High School Sports
Borden upsets No. 2 Barr-Reeve 29-28 in girls' regional
February 18, 2012Winners Choice Sports
CAMPBELLSBURG, IND. — The last unbeaten girls’ basketball team in the state fell with a rim-rattling clang Saturday afternoon.
Borden sent shockwaves through the Class A state tournament, upsetting No. 2 Barr-Reeve 29-28 in the afternoon semifinal at West Washington. The Braves (18-6) advanced to meet No. 5 Northeast Dubois (20-4) in tonight’s final, while the Vikings bowed out at 22-1.
Erin Mikel scored 15 points, including 13 in the first half as the Braves rumbled to a double-digit lead, and then Borden spent the second half battling fatigue and Barr-Reeve’s constant pressure. The turnovers piled up – 24 total – and the Vikings had open shots in the fourth quarter to take the lead.
The jumpers never fell, and the Vikings did, from the ranks of the perfect and out of the regional they were overwhelming favorites to win.
"They had a little different pressure on them," Borden coach Terry Rademacher said.
Borden’s defense, ranked 21st in the state while allowing only 35.2 points per game, was the key to the stunning victory. With a box-and-one on Barr-Reeve scoring leader Tya Harmon, the Vikings had to look elsewhere for offense and couldn’t find any.
The Vikings, settling for launched treys, converted only 4 of 25 shots in the first half and hit only 1 of 19 threes overall. Harmon, who averaged 16.3 points per game, was limited to 6 points. Jenna Knepp paced the Vikings with 15 but was 6 of 21 from the field.
"We felt Harmon was the key," said Rademacher, whose daughter Allison did the chasing on Harmon. "We felt like if they shot threes and missed them, with our size we would rebound. Everything we do, our defense has to set the tone. It did again this afternoon."
Mikel carried Borden to the front. Her three-point play created the first double-digit lead at 13-3 early in the second quarter, and she scored the last two baskets of the half to give the Braves a 19-10 advantage.
Carson Casey’s rebound bucket gave Borden its biggest edge at 21-10 to start the third quarter.
From that point, the Braves started to falter. Their next field goal came late in the fourth quarter.
"I thought they were out of gas and we might reel them in," Barr-Reeve coach Mark Holt said. "But we could never get the lead away from them."
Barr-Reeve whittled the deficit to one at 23-22 as Knepp scored twice from the lane. But Rademacher’s two close-range baskets and Casey’s two free throws momentarily restored order and a 29-24 lead with 2:24 left.
"We knew we had to work hard the entire game," Mikel said. "We kept our focus the entire way. Toward the end of the game it felt like it took forever."
More Borden turnovers gave Barr-Reeve chances to escape. Harmon’s layup off an inbounds lob pass and Knepp’s eight-footer closed the gap to 29-28, and Casey missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw to give Barr-Reeve a last look.
That opportunity was wasted as Borden’s Shelby Kirchgessner swiped the ball from Knepp and drew a foul with 3.4 seconds left. Girchgessner missed at the line, but Barr-Reeve’s desperation bomb at the buzzer was harmless.
"We all had the faith to do it," Girchgessner said. "We just knew we were going to have to lay it on the line."
Borden’s flurry of mistakes might have discouraged other teams and prevented the upset.
"We’re not going to play an errorless game against anybody, let alone Barr-Reeve," Rademacher said. "We were going to make some. The key was not worrying about it. Go on and make the next play. Just be mentally tough with it and hang in there. And they did."
Barr-Reeve’s shooting slump never really ended.
"We didn’t solve it soon enough," Holt said of the Borden strategy. "We weren’t unprepared for that. You try to get the ball to your best player, but other girls will have shots they can make. We had shots that we can make, but when you miss to start the game you put more pressure on yourself and the rim gets a little smaller."
• Northeast Dubois 50, Tecumseh 42: The No. 5 Jeeps (20-4) rallied from an early nine-point deficit, dominating the second half. Nicole Dodd scored 16 points and Mariah Seng added 10 for Dubois.
Auriel Trible scored 22 points for the Braves (11-12), who dropped a 45-38 decision to Dubois during the regular season.
CLASS A Regional
At West Washington
NORTHEAST DUBOIS 50, TECUMSEH 42
Tecumseh 10 8 11 13 - 42
Northeast Dubois 7 7 17 19 - 50
Tecumseh (11-12) – Sexton-Lyle 5, Fowler 2, Trible 22, Burkett 11, Nuhring 2
NE Dubois (20-4) – Borden 7, Lueken 5, Dodd 16, Breitweiser 9, Seng 10, Rasche 3.
3-pointers – Sexton-Lyle 1, Borden 1, Lueken 1, Dodd 1.
BORDEN 29, BARR-REEVE 28
Borden 10 9 4 6 - 29
Barr-Reeve 3 7 8 10 - 28
Borden (18-6) – Mikel 15, Rademacher 6, Bishop 4, Casey 4.
Barr-Reeve (22-1) – Harmon 6, Knepp 15, L. Graber 3, T. Graber 4.
3-pointers – L. Graber 1.