High School Sports
Northeast Dubois spoils Borden's girls' basketball dream
February 19, 2012Winners Choice Sports
CAMPBELLSBURG, IND. — The Jeeps drove off with the grand prize that the Borden girls’ basketball team desperately craved Saturday night in the Class A West Washington Regional.
No. 5 Northeast Dubois raced to an early advantage and survived Borden’s frantic comeback for a 35-31 victory. The Jeeps (21-4) will face No. 16 Southwestern (Shelbyville) in the one-game semistate at either Bedford or Southport next week. The IHSAA will announce semistate assignments today.
Southwestern (16-8) eliminated No. 10 Clay City 61-51 in the Hanover Regional final.
Borden, chasing its first regional title, never led and trailed by 13 midway through the third quarter. But the Braves had a jumper in the air that would have tied it in the final minute and didn’t go down until Dubois senior Mariah Seng buried two free throws with 2.9 seconds left.
“They nearly came back and got us,” Dubois coach Alan Matheis said as his team started the net-cutting ritual. “I’m sure Borden taking out Barr-Reeve this afternoon burned up a lot of energy. As a result, that might have helped us out a little tonight. But Borden came to play. We feel fortunate to win.”
Borden’s defense, the key to its 29-28 upset of No. 2 Barr-Reeve in the afternoon, solidified after a shaky start. But coach Terry Rademacher bemoaned the lack of offense.
“We had the opportunities,” he said. “We just couldn’t make enough shots. We just fell a hair short. We had plenty of chances. If we had made those, everybody would have been going nuts about how we won.”
Erin Mikel paced the Braves (18-7) with 15 points, and they had only eight turnovers after kicking it all over the court in the semifinal. But scoring slumps in the first and third quarters proved costly. Dubois jumped to an 8-0 lead and fashioned a 9-0 burst for the 13-point margin in the second half.
The Braves, one of the state’s top defensive teams, couldn’t slow the Jeeps early. Dubois solved the box-and-one that had worked so well against Barr-Reeve and exploded for 18 first-period points.
Rachel Breitweiser scored four times from close range, and Emily Lueken hit two 3-pointers as the Jeeps scored at will against a team that had limited eight straight opponents — and 10 of the previous 11 — under 40 points. Borden ultimately would extend that streak, but damage had been done.
“We kind of anticipated that,” Matheis said. “We got set up for it, and our kids hit some good shots.”
The Braves slowed the tempo and crawled back into contention. The switch to a 2-3 zone disrupted the Jeeps, who hit only one second-quarter shot as Borden methodically carved into the deficit. Baskets by Allison Rademacher, Mikel and Carson Casey trimmed the lead to 20-14 at halftime.
After the second Dubois spurt, Borden battled back with a 10-2 run keyed by two Abby Ellis jumpers that slashed the gap to 33-31. And after the Jeeps missed an ill-advised shot with 30 seconds left, Rademacher worked open for a baseline jumper that rimmed out long.
Borden’s Leslie Beatty grabbed that rebound, but the Jeeps forced a held ball and had the arrow with 15.6 seconds left. Borden, which had committed only one foul in the first 25 minutes, had to use valuable time to foul enough to get the Jeeps in the bonus.
Once that happened, Seng hit the free throws that secured Dubois’ fifth regional title and first since 2008.
“We got a little cautious,” Matheis said. “We should have looked for more shots. We had a lead, but sometimes you get complacent and let the other team back in the ballgame.”
Breitweiser and Seng had 10 points each and Nicole Dodd nine for the Jeeps. Rademacher had eight for the Braves.