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Borden ends Eagles’ season

Borden ends Eagles’ season
Borden ends Eagles’ season
Jarrett Beach scores two of his team-high 17 points in a loss to Borden Friday night. (Photo by Brian Smith)

Lanesville’s four-year run at appearances in a sectional final and back-to-back years of winning sectional crowns came to an end Friday when Borden led a majority of the night and eventually won 60-54.
‘This was the first time in the last five years we haven’t played in the sectional championship,’ Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. ‘It’s kind of something we have really appreciated and haven’t taken for granted.’
Borden (17-5) started the game fast, with each bucket turning the Brave bench and fans into a frenzy. Lanesville led briefly, 6-4, at the opening moments. Borden responded with a 11-3 run.
Lanesville (12-9) never allowed Borden to extend its lead past eight before making a run at the end of the third quarter and on into the fourth.
Yet each time Lanesville attempted to get going offensively, Borden came up with an answer. Late in the third, Walker Horton and Jarrett Beach came up with baskets, cutting the Borden lead to one, 36-35. Borden’s response was a Chris Beam 3-pointer, one of three on the night from the junior.
Beach answered with another field goal, making it a two-point game with a quarter to play. Horton scored another field goal to kick off the fourth quarter. That was followed by a pair of Bryant Conder free throws to give Lanesville the lead, 41-39 with 6:51 to play.
‘We kept making some runs, but they kept coming up with big shots,’ Millers said. ‘You have to give them credit.’
Borden didn’t panic; instead, the team went back to work. They took the next two minutes and molded an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead, which they wouldn’t relinquish.
‘In the first half, I thought we were on our heels,’ Miller said. ‘I thought they got to the loose balls, to the rebounds and we got out hustled. In the second half, we started getting to those balls. But you just can’t get yourself in a hole against a good team like that.’
Beach, who had a solid 17-point game, scored two baskets late, including one with 36.9 seconds left, pulling the Eagles back within two at 56-54. Lanesville couldn’t find another basket as the Braves added four free throws late.
‘He’s always had that ability,’ Miller said of Beach. ‘The last four or five games, he was really coming along. I wish he would have earlier in the year, but he kind of struggled with his shot then.’
Borden was led by Beam’s 17 points. Inside, Borden’s 6-foot-6 senior Kaden Nolot, playing in his first season of varsity basketball, was a force inside. He corralled 13 rebounds and scored 14 points, all while helping limit Lanesville’s inside presence, Tom Walter, to seven points.
‘That game took a lot out of us emotionally, physically and, the most important, mentally to beat a Lanesville team that came into this tournament playing extremely well,’ said Borden coach Doc Nash.
The second half of the season was quite a run for the Eagles. They started the season 2-6, but made a drastic turnaround in the second half of the season to finish with a 12-9 record.
‘The first half of the year we kind of struggled,’ Miller said. ‘I’ve had teams in the past that would have quit then and just played for themselves. They really care about what the team is trying to do. They kept together and a positive attitude and turned it around. We got our fourth conference title in a row, made a nice run at the end and, really, we were a couple baskets here and there from winning this game.’
Miller graduates five seniors ‘ Kenton Acton, William Hambley, Cody Hussung, Collin McCulloch and Walter ‘ who he thinks left a great impression on the program.
‘I really appreciate my seniors, their work ethic and attitudes throughout the season. I think the underclassmen learned a lot from them that they should value and take on into next year,’ he said.
Hussung scored nine points in his finale, including a 3-pointer late in the contest when Lanesville was down seven with a minute to play.
‘Cody was probably one of my most improved players,’ Miller said. ‘He’s been through a lot personally; he has really battled through, kept his head up and had a great attitude.’
The coach added it was disappointing that Acton wasn’t able to return after dealing with an injury, all while crediting Hambley and McCulloch for being senior leaders on and off the court.
But the future doesn’t look so bad either for the Eagles.
‘With our underclassmen, we have quite a few of our 12 coming back,’ Miller said. ‘Kids coming from JV who are good players and, if we have a good summer, we might be able to give ourselves a shot again next year.’
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