NEW MADISON — Russia’s new fast-paced offense is continuing to put up big scores, and junior guard Cece Borchers says it’s a more fun style than the players are used to.
“We’re pushing it up the floor and not letting the defense set up,” Borchers said. “We’re trying to beat the defense down the floor.”
The Raiders hit 60 for the fourth time in six games in a nonconference matchup against a shorthanded Tri-Village squad on Tuesday. The Patriots pulled within three points late in the third quarter, but Russia pulled away to a 60-48 victory.
Russia (5-1) hit 60 points six times in 26 games last year and three times the previous two seasons.
“We getting used to things and what we want to do,” Russia first-year coach Paul Bremigan said. “It was kind of a whirlwind there, coming out of volleyball and having six or eight practices, and bang, we’re playing.
“But we did a good job out of the gate, and now I’m starting to see things in the game where you can tell they’re starting to get it.”
Borchers led the squad with 18 points while junior forward Kate Sherman scored 17. Simone Puthoff added nine points and Reese Goubeaux added seven.
It was the third consecutive high-scoring contest since a 48-37 loss to rival Fort Loramie on Nov. 23. The Raiders beat Houston 69-38 on Nov. 30 and Fairlawn 66-28 on Saturday.
“We’re learning to stay clam in pressure situations,” Borchers said. “… We just have to stay calm and help our teammates. And having the help of our teammates is nice. Our teammates are just coming up to help the ball when they see someone’s in pressure.”
Tuesday’s game was a rematch of a district final matchup from earlier this year, which the Patriots won 52-43.
Tri-Village (3-2) played without two starters in 5-11 junior forward Morgan Hunt and 6-2 senior center Meghan Downing, who averaged a combined 26 points and 19 rebounds in the squad’s first four games.
The Raiders dominated in the post throughout the night — but they missed a boatload of close shots, especially in the first 12 minutes.
“I thought we did a really great job in the first quarter on the offensive glass, but we just couldn’t score,” Bremigan said. “That happens. We tell our kids that we have to play defense, because there’s going to be some nights when the ball isn’t going in, and we have to defend.”
And Russia defended in the second quarter.
After the Patriots scored the first five points and took a 16-10 lead by the end of the first, they managed five points in the second. Borchers scored seven and Sherman scored four in the quarter to help lead a 16-5 advantage that gave Russia a 26-21 halftime lead.
The Raiders kept the defensive pressure up early in the third quarter and pushed their lead to 14.
But Rylee Sagester and Delanee Gray hit 3s on consecutive possessions to quickly cut the gap to eight, and Kaitlin Robison later made a 3 to cut the gap to 39-36 in the final minute.
The three late 3s were among the 9-of-22 three-point attempts the squad made.
“They can shoot it. We knew that,” Bremigan said. “They made all the shots they usually do. But I’m real happy with our girls. They hung together. This isn’t an easy place to play. It’s loud and a good atmosphere. This was a good game for us.”
Sherman made a late basket to increase the lead to five points at the end of the third, and Russia’s zone defense contained the Patriots the rest of the way and forced several turnovers.
Sherman scored nine points in the fourth to help lead a 19-12 scoring advantage that clinched the victory.
“Down the stretch, I thought we did a good job in our zone,” Bremigan said. “I think that was a big deal for us. …I was proud of how Kate finished (the game).”
Only six players took the court on Tuesday for Tri-Village. Sagester led the team with 19 points while Gray scored 14. Robison scored eight and Torie Richards scored five. Those four players accounted for all the team’s points.
Tri-Village grabbed only four offensive rebounds in the contest and finished with 23 turnovers.