There was a reason Hunter Mehler felt comfortable in the Union High School gym.
Mehler, a Union resident, was named MVP after he helped lead Borgia to the Union Tournament championship Saturday by scoring 17 points in the title contest against Rockwood Summit.
“There is so much special about this tournament,” Mehler said. “We had Coach (Dave) Neier’s 700th win and back-to-back titles. Last year, another Borgia player from Union, Alex Movila, was the MVP. It’s an honor to receive the MVP award.”
In Borgia’s 61-45 semifinal win over Kirkwood, Mehler netted 19 points with seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. That gave Neier his 700th career victory.
Mehler scored 16 points in Borgia’s first-round win against Union. The game was extra special as he got to play against his younger brother, Chase, who led the Wildcats with 11 points that night.
“We settled it at home,” Mehler said. “We played a game of 2K. We aren’t mad at each other. It was brotherly love and we were having a good time.”
Two other Borgia players, seniors Jacob Unnerstall and Eli Marquart, also made the all-tournament team. Unnerstall did a number of different things for the Knights in the contest. Marquart hit key three-point baskets and helped in other areas.
“Coach Neier’s 700th win really motivated us,” Unnerstall said. “I just think we together as a team. We’ll see what we can do from here.”
Marquart’s path to the all-tournament team was a tough one.
“I had a few rough weeks around Christmas and right after Christmas,” Marquart said. “We had a lot of time to really strengthen our team as a whole. I’ve been working a lot in the gym to make sure I can still shoot. We’re all working hard as a team. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do if the big guys don’t do their job in the lane.”
Rockwood Summit had two players selected to the all-tournament team, senior Zane Sabbert and junior Ben Coughlin. Coughlin scored 16 points in the title game while Sabbert ended with 12.
Third-place Lutheran South put senior Cade Fournie and junior Nick Wagner on the all-tournament team.
Kirkwood, which ended fourth, was represented by senior Jack Kanzler and junior Jonah McDowell.
Union, the consolation winner, was represented by junior guard Trevor Kelly.
“It was very well-deserved,” Union Head Coach Chris Simmons said. “I think Trevor is one of the best players in the area and he does it in a lot of different ways. He rebounds, makes the easy pass, is tough to guard off the dribble, can shoot the three and he gets to the rim. As a junior, he plays so well within himself and doesn’t force a lot. I think that’s tough for a young kid with the burden he has to score for us. The guys really played well through him this tournament. It’s a team award for us.”
Washington, the sixth-place team, placed senior Conlan Jarvis on the all-tournament team.
St. Clair, the seventh-place winner, and Northwest were not represented on the all-tournament team.