The Deerfield boys basketball team advanced to the WIAA Division 4 regional championship game but a cold-shooting night led to a 57-40 loss to Palmyra-Eagle Saturday. The Demons finished 15-10 in what was head coach Dave Borgrud's final season.

PALMYRA — An absolutely cold-shooting night led to the Deerfield boys basketball team digging itself a huge hole in Saturday’s WIAA Division 4 regional championship game at Palmyra-Eagle.

The Demons couldn’t dig themselves out and watched their Trailways South Conference rivals go on to win their first regional title in 41 years. The final score: 57-40.

“We weren’t hitting anything,” said Demons head coach Dave Borgrud. “We just couldn’t get it into the paint, they really packed it in on us.”

The fourth-seeded Demons (14-10) missed their first 13 shots from the field, making just two free throws in the first 13 minutes, and trailed the top-seeded and TSC champion Panthers 20-2.

The physical play of P-E’s big men, 6-foot-6 Danny Hammond and 6-4 Aiden Calderon, was hard to match. The Demons held Hammond to only six points as he got into foul trouble, but Calderon was another story as he went off for a game-high 31.

Calderon was a factor on both ends of the court. The 6-foot-4 power forward and team’s leading scorer averaging 21.8 ppg poured in a game-high 31, one point shy of his career high. He scored 14 of the Panthers’ final 17 points of the first half helping them build a 28-12 halftime advantage.

“He’s was just physically stronger than anyone else and just finished at the basket; he’s been working on it all season long and this is where it comes out,” said P-E head coach Duane Wilde. “He was outstanding, there’s no two-ways about it.”

Freshman Cal Fisher’s layup on a fastbreak with 4 minutes, 49 seconds left in the first half was Deerfield’s first field goal of the night.

In the second half five quick points by junior Jacob Hammond preceded another Calderon outburst, which included three-point plays on consecutive possessions as P-E’s lead was 37-15 with 10:11 remaining.

Deerfield (14-10) didn’t go away as it began to find its shot. Three-pointers by junior Makhai Navarro and senior Tyler Haak cut the deficit to 14, and after Haak’s layin with 5:09 to play the Demons were within 10.

“I’m very proud of the way they came back in the second half, they didn’t give up,” Borgrud said. “They won 10 of their last 12 games and I think came together, that’s how they’ll be remembered.”

But then came the play of the night. After making his first free throw junior Cameron Joyner missed his second, but Calderon was there to muscle the rebound away and put it back in while being fouled. He completed the and-1 and Palmyra-Eagle’s lead grew to 46-32 with 4:24 left, all but ending any hopes for Deerfield.

Haak and Fisher paced the Demons with 13 and 10 points, respectively.


Saturday’s loss marked the end of a storied coaching career by Borgrud. In 15 seasons he went 244-113 (.683).

Under Borgrud the program has never finished below fourth (that was in his very first season, they’ve been third or higher the resaid an emotional Borgrud, referring to the end of his coaching career. “It hit me the most when Cal came out, he’s my great-nephew, that I wouldn’t coach him anymore. I’ve had great kids, that’s what I’m going to miss the most.”


Deerfield 12 28 — 40

Palmyra-Eagle 28 29 — 57

Deerfield (fg ft-fta pts) — Navarro 1 0-0 3, Fisher 4 2-4 10, Klade 0 1-2 1, Haak 5 2-3 13, Nehring 2 0-2 5, Lasak 1 0-0 2, Gjermo 0 2-2 2. Totals — 14 9-17 40.

Palmyra-Eagle — Wilde 0 3-7 3, Joyner 3 3-6 10, D. Hammond 2 2-4 6, J. Hammond 3 0-0 7, Calderon 10 9-12 31, Carpenter 0 0-1 0. Totals — 18 17-30 57.

3-point goals — D 3 (Navarro 1, Haak 1, Nehring 1), PE 4 (Calderon 2, Joyner 1, J. Hammond 1). Total fouls — D 18, PE 16. Fouled out — Klade, Haak.

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