Pick a Borgia boys basketball story line.
There have been plenty of them this week.
The Knights improved to (16-8, 6-2) with Archdiocesan Athletic Association wins this week over St. Dominic and Bishop DuBourg.
The St. Dominic win came in triple overtime, 51-49.
Thursday’s senior night victory was a comfortable 63-45 triumph over Bishop DuBourg.
“We had really good tempo in the first half,” Borgia Assistant Coach Bill Kimminau said. “We got some turnovers and easy buckets. We made them play a fullcourt game. We lost some intensity and focus in the second half.”
But the league wins are just one potential item to follow.
• Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier was at Tuesday’s game, but underwent successful surgery Wednesday and was scheduled to be released from the hospital Friday, according to team sources. He’s expected back on the bench for the district tournament. “We did the coaching by committee,” Kimminau said. “Stan (Westhoff), Luke (Meyer), Eric (Kimminau) and I kept talking the whole game about subs and defenses. We can’t wait to have Dave back on the bench.”
• The Knights have just one game remaining, Saturday’s AAA Showcase home game against O’Fallon Christian (6:30 p.m. tipoff) before working in practice to prepare for the upcoming district tournament.
“They’re a very athletic team,” Kimminau said. “I’m probably going to go and watch them tomorrow (Friday). I haven’t seen them yet. We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing. We’ve got to play four full quarters of defense to have a chance to win.”
Tuesday’s 51-49 triple overtime win at St. Dominic provides several story lines by itself.
• Borgia won in triple overtime over the Crusaders, the longest Borgia game in years.
“That was amazing,” Kimminau said. “We had that won in regulation and we let it slip away. We could have given up, but we worked hard.”
• Senior Jordan Miller rebounded from being sick to score 34 points for the Knights in the contest. He hit 10 three-point baskets, breaking Bryce Dolan’s school record of nine three-point baskets in a single game.
“Jordan was unbelievable,” Kimminau said. “Even with the 10 three-point baskets he made, we set some great screens for him and ran some great sets to get him open and guys really did a good job to get him open. He did a great job knocking them down, too, in a tough place to shoot, too.”
Kimminau said Miller had been very ill.
“He didn’t go to school or play at Trinity on Monday,” Kimminau said. “On Tuesday, he was pretty pale and pretty weak. I think he was throwing up a few hours before the game, but he didn’t look like it, he played pretty well.”
• While it was Miller scoring most of the points, fellow senior Casey Kuchem quietly hit the winning shot in the closing seconds.
Kuchem scored nine points in the game with six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots, including the winning shot with less than four seconds to play.
“Casey got the shot to win it,” Kimminau said.
• While he didn’t score, senior guard John Baumstark has remained a lightning rod in games against St. Dominic and Duchesne. Baumstark, who had two assists, two rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot, has become a Twitter sensation.
The art of “Baumstarking” (a pose he did for a senior photo) has been shot and reposted many times through social media sites.
Baumstark had been singled out by the St. Dominic and Duchesne cheering sections for “special treatment” in games against those teams.
Baumstark indicated St. Dominic student fans found an old photo of John and his girlfriend posing and used that to make fun of him at the team.
Baumstark found out about the expected harassment and decided to have fun with the situation, leading to students at several different schools getting involved in “Baumstarking.” Even Borgia President George Wingbermuehle showed support for the senior by posing in a “Baumstarking” position following Thursday’s home game.
“It was a lot of fun,” Kimminau said about the St. Dominic atmosphere. “It was a great atmosphere. Being in the conference with St. Dominic and Duchesne, those are great rivalries for us. I look for them to grow and grow. Kids from both sides got after it.”
And in the DuBourg victory:
• It was senior night and Borgia used its four seniors, Miller, Kuchem, Baumstark and River Filla, extensively. Those four combined for 38 points, 15 rebounds, 13 assists, seven steals and five blocked shots.
“All of the seniors did a great job,” Kimminau said. “River always plays hard. He did a nice job. All in all, it was a good senior night.”
• Borgia built up a 30-point lead in the third quarter and held on as the Cavaliers slowly cut it down to 18 by the time the game ended.
“Give DuBourg credit, too,” Kimminau said. “They worked hard.”
• DuBourg’s Joe Carr caught fire later in the game, leading the Cavaliers with 19 points. Ryan McCafferty was a factor early in the game with 12 total points.
“Carr is a good player,” Kimminau said. “He didn’t score in the first half. We let him drive around us way too easy in the second half.”
The game took quite a bit to get going, but once the teams started to find the basket, it turned into one of the most thrilling games of the season.
Borgia led 8-7 after one quarter and 17-12 at the intermission.
The Knights were up 31-25 after three quarters.
Regulation play ended with the teams tied at 38-38.
Neither team scored in a defensive first overtime session and each squad scored five points in the second overtime period to leave it 43-43 going to the third session.
Borgia’s go-to player offensively was Miller. Despite his illness, he kept getting the ball and kept hitting the shots.
Overall, Jordan went 11-20 from the field, 10-16 from beyond the three-point arc. He also hit both of the free throws he attempted.
Overall, Borgia only tried four free throws in the game, hitting three of them.
Kuchem hit a five-foot shot for the winning points with just under four seconds to play. The officials put four seconds onto the clock after a St. Dominic timeout. The Crusaders had one last chance, but couldn’t connect.
Zac Schweissguth, a junior, scored five points in the game with five assists and three rebounds.
Junior Joe Helfrich netted three points with 10 rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Besides Baumstark, Borgia also got playing time from juniors Kevin Birk (one rebound) and Adam Meyer.
Michael Schneider led the Crusaders in scoring with 17 points while adding four rebounds and a blocked shot.
Alex Hagan scored 11 points with nine rebounds and two assists.
Emmett Wilmes netted eight points with eight rebounds, four blocked shots and a steal.
Brad Kummer checked in with seven points, four assists, four rebounds and a steal.
And Austin Merz closed with two points and two rebounds.
This wasn’t a competitive game for a very long time. DuBourg scored the first two points, but Borgia countered and led 18-11 after one quarter.
Using a senior-led offense, the Knights built the lead to 40-14 at the intermission and then went ahead 45-15 early in the third quarter for their biggest lead in the game.
The Knights held a 52-28 advantage after three quarters and ended up winning by 18 points, 63-45.
“We’re going to work on that,” Kimminau said. “We always talk about putting the hammer down and keep playing hard. We took a couple of quick shots. We lost focus in the second half and that’s something we need to work on and play four full quarters.”
Baumstark led the way with 14 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Schweissguth had 13 points. His other statistics were not available as of press time.
Miller followed with 12 points, four assists and two rebounds.
Kuchem concluded the game with eight points, five assists, five rebounds, three blocked shots and one steal.
Filla posted four points, five rebounds, three steals and two blocked shots.
Helfrich ended with four points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Parker DuMontier scored three points. Other stats were not available.
Adam Meyer had three points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocked shots and an assist.
Birk scored two points with three assists and two rebounds.
Also playing were Tyler Breckenkamp (two rebounds), Collin Mantle (two steals and a rebound) and Alex Moss.