Scoring the first seven points of the second half, the Borgia basketball Knights ran away from St. Mary’s Friday night, 68-53.
The Knights (7-2, 3-1) had trailed through most of the first half in the home Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division game against the Dragons (4-5, 0-1). “At the beginning of the game, they hit some shots,” Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier said. “They have a tremendous athlete in Josh Robinson. He had a bunch of points tonight. He’s a tremendous offensive weapon and tough on defense and rebounding. We struggled at the beginning offensively and really just didn’t shoot well outside in the first half.”
St. Mary’s led 11-5 after one quarter and the Knights ended the half on a basket by senior Zac Schweissguth to take a 24-23 lead to the intermission.
“Once we got started some ball movement and got some shots, especially with Joe Helfrich and Adam Meyer, things improved,” Neier said.
Borgia needed a run in the second quarter to come back from the early deficit. The Knights found momentum when they picked up the tempo. St. Mary’s struggled to cope with the quicker pace of the game and turned the ball over during that span.
“I think we rotated a lot of guys into the game,” Neier said. “Our subs came into the game and did a good job. The guys off the bench did a great job and that gave our starters some rest. That kept us fresh out there. That really helped us be able to push the ball up the floor. They got a little tired and that helped us to be able to pick up some easy baskets.”
The Knights netted the first seven points of the third quarter and rolled to a 50-43 lead through three quarters.
“In the second half, we started getting a little bit hotter. Walton Eckelkamp and Zach Schweissguth put in a couple and things started opening up. Then we got some easy buckets.”
Borgia secured the victory in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Dragons, 18-10.
“We were able to get some offensive boards and putbacks,” Neier said. “That really helped us extend the lead. They had to come out and play us a little tighter.”
The Knights had four players reach double digits in the game.
Senior Adam Meyer scored 19 points to lead the way and was a force near the net.
Meyer added four rebounds and two steals.
“Adam Meyer the last couple of games has come along and is playing some good basketball,” Neier said. “That’s what we need, players stepping up and doing something for us. After the way we started off, we needed somebody.”
Schweissguth was next in the scoring column with 16 points to go with nine assists, four rebounds and two steals. He was 8-11 from the free-throw line.
Senior Joe Helfrich posted a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. He also had three assists and one steal.
“Joe Helfrich had a great game,” Neier said. “He had a bunch of buckets, but he also had 13 rebounds.”
Eckelkamp, a sophomore, scored 12 points to go with two steals, one assist and one rebound.
Juniors Jake Neier and Clayton Voss each scored three points and added one rebound.
Junior Spencer Juergens scored two points with two rebounds.
Also playing were seniors Kevin Birk (three rebounds) and Tyler Breckenkamp and sophomore Trey Hunter.
“Defensively, I think we worked hard all game,” Neier said. “We had to because they are so explosive offensively. You never feel comfortable with the lead.”
The game’s leading scorer was St. Mary’s senior standout Robinson, who closed with 28 points. Robinson netted 14 points in each half. He already has signed with NCAA Division I team Austin Peay.
“We knew we had to work on him and I thought we did a fairly decent job and he still goes off and scores a bunch of points.”
Robinson also had eight rebounds, three assists and one steal. He went 8-8 from the free-throw line.
After Robinson, senior Dashawn Wilson scored nine points with four rebounds and one assist.
Senior James Wiggins netted seven points and added three assists, three rebounds and a steal.
Senior Jake DeWeese scored four points while adding five rebounds and one assist.
Senior Matt Causino scored three points while adding one rebound and one steal.
Junior Jared Pudlowski scored two points with one steal.