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Published: Saturday, 2/12/2005

Borcherdts earn Streaks title share

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

DELTA - Dan Borcherdt's baseline jumper with 34.7 seconds left in overtime lifted Archbold to a 62-61 overtime victory over Delta last night.

But it was Borcherdt's younger brother, David, who led the Blue Streaks to their 15th straight victory and a share of the NWOAL title. David Borcherdt, a junior who started in place of the injured Josh Johnson, scored a game-high 24 points by making 6 of 8 3-pointers.

And several of the younger Borcherdt's 3-pointers were critical to the Blue Streaks' comeback. David Borcherdt hit a trio of treys as the Blue Streaks bounced back from a 12-point third-quarter deficit, and his 3-pointer with just five seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime.

"I'm so proud of him right now," Dan Borcherdt, who scored 22 points, said of his younger brother. "For him to step up like that was amazing. With the loss of Johnson we needed guys to step up, and tonight he was the guy."

Archbold improved to 17-1 overall and 7-1 in the NWOAL, tying Liberty Center for the league title. Delta saw a five-game winning streak end in dropping to 12-5 and 6-2.

The Panthers jumped out to a 14-9 lead as Clint Russell scored 10 of his team-high 20 points in that opening quarter. Delta extended the lead to 30-24 at the break, and five quick points by Ryan Shackelford jump-started a nine-point Panther run that pushed their lead to 41-29 with 2:50 to play in the third quarter.

But David Borcherdt brought the Blue Streaks back, hitting back-to-back 3s to stop the run and scoring 14 points after three periods.

"I just tried to give [Dan Borcherdt] a little help, relieve some of the pressure and hope that they would have to guard somebody else so he could get open," David Borcherdt said.

After Delta started the final quarter with a three-point play, Archbold scored eight unanswered points to cut the lead to four with 5:14 left. After the Panthers pushed the lead to six, Dan Borcherdt scored the next seven points, the last coming on a steal and layup that gave the Blue Streaks a 52-51 lead with

1:55 to play.

"I thought we played better defense consistently, we rebounded consistently, and they let us hang around with their missed free throws," said Archbold coach Doug Krauss to explain his team's comeback. "That gave us a little bit of an opening."

Delta missed all four of its free-throw attempts in the third quarter, made just 6 of 10 in the fourth and only 2 of 5 in overtime.

"It comes down to making free throws," said Delta coach Cory Sprow. "You've got to hit those in the third and fourth quarter when it counts, especially against great teams like Archbold."

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.

Still, Aaron Mahnke's free throw with 28.1 seconds left gave the Panthers a 55-52 lead. Dan Borcherdt missed a trey attempted from the left corner, but Archbold grabbed the rebound and David Borcherdt sank his game-tying 3-pointer.

"The play was intended for Dan, but I could see he couldn't get the ball so I ran toward the ball," David Borcherdt said. "It was a desperation three. It just happened to go in."

In overtime the lead changed hands three times before Mahnke's layup with 1:12 to play gave the Panthers a 61-60 lead. But that only set the stage for Dan Borcherdt's final basket, a left baseline jumper taken off the dribble with 34.7 seconds to play.

"We just cleared it out for him, and he's pretty good one-on-one," Krauss said. "You've got a senior guy who's the leading scorer in school history, why not give him an opportunity to win a ball game for you? I thought that was a pretty simple call."

While Dan Borcherdt finished with 22, he had only 10 through three periods as Shackelford and the rest of Delta defense forced the senior to take tough shots.

"We tried to move a few people on him, but Ryan had him most of the night," Sprow said. "We just wanted to stay in his face. We knew he would get his points; it was all the people around him that we couldn't let hurt us.

"Unfortunately, his brother knocked down some 3's."

Contact John Wagner at:

jwagner@theblade.com

or 419-724-6481.



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