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March 17, 2013

Nash: ‘I got some winners on my team’

Borden wins another tight game, 47-44 over University, to advance to Saturday's state championship against Triton

SEYMOUR — Borden trailed University 41-37 with five minutes to play in Saturday’s Class A semistate.

It was the fourth straight tournament game that the Braves played from behind in the final minutes. It was the fourth straight game the Braves pulled out a victory in dramatic fashion.

Borden closed out the Trailblazers with a 10-3 run for a 47-44 victory and advanced to next Saturday’s Class A state championship game against Triton at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

“I’ll tell you what, I got some winners on my team,” Borden coach Doc Nash said. “I’ll take them any day of the week. We found another way to win.”

“We don’t necessarily want to do it this way, but it’s just how it’s worked out,” Braves’ senior Jalen McCoy said. “Luckily, we’ve come out on top every time.”

After blowing out New Washington in their second sectional game, the Braves needed late pushes in wins over Lanesville for the sectional championship and against Orleans and Barr-Reeve — both one-point victories — in the Loogootee Regional.

McCoy, who has made his share of big plays down the stretch in the past three games, said the experience of holding off Orleans and Barr-Reeve a week before helped Borden in Saturday’s state-clinching triumph.

“We have the experience,” McCoy said. “We had to do it both games in the regional and we did it again tonight. We battled back and we got the win.”

“Those kids have always played well together,” University coach Paul Gianakos said. “They know what they need to do to win games. That shows that they’re a veteran team. All of their games have been close games and they just don’t panic. They have a good team.”

In Saturday’s victory, Borden led 9-0 early, 15-8 at the end of the first quarter and 26-21 at the half before University stormed back to take the lead through three quarters.

The Trailblazers’ 41-26 run from late in the first quarter to early in the fourth would have spooked most teams.

Not Borden.

“They fought back and took the lead, but we just kept fighting and fighting,” Braves’ senior Michael Lynch said. “And we came out victorious.”

Only 20-5 Triton, which will be making its fourth state finals trip in six years, stands between Borden and a state championship.

It will be the Braves’ toughest task yet. If history’s any indication, counting them out would be a mistake.

“Our community really wants it and we want to give it to them,” Borden senior point guard Billy Kirchgessner said. “It’s great to be the first team ever and we can always say that.”

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