By Mike McGraw
These are heady times in the small, Southern Indiana town of Borden. The Braves are the defending Class A state champions in boys basketball and ranked second in the polls this season. The cross country team has had great success, as has the volleyball squad.
Amidst all that, though, it is never lost that the sustained success at Borden rests in girls basketball.
The Braves have won 10 girls sectionals over the years, two in the past three seasons. Coach Terry Rademacher has won 199 games in 15 1/2 seasons at the helm. And Borden is flying high again this season, standing 10-1 overall and a tidy 3-0 in the Southern Conference.
Is there a key to this great success? You bet there is. And the Braves coach sums it up in one sentence.
“We do whatever it takes,” Rademacher said.
Now, you may think that assessment a little trite. But in the case of these Braves, nothing could be further from the truth. They really mean it, in every sense of the word.
When Rademacher talks about the personality of his team, the concept immediately surfaces.
“We have a very unselfish group of players,” he said. “They are very intelligent about basketball. They can make adjustments, and they do whatever it takes on any given night.”
What it has taken on most nights for the Braves is tremendous defense. Borden is allowing just 35.2 points a game to opponents; the highest total they have surrendered all season is a paltry 49 in a 10-point win versus Silver Creek.
Ask Rademacher to describe that defense and the concept comes through again.
“We do a tremendous amount of scouting, and we adjust our defense on any given night to take away the opponent’s strength,” he said. “We play half-court man, we press man-to-man, we press zone, we may even play half-court zone.
“We just do whatever it takes on that given night.”
One thing it always takes is talent, and the Braves have plenty of that. The main offensive weapon is 5’8” sophomore forward Natalie Ruedinger. She is averaging nearly 18 points a game this season after spending her freshman campaign as the sixth man for the Braves.
Ruedinger is by no means the only scoring threat. Borden is led by three seniors who all are in their fourth year of varsity ball. They are 5’9” forward Abby Ellis, 5’9” center Carson Casey, and 5’6” guard Shelby Kirchgessner.
All three average roughly 10 points a game, and that leads to a whole bunch of scoring balance.
Add to that point production some experience from the bench in the form of 5’3” senior sixth man Sarah Hurst as well as the floor presence of 5’4” junior starting guard Kristen Nestor, and you have a solid package from top to bottom.
We asked the coach about goals for this team. He put a quick end to that discussion.
“We don’t have stated goals in terms of wins and losses or tournament success,” Rademacher said. “We try to play hard every day, get better every day, play smart, and play for each other.
“If we do those four things, we will win a lot of ballgames.”
To say the Braves have caught the fancy of the town would be a huge understatement. Borden – by far the smallest school in this week’s list of nominees – generated more than 2,200 votes in besting Hammond Noll by a little more than 100. Rademacher is quick to point out that community support is a big part of his squad’s success.
“The folks around here are intelligent basketball fans, and they support this team overwhelmingly,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for more.”
Congratulations to the Borden Braves, this week’s Hoosier Authority “Team of the Week”!
The Borden 2013-14 girls basketball roster:
#10 Abby Ellis G/F 5-9 12
#12 Taylor Streander G 5-5 9
#14 Kristen Nestor G 5-4 11
#20 Sarah Hurst G 5-3 12
#21 Alexis Ohlmann F 5-5 9
#22 Paige Schindler G/F 5-6 9
#23 Shelby Kirchgessner G 5-6 12
#24 Natalie Ruedinger F 5-8 10
#30 Carson Casey F/C 5-9 12
#34 Riley Schindler G/F 5-7 9
#42 Cassy Goodridge F 5-7 10
#44 Kaelan Harmes C 5-9 10
Varsity Coach: Terry Rademacher
JV Coach: Angie Keith
Manager: Niko Frascella
Video: Sam Warth