Ryan Kell knocked down two free throws with 2.4 seconds to play Thursday to lift the St. Francis Borgia Regional boys basketball Knights to a 51-49 win at St. Charles West.
“That was a hard-fought game from the beginning to the end,” Borgia Head Coach Dave Neier said. “We were fortunate that Ryan Kell was able to drive to the basket early in the game to give us a lead. They took the lead in the fourth quarter and it was a battle to the end.”
Borgia (11-7) held on as St. Charles West was able to get the ball to halfcourt for a last-moment desperation shot at the buzzer. The ball bounced high off the backboard and bounced away from the basket.
St. Charles West dropped to 3-8 on the season, but four of those losses have been by five or fewer points.
“They’ve had four COVID-19 quarantines, so it’s been tough for them to get anything going,” Neier said. “They’ve had to play B team players for a lot of stretches.”
Borgia led after one quarter, 18-10, but St. Charles West cut the lead to 29-24 at the half. Borgia led 37-35 after three quarters.
Kell was Borgia’s leading scorer for the game with 14 points. He went 2-3 from the free-throw line. As a team, the Knights hit three of eight free throws.
“We buckled down on defense to give ourselves a chance,” Neier said. “Ryan was able to get to the free-throw line to give us a shot to win.”
Also reaching double figures in scoring was Max Meyers, who knocked down two of Borgia’s four three-point baskets.
Andrew Dyson hit the other two three-point shots and he ended with eight points.
Adam Rickman contributed six points while Grant Schroeder scored five points.
Sam Heggemann and Andrew Patton each ended with four points.
St. Charles West was paced by post player John Wilson, who scored 20 points. He was 6-9 from the free-throw line. As a team, the Warriors went 12-21 from the stripe.
“He was a load,” Neier said. “He’s a big kid. They have some good size overall and hurt us on the boards.”
Brayden Wampler-Foust scored 12 points and hit three of the five three-point baskets for St. Charles West.
Josh Newell netted seven points. Ian Hollander scored five while Darin Gordon added four points and Michael Quirk scored one.
Borgia is scheduled to hit the road Friday to play at St. Dominic. The teams aren’t in the same division this year in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association. St. Dominic moved down to the small division this season, so this is the only regular meeting between the schools.
Borgia is scheduled to visit St. Pius X in Festus Monday with varsity action at 7:15 p.m.