Boone Central could not quite overcome a slow start against Twin River Tuesday, Dec. 16, then fell victim to a furious pace and finish by Norfolk Catholic Friday in losses that dropped the Cardinals’ early-season record to 1-4.
After scoring just 12 first-half points and falling behind by 15, Boone Central gamely rallied against visiting Twin River, but fell just short when a last-second shot kicked off the back of the rim.
Norfolk Catholic used its quickness and a frenetic pace to spark a 13-0 run late in the first period Friday and used an up-tempo game to score a 54-33 victory.
“Our players continue to work hard,” credited Boone Central Coach Dan Zoucha. “We still need to develop some consistency on offense.
“Defensively, we will have to work harder to challenge our opponents to shoot a lower percentage from the field,” he added. “When our shots are not dropping, our defensive intensity must rise that much more.”
Tuesday’s contest between Boone Central and Twin River in Albion was a tale of two halves.
In the first 16 minutes, Boone Central suffered from the proverbial “lid on the basket” as the Cards fell behind 27-12.
After intermission, sparked by full-court pressure defense and renewed aggressiveness and confidence, BC stormed back to outscore the Titans 35-22, only to fall a basket short when Kalvin Zoucha’s last-second three-point shot attempt from just across the half-court line bounced off the rim.
“We had to overcome a very slow first half of scoring,” Zoucha commented. “We had some good shots that did not fall.
“We also let Twin River convert on four of their offensive rebounds in that first half. On the other hand, we got 19 offensive rebounds, but were only able to convert a few to points. We need to do a better job in this phase of the game.
“The second half performance showed the desire and work ethic of our team,” Zoucha praised. “We are very proud of their overall effort to stage a comeback from such a large halftime deficit.
Boone Central and Norfolk Catholic both got off to quick starts Friday in Albion, but a blazing 13-0 run to end the first period propelled the Knights to a 54-33 Mid-State Conference victory.
“All indications at the beginning of the game pointed to a real dogfight,” said Zoucha. “That changed in about the last 2:30 of the first quarter.
“We allowed Norfolk Catholic to go on a big run and we were never able to recover from that.
“We had a very limited number of shots in this game. We settled for some shots that probably were not the best.”
The Cardinals held a 9-6 lead in the early going behind three points by Kevin Liss and baskets by Shotkoski, Jordan Hupp and Zoucha.
Catholic’s Jarren Heng then caught fire and ignited the spark for the Knights. Heng scored five of his seven first-period points during the 13-0 streak, then added a second three-point field goal and nine second-quarter points as the Knights built a 30-14 halftime advantage.
Using its quickness and a deep bench, Norfolk Catholic was able to keep the pace of the game quicker than Boone Central would have liked in the second half. BC had better offensive success following intermission, as Ryan Imus hit a pair of three-point shots and Dusty Dozler added one trey, but the Cards couldn’t match Catholic’s output.
Complete Details in Print Edition of Albion News.