Forcing 41 turnovers, the St. Mary’s Dragons raced past Borgia Friday night in St. Louis, 74-30.
“It wasn’t pretty at all,” Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier said.
St. Mary’s (9-0, 2-0) opened the classroom on the court in Archdiocesan Athletic Association competition against the Knights (3-5, 0-2). The Dragons took full advantage of Borgia’s struggles in handling the ball and that resulted in an easy win for the home team.
“We’re going to get better, that’s for sure,” Neier said. “You have to use this game for a learning experience. You have to learn how to take care of the ball. We can see the film and see where we were making mistakes. We have to get better.”
St. Mary’s led 19-6 after one quarter, 43-13 at the half and 62-22 through three quarters.
“We could have played a great game and still lost,” Neier said. “They had kids coming off the bench putting in threes from five feet behind the line. They played very unselfish and aggressive on defense. Their quickness forced us into turnovers.”
The Dragons excelled in many areas in the game. A total of 13 different players scored for the Dragons. St. Mary’s hit shots at a rate better than 48 percent and knocked down nine three-point baskets. If the Dragons struggled in any area, it might have been free-throw shooting, where St. Mary’s was 5-12.
Free-throw shooting actually might have been Borgia’s strong area in the game. The Knights were 6-10 from the stripe. Borgia hit just one of 13 three-point shots and converted at a 29.4-percent rate from the field.
“We made mistakes you wouldn’t think varsity kids would make,” Neier said.
Lavell Harris led the Dragons in scoring with 12 points. He hit a pair of three-point baskets and added four assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Antonio Burks scored eight points with seven rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Seven different Dragons scored six points.
Dominic Mitchell chipped in with seven points, two assists, a blocked shot and a rebound.
Donavanne Austin scored six points with an assist and a rebound.
Yuri Collins had six points, five assists, three steals and a rebound.
Darius Houston and Miles Jones each scored six points with two rebounds.
Donavan Parker had six points, two rebounds and an assist.
Sofora Rasas scored six points with four assists, two rebounds and a steal.
Yahuza Rasas has six points, four steals, two rebounds and two assists.
Cliff Teague netted three points with four rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Cole Miller chipped in with two points and one rebound.
Gus Dattoli added an assist and a steal.
Borgia’s top scorer was Hunter Mehler with nine points. He also had three assists, three rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals.
Jacob Unnerstall netted seven points with five rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and two steals.
Alex Brinkmann scored five points with two assists, two rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal.
Brendan Smith scored three points with four rebounds, two blocked shots and an assist.
Dalton Shust scored two points with two rebounds and an assist.
Will Elbert scored Borgia’s other point. He also had six rebounds, four blocked shots and an assist.
Michael Baylard had one assist and a rebound. Spencer Hunter ended with three assists and a rebound. Eli Marquart had an assist, a rebound and a steal. Trent Strubberg posted a steal. Cole Weber pulled down a rebound.
Max Meyers and Andrew Jensen also played.
“We’ve got to work one day at a time to get better,” Neier said. “We brought a couple up from the B team because they’ve played extremely well there. Max Meyers and Cole Weber played. Cole is a tremendous shooter. Max is an excellent ballhandler, but he needs varsity experience. He has a lot of confidence, so I think he will do well.”
Borgia closes out 2017 Tuesday at Sullivan.
“Obviously, Sullivan offers great competition,” Neier said. “They have played good basketball and they’ve had an exceptional record up to this point. At this time last year, they came to our place and hung a loss on us. If we’re not ready to handle them, the same thing could happen.”
Neier knows the team has time to work on improving over the break.
“We’re not in a Christmas tournament, so we will have a number of days in a row to work on getting better,” Neier said.