Archbold's Joel Ruffer blocks a shot attempt by Liberty-Benton's Chad Edel. Ruffer had 12 points and 9 rebounds.
BOWLING GREEN - Archbold could have panicked halfway through the Division III regional semifinal against Liberty-Benton last night at Bowling Green State University.
But it clearly didn't, overcoming a seven-point halftime deficit to produce a 58-49 victory at Anderson Arena.
Dan Borcherdt pumped in 16 of his game-high 23 points in the second half to lead the Blue Streaks past the Eagles. Joel Ruffer produced 12 points to go along with a team-leading nine rebounds while D.J. Selgo came through with 10 points.
“My teammates got me some nice shots and I was able to knock them down,'' said Borcherdt, who was 4-for-7 from 3-point range. “And when I got teammates like [Ruffer and Selgo] I can penetrate and dish to [them], it makes for a good combination.''
Archbold will take on Elyria Catholic (20-4) Saturday night at 7:30 for the regional title. Elyria Catholic rolled to a 62-44 win over Wynford (18-6).
Archbold (21-3) became almost automatic offensively in the second half. The Blue Streaks made nearly 60 percent of their shots (13 of 22) in the second half to outscore the Eagles (18-6) 40-24.
There was no major shakeup in the Blue Streaks' game plan at halftime even though they trailed 25-18. The difference in the second half was basically that Archbold shots found their way through the rim much more frequently.
“We were getting the shots [in the first half], we just weren't getting them to fall,'' Selgo said. “We had some good looks down there, but a couple of them rimmed out. We just knew we had to keep attacking and not let up because things could change and obviously they did.''
Archbold coach Doug Krauss credits his team for settling down and getting the job done after halftime for the victory.
“I'd like to say it's good coaching but I don't think that was it,'' Krauss said. “It was just kids making plays.
“It really starts at the defensive end. I think we feed off that because if you do the job on the defensive end it carries over and gets you into your offense.''
After scoring 10 points in the first half, Liberty-Benton's Adam Smith was limited to two points after intermission. The Eagles' 6-4 post player was also held to only three rebounds in the second half by the Blue Streaks after recording six in the first.
Smith, who finished with team highs of 12 points and nine rebounds, thinks Archbold's shooting after halftime created more trouble for the Eagles than the Blue Streaks' defensive effort.
“They started knocking down shots all over the place,'' Smith said.
David Moorhead contributed 10 points for Liberty-Benton.
The Blue Streaks opened the second half with a 10-0 run. Borcherdt tied the score at 25 with a 3-pointer with 6:38 left in the quarter. He put the Streaks ahead 28-25 when he dropped another 3-pointer with 5:34 remaining in the quarter. Archbold ended the period in front 38-36.
The score was tied at 40 when Borcherdt put Archbold ahead for good with a short jumper with just under six minutes left in the game. The Streaks made 8 of 10 foul shots down the stretch to secure the win. They were 11-of-15 for the game compared to 5-of-7 for the Eagles.