NAMPA – Borah beat Madison at its own game in Saturday’s 5A boys basketball state championship game on Saturday night, stifling the Bobcat offense from the opening tip and pulling away in the second half on the way to a 62-50 victory at the Ford Idaho Center.
Madison, which entered the state tournament leading 5A teams in scoring defense at 44.4 points, couldn’t contain the more aggressive Lions, who finished the first quarter with a 9-0 run and didn’t let up. Borah got to loose balls, grabbed offensive rebounds and had the quicker hands in passing lanes.
“I wrote it on the board,” Madison coach Travis Schwab said. “The best defensive team will win this championship and we were not the best defensive team tonight.”
The Bobcats (25-4) had an efficient first half offensively, shooting 59 percent, but the Lions forced eight turnovers that led to 11 points. Borah also controlled the offensive rebounds on the way to a 29-23 lead at the half.
Borah (24-3), which last won state titles in 2012 and 2013, had little trouble with the Bobcats, who entered Saturday having won 15 of their last 16 games. With the win, Borah claimed its 12th state title, the most by an Idaho high school boys basketball program.
Borah led by as many as 17 in the second half, but Madison did make a run in the closing minutes to pull within 54-49 on a 3-pointer by Spencer Hathaway with 2:13 left. But that was as close as Madison would get.
“They came out with the intensity we normally do on the defensive end and it showed,” Schwab added about trying to overcome the slow start. “They came out and punched us in the mouth a little bit.”
Madison rallied to beat Borah 53-51 back on Nov. 30, but found no such spark on Saturday.
Madison, which returned the core of last year’s team that won the 5A consolation game, hasn’t been known for its offensive prowess, but had dominated the pace of games with its defense. Borah’s Ellis Magnuson scored 22 points. Austin Bolt grabbed 15 rebounds.
Hathaway finished with 22 points and five rebounds for the Bobcats.