By CHRIS STONER
Borden escaped a monumental upset with a huge fourth quarter, while Christian Academy of Indiana wasn't so fortunate Tuesday in the opening round of the Class A Borden Sectional.
The host Braves held Lanesville to 0-of-12 shooting in the fourth period to pull away for a 53-35 victory in the opener. The Warriors saw South Central shoot 73 percent in the second half and fell to the Rebels, 52-50.
“Defensively we made some adjustments in the second half that helped, and we hit 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch and got it done,” Borden head coach Doc Nash said.
CAI defeated South Central 59-42 during the regular season, but saw a different Rebels team Tuesday night. The Warriors hit just 5-of-10 free throws in the final quarter and saw two shots to tie fall short as the horn sounded on their season.
“They're playing way better than the first time we played them and playing some different guys,” CAI head coach Steve Kerberg said. “They made the plays down the stretch and we had opportunities, especially at the free throw line, and just didn't make those plays. I don't fault our guys. They played hard.”
Borden (20-1) plays Rock Creek Community Academy (9-12) in the first semifinal Friday night. New Washington (1-20), which received the lone bye in the seven-team sectional, faces off against South Central (6-15) in game two Friday.
Borden 53, Lanesville 35
The sectional hosts bolted out of the gate and led 9-2 midway through the first period behind triples from Brandon Beam and Jalen McCoy. Borden led 14-11 at the end of one, but Lanesville battled back in the second frame to grab a 23-22 halftime advantage.
“We missed wide-open shots in that first half,” Nash said. “They did a great job. They made us shoot from the outside and our kids settled for it. In the second half we attacked the basket more and got better shots.”
With the game tied 30-30 midway through the third quarter, the Braves finished the period with a 7-2 spurt, highlighted by another Beam three. The senior guard pumped in seven of his game-high 16 in the third as the Braves led 37-32 heading to the fourth.
“He's our leader. He's our go to guy,” Nash said of Beam.
The fourth stanza was nothing but Borden defense and more Borden defense. The Braves outscored the Eagles 16-3 in the final quarter as Lanesville did not make a field goal in the final eight mintues. Billy Kirchgessner scored 9 of his 11 in the fourth as Borden defeated Lanesville for the third straight time.
“We just made a concentrated effort in the second half to guard the way we wanted to guard and the way we practice,” Nash said of his team's defense. “We forced them left and forced (Kevin) Zollman and (Justin) Miller into some tough shots.”
Garrett Vick added 11 to make the third Brave in double figures. Borden held Lanesville to just 28 percent shooting overall and dominated the backboards 31-19.
“We challenged our kids to get to the rim in the second half and then we got to the free-throw line,” Nash said. “They responded to the halftime pep talk and we played much better in the second half.”
South Central 52, CAI 50
Leading 35-32 after three quarters, CAI went cold from the field and the free-throw line while South Central got red hot. The Rebels hit 7-of-8 shots in the final period while the Warriors were only 5-of-14 from the field as South pulled off the upset.
“We had a couple of breakdowns late and man, did they ever hit some tough shots down the stretch,” Kerberg said. “I can remember a contested 3, a contested 15-footer, a runner on the baseline, and you know that's what sectional play is all about — just making plays.”
The Warriors led 20-16 at halftime and held South Central to just 33 percent shooting over the first two frames.
“We were happy with the halftime score,” Kerberg said. “I thought our defense was tremendous.”
Aaron Hayes led CAI with 20. Devonte King had 15 and Jacob Beckley chipped in 13, including three from long range.
“They are very athletic,” Kerberg said of the Rebels. “Coach Crick is a great person and he's trying to build a program like we are, and I know this sounds weird, but I'm happy for him.”
BORDEN 14 8 15 16—53
LANESVILLE 11 12 9 3—35
Borden (20-1) — Beam 16, Kirchgessner 11, Vick 11, McCoy 5, Lynch 7, Vollstedt 3.
Lanesville (8-13) — Caldwell 8, Cox 2, Ansman 4, Zollman 8, Miller 11.
3-point field goals — Borden 3 (Beam 2, McCoy), Lanesville 2 (Caldwell).
Rebounds — Borden 31, Lanesville 19.
Turnovers — Borden 11, Lanesville 10.
Field-goal shooting — Borden 18-39, Lanesville 11-39.
3-point shooting — Borden 3-15, Lanesville 2-8.
Free throws — Borden 14-18, Lanesville 11-12.
SO. CENTRAL 10 6 16 20—52
CAI 9 11 15 15—50
South Central (6-15) — Pease 20, Sampson 14, Goodwin 2, Schifcar 2, Wiseman 2, Boston 3, O'Connor 9.
Christian Academy (10-11) — Beckley 13, King 15, Hayes 20, Stumler 2.
3-point field goals — South Central 4 (Pease 4), Christian Academy 4 (Beckley 3, Hayes).
Rebounds — South Central 15, Christian Academy 34.
Turnovers — South Central 13, Christian Academy 16.
Field-goal shooting — South Central 20-37, Christian Academy 17-45.
3-point shooting — South Central 4-8, Christian Academy 4-11.
Free throws — South Central 8-13, Christian Academy 12-19.