McCluer North Stops Knights

Borgia's River Filla tries to move past McCluer North's Eric Miller during the Knights' loss in the third-place game of the Borgia Turkey Tournament.

Bill Battle

Last year, the Borgia Knights tagged McCluer North for its only loss of the season.

McCluer North likely remembered that fact when the two teams met again Saturday in the 60th Annual St. Francis Borgia Pepsi Cola Thanksgiving Tournament third-place game.

The Stars (2-1) coming off of a 56-51 semifinal shock loss to Washington Friday, ran past the Knights (1-2) Saturday, 62-44.

“They are another talented team that will get better as the season goes on,” Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier said. “They’ve got a 6-6 kid who will become eligible next week. That should help them become a tremendous team.”

Neier said the Stars benefit from their veteran Head Coach Randy Reed.

“Randy does such a tremendous job coaching those kids,” Neier said. “They play within themselves, play hard and shoot well. With more size, they will be unbelievable.”

The loss marked the first time since 1986 that Borgia hadn’t won a trophy from its own tournament. That year, Borgia lost in the Blue Division third-place game to Wright City, 79-65.

As had been the case in Borgia’s other two games, the Knights fell behind early. However, as hadn’t been the case in the other two games, the Knights were unable to come back at any point.

McCluer North ripped out to a 5-0 advantage over the first two minutes of the first quarter before Joe Helfrich countered with a basket.

But that was a brief pause in the McCluer North basket storm. The Stars scored the next 10 points and showed just how explosive they could be.

After one quarter, McCluer North led 16-8. At the intermission, the lead was 33-21 as the Stars were able to respond to the Borgia rallies.

After three quarters, the Stars held a 45-34 advantage.

McCluer North played a nearly flawless game. The Stars got balanced scoring with three players reaching double digits.

Rashad Lindsey, the Stars’ representative on the all-tournament team, netted 19 points while going 6-7 from the free-throw line.

Dorian Holland scored 18 points and also went 6-7 from the free-throw line.

Jordan Boone closed with 10 points.

Demonte Morris ended with six points while Chris Busbee scored five and Alex Blueitt netted four points.

Borgia’s all-tournament representative, senior Casey Kuchem, led the Knights with 12 points.

Junior Tyler Breckenkamp came off the bench to end with seven points.

Senior John Baumstark and sophomore Alex Moss each scored six points.

Senior Jordan Miller ended with four points while juniors Joe Helfrich and Adam Meyer scored four points apiece. Junior Zach Schweissguth netted two points.

Both teams were very accurate at the free-throw line. McCluer North hit 13 of 15 attempts. Borgia went 4-4 from the stripe.

Neier said it was a successful tournament.

Overall, Neier said he feels the Knights learned some valuable lessons which should help later in the season.

“We really were happy to play such good teams in the tournament,” Neier said. “We played three exceptionally fast teams. That should help us get used to playing under that type of pressure. It showed weaknesses and what we need to work on. We were very fortunate to play in a tournament with this caliber of teams.”