A fast start helped the St. Francis Borgia Regional basketball Knights post the first upset of the Washington Tournament Monday night.

Borgia (6-6), the fifth seed, held off No. 4 Francis Howell Central, 50-48.

“They’re a very strong team,” Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier said. “It was a great win for our team. The big thing was the fast start and that gave us a 10-point lead at one point in the first quarter. That really helped to carry us through.”

The win puts the Knights into Friday’s semifinals against top-seeded St. Charles. That game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.

“That’s another strong team,” Neier said. “They have some very talented players and they play a lot of players. They have players who go to the basket hard, but also some good outside shooters and ballhandlers. They do a nice job as a team.”

St. Charles held off the St. Louis Blue Knights homeschool team in the other first-round game Monday, 67-57.

In the second first-round game, the Knights jumped out to a 13-5 lead through one quarter.

That gap held at the half as the Knights led 25-17.

Francis Howell Central trimmed one point off of the Borgia lead through the third quarter as the Knights held a 37-30 lead going to the last quarter.

The Knights found the baskets at Blue Jay Gym to be a bit more friendly, hitting from three-point range six times for the game. Borgia also went 12-16 from the free-throw line.

“We hit some key free throws down the stretch to keep the lead,” Neier said. “We made our last eight free throws and that was huge.”

The Spartans also knocked down six three-point shots and went 6-11 from the free-throw line.

Alex Brinkmann and Cole Weber led Borgia with 13 points apiece. Weber hit two three-point baskets while Brinkmann went 7-9 from the free-throw line.

Trent Strubberg was next with 12 points, including a pair of three-point baskets.

The other two three-point shots came from Max Meyers and he closed with six points. Will Elbert also scored six points. Elbert was able to stay in for most of the game despite getting into foul trouble early. He had four fouls at the intermission.

“The balanced scoring really helped,” Neier said. “The three-point shots made them guard us outside and that opened up the game inside. Alex Brinkmann did his damage driving to the basket and Will Elbert scored inside.”

Neier said Elbert and Brendan Smith played a key role in rebounding.

Tyrek Coleman led Howell Central with 16 points and also had six rebounds, two steals and an assist.

Kaleb Anderson scored 11 points with five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Myles Estrada chipped in with nine points and two rebounds.

From there, other Howell Central scorers were Jordan Hayden with six points, Cameron Dent and Adam Lewis with two apiece and Austin Crudup and Bryce Lee with one point each.

St. Charles-Blue Knights

In the other first-round game, the St. Charles Pirates had to fight back to prevent an upset.

The Blue Knights, a homeschool team, led 19-9 after one quarter. St. Charles cut that gap to 26-25 at the half and it was 41-40 for St. Charles after three quarters.

Each team had three players reach double figures with another at nine points.

For St. Charles, Braden Wiggs led the way with 20 points while Cameron Teson was next at 18. Courtney Anderson scored 11 points and Magnus Kloepper ended with nine.

Jonathan Chambers led the Blue Knights with 15 points while Charlie Schark netted 13, Patrick Baalman had 11 and Ashton Childress ended with nine points.

The Blue Knights hit seven three-point baskets to three for St. Charles. The Pirates went 16-22 at the free-throw line. The Blue Knights were 12-18 at the stripe.