Borden milks the big time: Brunswick guard nails 3 to send Railroaders to 1A semis

March 04, 2000|By MARK KELLER / Sports Editor

Borden milks the big time: Brunswick guard nails 3 to send Railroaders to 1A semis

BRUNSWICK, Md. - Zack Borden made a memory Saturday night that will last him a lifetime.

The Brunswick senior lived out a schoolboy's dream, hitting the game-winning 3-pointer with 1 minute, 28 seconds left to lead the Railroaders to a 54-49 victory over Oakland Mills in the Class 1A South championship game.

"Once the ball swung around, I knew I was going to shoot it," said Borden, who finished with nine points. "Had my feet set just like coach likes me to and I put it up. That's going to stick in my head."

But the shot may not even be what Borden remembers the most.

"I was lucky number 31 (Varnaz Nicholson) didn't get a piece of it," Borden said. "I close my eyes and can still see him flying at me. I just tried to focus on the rim, not on him or anything else."


The Railroaders (23-2) advance to the state semifinals at the University of Maryland's Cole Field House, where they will play Pikesville at 5 p.m. on Friday. Pikesville beat Rising Sun 75-51 to win the 1A North final Saturday.

"This is where we wanted to be," said Roscoe Dorsey, who finished with 11 points and eight rebounds. "But we still have two more games to go."

Borden hit 1 of 2 free throws with 2:33 left to stop an 8-0 Oakland Mills run and pull Brunswick within two, 49-47. Borden grabbed the second of two missed shots by the Scorpions at the other end, found his spot in the offense and waited for the ball to come his way.

"We have a team where the leading scorer (Dorsey) averages 11.2 points," said Brunswick coach Jim Sklencar. "Anybody could take that shot, we just try to take what's available. We're not the kind of team that has two or three guys to go to. We're kind of an unusual team."

The Railroaders turned up the defensive pressure and forced Nicholson into a bad shot, then Barnette found a wide open Dorsey under the basket for a layup and a 52-49 lead with 37 seconds left.

The Scorpions held for a final 3-pointer and the tie, but the shot was off the mark. Borden grabbed the rebound with five seconds left, saw Dorsey breaking the other way and hit him with an overhand pass. Dorsey ended the game with a two-handed slam just before the buzzer sounded.

Brunswick appeared set to cruise to the title, thanks to a 21-6 first quarter in which every bounce went the way of the Railroaders and the Oakland Mills (16-9) was stone cold from the field.

The Scorpions were 3 of 12 from the field in the period, and two of those baskets came on putbacks of their only two offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, the Railroaders hit 10 of 17 shots and ripped off a 13-0 run to get the sold-out home crowd on its feet and roaring with approval.

Sklencar knew it couldn't last.

"That's happened before and against good teams, like Walkersville," Sklencar said. "And Walkersville came back, and we expected Oakland Mills to come back. You can't play the way we played the first six minutes of the game the whole game. And we knew they weren't going to roll over."

The Scorpions turned to their big man, Cyril Chesson, to get them back into the game. Chesson scored 12 points in the second quarter - most coming on turnaround jumpers - to cut the deficit in half, 32-25, at the break.

"It's kind of hard to believe, it had to be a fluke," Borden said. "Teams just don't make it as far as they did and get down that big that early. But they fought us to get back in it."

A quick 8-2 burst by the Railroaders, with bookend 3-pointers by Kyle Barnette and Borden, pushed Brunswick back to a 12-point lead. But Brunswick went 7 1/2 minutes without a point, allowing the Scorpions to not only get back in the game but take the lead early in the fourth quarter.

"I knew that they were coming back, because that's Oakland Mills," Sklencar said. "They're tough kids and they're used to winning. But that's what makes this fun. That's why you play."

Brunswick 54, Oakland Mills 49


Pastor 5, Grund 5, Oser 3, Jones 12, Nicholson 10, Brooks 2, Chesson 12. Totals 20 3-5 49.


Borden 9, Barnette 10, Dorsey 11, McLane 2, Dykes 12, Shafer 8, Smith 2. Totals 24 1-4 54.

Oakland Mills 6 19 13 11 - 49

Brunswick 21 11 8 14 - 54

Three-point goals - Oakland Mills 6 (Pastor, Grund, Oster, Jones, Nicholson 2), Brunswick 5 (Borden 2, Barnette 2, Dorsey).

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