Big Give
Wells Hallmark
Sports

TIME OUT by Joe Flanagan

Lady Cards prepared to fly

First of all, about that Global Warming stuff? Way overated.
We did find one thing that could slow down the undefeated Boone Central girls basketball team, at least momentarily, last week – ‘Ol Man Winter.
The Lady Cardinals unblemished record is intact and they are still ranked #3 in Class C1 by the Omaha World-Herald, so the effects of last week’s postponements weren’t tangible in that regard.
You just hope the intangibles of a lengthy layoff – two holiday tournament games played in the space of 21 days – don’t become a major issue this week. Coaches always fear potential problems with conditioning, rustiness and momentum in these situations.
Boone Central was finally back in action last night in a make-up contest at O’Neill and hosts Madison Friday. Those games should prepare the Cards for a major Mid-State test Saturday at West Point Central Catholic.
One positive is that the Cardinals’ strengths – depth, hustle and suffocating defense – aren’t areas as adversely affected by inactivity as, say, shooting and offensive cohesion and continuity.
Boone Central may be a little ragged this week, but then, the Cards’ style – throwing waves of players at opponents with frenetic full-court energy – always appears a bit chaotic.
This has been a heady start for a team that returned just one starter from its historic 2008-09 season. There were certainly skeptics less than confident the Cards could follow a 21-3 campaign, district championship and state tourney trip without missing a beat.
So far, so good.
Of course, Coach Mike Kennedy and the Cardinals will be the first to say the most important part of the season, and the toughest challenges, are still ahead.
Boone Central has two key triumphs to this point, opening the season with a victory over 8-3 Cedar Catholic (a team the Cards faced in the Mid-State Tournament championship game a year ago) and a win over West Holt (a squad that ambushed BC in Atkinson last season). However, those are Class C2 opponents and the combined record of Boone Central’s other six foes, all C1 schools, is just 20-32 to date.
So, yes, there is still plenty for the Cardinals to prove in 2010.
The second half of the season provides the opportunity for Boone Central to build on its successful start and fully prepare for a very favorable sub-district/district set-up.
Saturday’s contest at West Point will provide a good barometer for the Lady Cards to measure their performance, strengths and weaknesses. Central Catholic has a storied Class C program, is off to a 7-1 start and is ranked #3 in Class C2.
Boone Central became the Queens of the Mid-State for the first time last season and you know Central Catholic would like nothing better than to snatch that crown back.
Boone Central also has games the next two weeks against Scotus, likely its top sub-district challenger, and perennial nemesis Norfolk Catholic. All leading to the Mid-State Tournament, which figures to be another donnybrook this year.
It’s been a great start. The mid-season breather – longer than expected – is over. Now, the real fun beings.
A deep, talented, confident Boone Central team is ready for the challenge.