Leaping out to a 15-0 lead, the St. Francis Borgia Regional Knights cruised to an 83-47 win over Owensville in the opening round of the 66th Annual St. Francis Borgia Pepsi Tournament Tuesday night.
“I think our kids early in the game came out playing with a lot of enthusiasm,” Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier said. “We had a lot of talk and really got after it early in the game to put pressure on them and get some easy shots.”
Borgia (1-0) will face Normandy Friday in the semifinals at 6 p.m. The Dutchmen (0-1) play fourth-seeded Washington in the consolation semifinals at 3 p.m.
“It’s going to be tough,” Neier said. “They’re have some outstanding players and they’re well coached. We want to make sure we do the best we can and give ourselves a chance.”
Borgia, the top seed, held Owensville off the board for the first 4:46 on the way to building up a 27-5 lead through one quarter.
The Knights led 44-18 at the half and 75-38 after three quarters.
Neier was able to give his entire lineup plenty of playing time during the game. Owensville Head Coach Todd Rehmert also was able to rotate most of his lineup into the contest. Borgia had 10 players score in the game while the Dutchmen had nine scorers.
Borgia knocked down nine three-point baskets while going 6-9 from the free-throw line.
Owensville hit eight three-point shots and was 3-4 from the free-throw line.
The Knights were led offensively by senior Brendan Smith, who scored all 22 of his points in the first half. Owensville struggled to control Smith, who was able to score at will inside the paint.
“We did a good job getting the ball inside to Brendan Smith,” Neier said. “I thought Brendan did a good job with rebounding and defense inside. He did a nice job posting up and made some nice moves inside. That got us going and put a lot of pressure on them.”
Smith added five rebounds and four blocked shots.
Sophomore Max Meyers was next with 15 points while knocking down three three-point baskets. He had two steals, an assist and a rebound.
Junior Cole Weber was the third Borgia player to hit double digits with 12 points, all on three-point baskets. He also pulled down five rebounds with three assists and a steal.
Junior Mark Maguire led the reserves with eight points off the bench. He also had one steal.
Sophomore Aiden Brundick scored seven points while junior Alex Brinkmann netted six. Borgia’s other scorers were juniors Trent Strubberg and Zach Unnerstall with four points apiece, sophomore Ryan Kell with three points and junior Peyton Struttmann with two points.
Brinkmann was the rebounding leader with eight. He also blocked a shot. Kell, Strubberg and Struttmann had three rebounds apiece. Brundick added two.
Strubberg ended with nine assists. Kell added two while Brundick had one. Strubberg and Unnerstall each had two steals. Kell and Brundick added one apiece. Struttmann added a blocked shot.
“We had some kids come out and shoot the ball well and do some good things,” Neier said. “That’s what you want. You want to find the kids who can come off the bench and help you out.”
The Dutchmen were led by junior Justin Garner with 13 points. He hit three three-point baskets.
Junior Trevor Abernathy knocked down a pair of three-point shots and closed with 11 points.
Junior Daxton Mehrhoff was next with six points, while senior Brady Smith and sophomore Justin Terry each had four points.
Sophomore Zaid Epstein was next with three points. Two-point scorers were junior Cason Gray, sophomore Tyler Heidbrink and junior Boyde Nicks.
“They really settled down as the game went on,” Neier said. “They moved the ball very well. They were able to knock some shots down and they scored quite a few points in the third quarter. We lost some focus and they took advantage and played pretty well. They’re probably going to keep getting better as the year goes along. We have to make sure we can keep getting better.”
While the scoreboard read 81-47 at the end of the game, Borgia actually had two more points scored in the fourth quarter.