over South Central in the nightcap.
With the win, 10th-ranked Borden earns a Friday night date with New Washington in the 7:30 p.m. semifinal. Lanesville and Christian Academy will open things up at 6.
Despite an aggressive and impressive first half, Rock Creek couldn’t hold off Lanesville in Tuesday night’s opener and fell 75-64.
The Lions all but dominated the paint and crushed the boards for the first 13 minutes of the game, and took advantage of an Eagles’ cold spell to grab a 15-point lead a little over three minutes into the second half.
After that, though, Rock Creek was just treading water. Lanesville (13-8) warmed up and finished the half with a 17-2 run to tie things at 35-35 for the break.
“It’s been that way all year,” said Rock Creek coach Chris Brown. “Very, very seldom have we been able to put four quarters together.”
The Lions did open the second half with a two-minute 8-2 run — during which sophomore Will Brown scored six of his team-best 18 points — then saw their final lead of the game at 45-41 before the Eagles closed out the quarter with a 12-5 run of their own.
“Our effort was there, but we just didn’t execute down the stretch,” said Miller.
Lanesville senior forward Justin Miller, who was fairly quiet in the beginning, finished the game with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
“It’s very disappointing, but we’re so young that most of the time we have three or four sophomores out there,” said Brown, who loses two seniors — Joe Logsdon and Isaiah Pearson, neither of whom scored on Tuesday night — off this season’s 8-15 team. “My hat’s off to our seniors. We played a really tough schedule this year.”
Jalen McCoy scored 16 points — 12 on four 3-pointers, all of which came in the first half — to lead the Braves (18-3) to a convincing 64-38 win over South Central.
It was the senior’s sharp shooting that kept the hosts in the game in the first quarter when Kyle Pease drained four straight long balls for the Rebels. A three and a second-chance putback by McCoy spurred an 18-2 Borden run that spanned the first and second quarters and buried South Central for good.
After leading for the first six-plus minutes of the game, the Rebels’ offense went south and they hit just six total field goals for the remainder after going 6-for-11 in the first quarter.
Junior Garrett Vick scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Braves. Senior Cody Bachman added 13 points, and senior Michael Lynch tossed in 12 — six during a three-minute spurt in the third quarter when Borden stretched a seven-point lead to a 50-33 advantage.
The Rebels (13-8) were completely barren by the fourth quarter, scoring their only two points on a pair of free-throws by Pease with four minutes to go.