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Borgia gets even with overtime win over rival Washington

Borgia gets even with overtime win over rival Washington

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WASHINGTON, Mo. — Borgia senior winger Alex Brinkmann called it "getting even."

Senior Trent Strubberg referred to it as "redemption."

Actually, the Knights' thrilling 46-38 overtime win over crosstown rival Washington on Wednesday in the semifinal round the 49th Washington Tournament was best described as "a classic" by longtime Borgia boys basketball coach Dave Neier.

Box: Borgia 46, Washington 38

Brinkmann poured in a career-high 25 points and Strubberg canned a clutch 3-pointer in the extra session to propel the Knights (7-6) into the tournament's championship game. They will be searching for a tournament record 13th crown when they face Francis Howell Central (7-5) in the title game at 8:30 p.m. Friday at Washington High.

Borgia gained a measure of revenge against its rival. Washington knocked off the Knights 57-49 in the semifinal round of the Borgia Thanksgiving Tournament on Nov. 29.

The Knights turned the tables this time around, thanks in part to Brinkmann, who scored 19 points after halftime.

"This feel nice," Brinkmann said. "Reaching the championship game, in their tournament, it's always special."

Borgia led throughout most of the contest before the Blue Jays (10-2) used a 12-5 spurt to go up 33-28 on a 3-pointer by Jeremiah Broadbent with 2 minutes, 51 seconds left in regulation.

The Knights then ratcheted up the defensive pressure, holding the hosts to just two field goals on 11 shots the rest of the way.

"They've got such a dynamic team and they play so well in this building," Neier said. "We wanted to make them work. Then, we caught them late and made sure we got a hand in their face once we got the lead."

The Borgia defense forced Washington into three turnovers on its first four possessions of overtime.

"They took advantage of our mistakes," Washington assistant coach Adam Meyer said. "The overtime was theirs."

Brinkmann, whose sister Ella helped the Borgia girls volleyball team to a state title, set the tone in OT with a old-fashioned 3-point play 39 seconds into the four-minute period. He followed with a driving layup to push the lead to 38-33 with 2:14 on the clock.

Strubberg then drilled the biggest shot of the night, a long triple that stretched the advantage to 41-35.

Brinkmann made a pair of baskets in the final minute and then hit a foul shot with 17 seconds left to nail down the Knights' biggest triumph of the season.

Strubberg added 10 points. Cole Weber hit a key basket in the fourth period and Max Meyers drilled a free throw with 10 seconds left in regulation to necessitate the extra time.

The Blue Jays, who are off to their best start since the 1960-61 team won its first 34 contests, were playing with heavy hearts. Ramona Young, the mother of coach Grant Young, died earlier in the day after suffering a heart attack and stroke late last month.

A moment of silence was held for Ramona Young, 74, who was an ardent supporter of her son and the Blue Jays.

Neier and several Borgia players expressed their sympathy after the contest.

Howell Central used a basket from Logan Scott with 1:16 left in overtime to squeeze past St. Dominic 46-45 in OT in the first semifinal on Wednesday.

The Spartans trailed by 10 points early in the final period before Gabe Dickerson canned a trio of 3-pointers to get his team back into the game.

"We just weren't hitting shots," Central coach Brian Cissell. "But we got back into it. Sometimes you just get lucky."

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