SIDNEY — Russia and Botkins met in a district semifinal for the second consecutive year and faced off for the sixth time in the last two seasons in a Division IV district semifinal on Monday at Sidney High School.
And for the sixth consecutive time, Russia won with a comfortable margin.
The Raiders earned their third consecutive district final berth by beating the Trojans 47-27. They will face either Xenia Legacy Christian or Ripley Union Lewis Huntington on Saturday at Troy High School.
All six of Russia’s win over Botkins have come by double digits, but Russia coach Paul Bremingan said the squad knew Monday wouldn’t be easy.
“Sixth time in two years, you don’t get a whole lot of sleep, that’s for sure,” Bremigan said. “They compete, and they can shoot it. I thought our kids did a really good job on them today, just getting out on shooters and putting pressure on the ball. That was good for us. I thought we rebounded really well, today, too.”
Cece Borchers scored nine of her 11 points in the first quarter to lead a 13-7 scoring edge. Five players scored in the second quarter to lead a 15-7 advantage, which pushed the lead to 28-14 at halftime.
The Raiders secured the win with an 11-7 edge in the third and 8-6 edge in the fourth.
Borchers scored 11 points while Roni Poling scored 10 and Kate Sherman and Reese Goubeaux each scored eight. Sherman (6-foot-2) and Poling (6-0) are both post players, while Borchers and Goubeaux are guards.
“It was a good team win,” Bremigan said. “Cece got a good start for us, and Reese hit a couple of shots. It was a good team win.”
Russia has won nine consecutive games since losing to Shelby County Athletic League rival Fort Loramie by 13 points on Jan. 12. The Raiders beat the Redskins 43-40 to close regular-season play on Feb. 2.
“We’re playing well, and we have to. The teams you’re playing this time of year are better, and you have to play better,” Bremigan said. “Whenever you’re playing teams that are playing better, you have to play better, or you’re going home.
The Raiders (21-4) will try for their first district championship since 2017 on Saturday. Legacy Christian and Ripley Union were scheduled to face off in a district semifinal on Tuesday at Monroe High School.
Russia has eight seniors on its roster, and Bremigan is hoping experience will pay off on Saturday.
“Either as volleyball players or softball players, these girls have been to regionals a lot,” Bremigan said. “They’re used to the pressure. We’ll just have to keep handling it.”
Botkins finishes 14-11 overall. The Trojans, which are under the guidance of first-year coach Tyler Carson, will lose two seniors to graduation in Lydia Dietz and Kennedi Doseck.
Malaine Maurer led Botkins with 12 points.