Struggles on ‘O’ sting Lanesville
Borden entered the Class A New Washington Sectional semi-final with a top-30 defensive scoring average in the state. That stat didn’t bode well for upset-minded Lanesville.
The Lady Eagles provided defensive stops through many parts of the game, but No. 9 Borden kept the Lanesville offense in check, going on to win 51-20 Saturday.
A winter weather storm passed through Southern Indiana late Friday, delaying the game until Saturday morning; the tip went up at 10:15.
Scoring was a struggle for the Lady Eagles. They had five points in the first half but managed to get a run of points going in the third quarter.
Trailing 24-5 at the half, Lanesville came out with an 8-2 run to creep within 13 points. Erica Daly began the streak with a deuce, followed by Emma Zeller sinking a 3-pointer. Keeping the hot hand, Zeller nailed another bomb to cut Borden’s lead to 26-13.
‘I thought we might go from those shots,’ Lanesville coach Kevin Smith said. ‘We got too far down. Our team doesn’t have enough offensive power to come back from big deficits.’
Despite the run, Borden responded with a string of nine consecutive points, paced by a pair of Carson Casey field goals.
Crossing over to the final quarter, Borden’s big run was a 20-3 breakaway. The lone interruption was a 3-pointer by Hannah Walther.
Nine players scored for Borden, led by Kristen Nestor and Natalie Ruedinger pouring in 10 points each. Casey contributed eight points.
‘Who do you take away against them? They are balanced,’ Smith said. ‘They don’t do anything special but play their system well.’
Early in the game, both programs struggled to hold control of the rock. There were nine turnovers between them before the first points ‘ a jumper by Borden’s Abby Ellis ‘ were recorded.
Lanesville put in one field goal in the first quarter; Daly hit a jumper along the baseline off an inbounds play. Paced by two 2-pointers from Ruedinger, the Lady Braves would lead 8-2 after eight minutes.
Defensively, the Lady Eagles forced eight turnovers in that span, leading to 14 for the half.
‘I think our defense was good enough to play with anybody, but, as far as scoring, we didn’t have it,’ Smith said. ‘We had the game-plan to keep them off the baseline and keep the ball out of the middle. It kind of worked, but we got out of it midway through the second quarter when they started to hit a couple threes.’
All four of Borden’s 3-pointers came in the second quarter. Shelby Kirchgessner and Nestor had two each for the Lady Braves. Nestor’s final trey came as the buzzer sounded before the half to give her team a 24-5 advantage.
Lanesville played the second quarter without Zeller, one of its top scoring options, who was plagued with foul trouble.
‘She can see over defenses and, height-wise, matches up good against them,’ Smith said. ‘We couldn’t get Mahailey (Hall) open. Every time she touched the ball, somebody was there. It was tough for her to find a shot.’
Turnovers also were an issue for Lanesville, which coughed up the ball 19 times in the opening half and 37 times for the game.
‘We could not get past the turnovers in the first half,’ Smith said. ‘They had us for 19 turnovers in the first half; it was an ungodly number. It comes down to we couldn’t score against better teams. When they play defense against us, we didn’t have enough scorers.’
The Lady Eagles also forced 28 miscues by the favored Borden squad with Lanesville utilizing a press defense at times.
‘One of the things I like to do is press, and they know that,’ Smith said. ‘We still need to get better at it, but we were able to play different defenses this season. We could play man-to-man, press a little toward the end of the year and play different zones.’
Zeller and Daly led Lanesville in scoring with six points apiece. Walther added three points, while Elise Lawson and Michaela Behr scored two points each.
The Lady Eagles will lose four players to graduation: Jessica DeWeese, Daly, Hall and Zeller.
‘As far as the effort, those four seniors gave me effort all the time,’ Smith said. ‘Some have been dinged up the whole year, but we haven’t made an issue of it. I hope their effort carries on to the next group.’
For the season, Lanesville closed the book with a 7-14 record.
‘Wins and losses did not define this season,’ Smith said. ‘For the offensive deficiency we may have had, we played well. We improved in some areas, and there are areas we need to keep improving like shooting and scoring. We’re making strides to be relevant in our conference and sectional.’
Smith was pleased to see the team reach the semi-final, a goal they set. The Lady Eagles picked up a lopsided win against Rock Creek Academy in the opening round.
‘It was nice to play Rock Creek and get a win,’ Smith said. ‘Our saying has been to ‘Get to Friday night.’ If you make it to semi-final night, you never know what may happen.’
Borden went on to defeat the host team, New Washington, 57-43 in the sectional championship, advancing to the West Washington Regional to face Vincennes Rivet at 10 a.m.
Borden 8 16 11 16 ‘ 51
Lanesville 2 3 11 4 ‘ 20
Borden (16-2) ‘ Nestor 10, Ruedinger 10, Casey 8, Kirchgessner 6, R. Schindler 6, Hurst 4, Ellis 4, P. Schindler 2, Streander 1.
Lanesville (7-14) ‘ Zeller 6, Daly 6, Walther 3, Lawson 2, Behr 2, Davis 1.
3-point goals ‘ Borden 4 (Nestor 2, Kirchgessner 2); Lanesville 3 (Zeller 2, Walther).