Over the years, not many teams have kept the Borgia Knights from reaching the championship game of the Turkey Tournament.
But that’s just what event newcomer St. Louis Christian achieved Friday night, beating Borgia, 57-36.
“They were not only skilled enough to put a lot of pressure on us, but they were so big that it was very tough to get a rebound on the offensive or defensive end of the court,” said Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier.
Neier said Christian had a complete team.
“Their point guard (Revaun Garaway) really controlled the game,” Neier said. “They were really quick and hard to pressure. They played well in all phases of the game. They scored a lot of baskets in transition. We had stretches where we did well, but it wasn’t enough.”
Neier said that the Cougars were able to adjust from how they had been scouted.
“Against Pacific, they didn’t get out of their zone until Cullen VanLeer started hitting threes,” Neier said. “Then they got out. They were pretty active against us and even more so against Washington in the championship. When they wanted to get something done, they got it done.”
It marked the first time in two seasons that the Knights (1-1) had been knocked into a contest other than the championship game. Borgia won the third-place game over Maplewood-Richmond Heights in 2010 after losing to University City in the semifinals that season.
Christian (3-0) used its overwhelming size and quickness to score points quickly. Borgia fought back to make it 5-4 on a pair of John Baumstark baskets. Later, the Knights cut it to 9-8 on a free throw by Joe Helfrich.
The Cougars went on an 8-3 run after that to take a 17-11 lead at the end of that session.
In the second quarter, the Cougars extended that lead to 29-15 at the intermission.
A scoring flurry early in the third quarter helped the Cougars add to the lead early in the third quarter. The Knights were able to make inroads into the deficit, but Christian led 45-30 after three quarters.
Christian was led in scoring by senior Javier Martinez. He scored 24 points.
Sophomore Anthony Pratt was next with 16 points for the Cougars.
Rasheed Swanston closed the game with nine points. Revaun Garaway and Ikkena Okwarabezi each scored four points.
Senior Jordan Miller led the Knights in scoring with 12 points.
Senior John Baumstark was next in the scoring column with 11 points.
Senior Casey Kuchem scored seven points while juniors Joe Helfrich and Adam Meyer each had two points. Sophomore Alex Moss also scored two points.
Borgia only got to the free-throw line nine times and made six of them. Christian was 6-12 from the stripe.