Failing to find traction, the St. Francis Borgia Regional basketball Knights bowed out of the MSHSAA Class 4 State Tournament Tuesday at Troy.
St. Charles West (20-8) controlled play for most of the game to beat Borgia (16-12), 54-42.
“We didn’t play particularly well, but a lot of that was due to them,” Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier said. “I think they played good team defense and took the inside away from us. We were able to get the ball outside to our shooters, but shot a very poor percentage from outside. That fueled the fire for them. They’re a well-coached team with a lot of talent.”
Borgia never led after midway through the first quarter and was down 9-6 after eight minutes.
The Warriors extended the lead to 18-9 in the second quarter before Borgia fought back to cut it to 20-15 at the half.
That was pretty much the story of the game. St. Charles West built up the lead and Borgia fought to get back into the game. The Knights never could find the run they needed to turn the tide, however.
“It was a sign of a good team on their part,” Neier said. “They knew what they had to do to win. They were able to take care of the ball and we had to foul them. They’re a good free-throw shooting team.”
St. Charles West senior Josh Anderson hit a pair of long three-point shots to open the third quarter and the Warriors led by as much as nine points before Borgia pushed back later in the quarter to cut it to 34-29 through three quarters.
“He really stretched their lead out,” Neier said. “He was hitting from a pretty good distance. He can play sensational basketball.”
In the fourth quarter, Borgia cut it to 35-33 on a basket by Alex Brinkmann on the fast break. But that was as close as the Knights could get.
St. Charles West finished it off at the free-throw line. Senior Trent Champagne did most of the damage, going 11-13 from the stripe for the game. He led all scorers with 19 points.
“He really controls the tempo for them,” Neier said. “He not only gets shots for himself, but he creates shots for other players as well. He can penetrate, dish off and get the ball to the right spot.”
As a team, the Warriors were 20-28 from the free-throw line. Borgia struggled with foul shots, hitting only five of 12.
Borgia did hit five three-point baskets to four for St. Charles West.
Brinkmann was Borgia’s top scorer, netting 13 points to go with eight rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot.
Sophomore Max Meyers was the other Borgia player to reach double figures for the game. He knocked down three three-point shots and closed with 11. Meyers also had one assist, one rebound and one steal.
Senior Brendan Smith netted eight points with seven rebounds and two blocked shots.
Junior Trent Strubberg scored six points on two three-point baskets. He also had four rebounds and an assist.
Senior Will Elbert had four points, eight rebounds and one assist.
After Champagne, Anderson was next with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots.
John Wilson, a 6-5, 285-pound sophomore, was an obstacle in the middle and he scored eight points with seven rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal.
“He did a really nice job for them, not only getting offensive rebounds and putbacks, but also making some nice moves to the basket and putting some free throws in,” Neier said. “He really clogged up the lane on defense and was hard to move around.”
Senior Clark Henderson posted four points, six rebounds, one assist, one blocked shot and one steal.
Junior Lucas Wehde netted four points with two rebounds and a steal.
Sophomore Brayden Wampler-Foust checked in with three points and two rebounds.
Junior Brendan Sportsman had one assist and one blocked shot.
“They presented some problems where our rotation in the zone wasn’t very good and they ended up with some wide-open guys under the basket,” Neier said.
The Warriors take on Ladue Saturday at Francis Howell Central in a Class 4 quarterfinal game.