Score one for the defense.
Most times, when a team scores 31 points in a high school basketball game, it won’t be rejoicing over a victory.
However, the Boone Central Lady Cardinals, on the strength of a stifling defensive performance, were indeed celebrating a key conference road triumph after nipping rival Norfolk Catholic 31-30 Thursday.
Boone Central followed with a 59-43 win over visiting Battle Creek Friday in Albion and took a 14-1 record and #4 state ranking in Class C1 into this week’s Mid-State Conference Tournament.
Fans expected Thursday’s contest at Norfolk Catholic to be a dandy, but maybe not in the fashion it played out.
“The famous sports cliche is that defense wins championships and it won us a very important basketball game,” commented Boone Central Coach Mike Kennedy. “We emphasized all week in practice to play defense without fouling and to stop dribble penetration.
“Our kids really took it to heart and played a super game on that end of the court.”
It’s always nice to have depth.
But it’s especially important when playing the second game on back-to-back nights following a grueling effort on the front end.
Boone Central used its deep bench – 13 players seeing between three and 24 minutes of action and 12 scoring points – to defeat visiting Battle Creek 59-43 Friday.
“This was a great team effort – we really needed to have our depth be an advantage since both teams played a tough game the night before,” said Kennedy. “All 14 of our varsity girls played with energy and enthusiasm, which allowed us to build a lead and hold off Battle Creek when they made a run in the fourth quarter.”
After a slow start by both teams, the Cardinals built a 20-9 halftime lead as Cara Struebing (5) and Sara Wells (4) combined for nine second-quarter points in the paint.
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