The Boone Central Cardinals turned a competitive defensive struggle into a rout with a torrid second half Friday at Crofton, defeating the Warriors 72-55 in the 2007-08 regular season finale.
Boone Central (16-3) used a 16-6 run midway through the second half, then scored 27 points in the final period to blow open a contest that was tied three minutes into the third quarter.
“Our kids were very good at Crofton,” praised Cardinal Coach Chuck Perone. “It was one of our best efforts of the year.
“We still have to improve in some areas, but we are playing very good basketball at this time.
“Our coaching staff is proud of the effort our kids have given.”
Crofton began with the effort you would expect from a 14-4 team playing a Senior Night game on its home floor.
Brent Dawson gave Boone Central an early 6-3 lead with a three-point play before the host Warriors went up 8-7 on five straight points by 6-foot-7 sophomore center Weston Foxhoven.
Kraig Flanagan’s steal and breakaway lay-up boosted the Cards back on top and his three-point field goal from the deep corner just prior to the first quarter buzzer gave BC a 14-10 edge.
Leading 16-14 in the second, BC got a jump hook by Andy Brugman, then a basket by Anthony Michael after he stole the ensuing Warrior inbounds pass.
Crofton got back within two on two more buckets by Foxhoven before BC finished the half with a 7-3 flourish. Flanagan nailed his second trey to start the run and capped a 27-21 halftime lead with an offensive rebound basket.
Brugman’s three-point play built a 32-26 Card lead early in the second half, but Crofton quickly battled back and had the home crowd roaring when Tanner Foxhoven’s three-point basket knotted the score at 32-32.
While employing a trapping zone defense to limit Foxhoven inside, Boone Central unleashed a long-range barrage on the offensive end to regain momentum.
After Michael and Flanagan scored two-point baskets, Ryan Shotkoski nailed a three-pointer on an inbounds play for a 39-34 Card lead. Shotkoski delivered another triple after a pair of Crofton free throws and Jordan Temme closed the quarter with a three-pointer for a 45-38 BC lead.The Cards were just getting warmed up.
Shotkoski drilled his third trey to begin the final stanza and Boone Central built a 52-38 lead after consecutive steals and buckets by Dawson and Michael.
Junior Kalvin Zoucha scored on an offensive rebound, then emphatically capped a 19-8 BC run with a soaring, breakaway slam dunk.
Following a Warrior timeout, Zoucha scored off a 2-on-1 wraparound assist from Flanagan and added a bucket on an assist by Dawson for a 62-46 Boone Central advantage.
Boone Central sank 60 percent of its two-point field goal attempts (23-of-38) and 30 percent beyond the arc (6-of-20). The Cards were 8-of-11 at the foul line. BC outrebounded the Warriors 28-27 and forced 21 turnovers while making 14 steals.
Shotkoski led four players in double figures with 15 points. Flanagan and Zoucha each tallied 14 and Michael netted 12. Flanagan added seven rebounds and six assists, while Michael made four steals in the contest.
B. Central 14 13 18 27 – 72
Crofton 10 11 17 17 – 55
BC scoring: Shotkoski 15, Flanagan 14, Zoucha 14, Michael 12, Dawson 8, Brugman 5, Temme 3, Kunzman 1. Rebound leaders: Flanagan 7, Michael 6, Dawson 6. Assist leaders: Flanagan 6, Dawson 3. Steal leaders: Michael 4, Dawson 3, Flanagan 2, Brugman 2, Zoucha 2.