Despite averaging just 37 points in two homecourt Mid-State Conference games last week, the Boone Central Cardinals were able to earn a split in the contests with a superb defensive effort Friday.
Boone Central (6-9) dropped a 48-36 decision to Wayne Thursday in a make-up game previously postponed by bad weather, but rebounded Friday to clip Battle Creek 38-25 on Senior Night.
The Cardinals opened play in the annual Mid-State Conference Tournament vs. Pierce Tuesday night. BC will play a semi-final or consolation game Friday at Norfolk.
Boone Central opened its week Thursday vs. an 8-6 Wayne squad that came to Albion on a four-game losing skid – three of the losses to highly-ranked teams (Pius X, Hartington C.C., Norfolk Catholic).
The Blue Devils raced to a 21-16 lead in a high-scoring first quarter, then limited Boone Central to just 20 additional points in the final three periods to score a 48-36 victory.
“We felt we had a good start offensively against Wayne – we were able to hit some shots we weren’t able to get earlier in the year,” acknowledged Cardinal Coach Dan Zoucha. “However, our defensive effort was not what it needed to be in the first quarter.
“As the game progressed, we were able to play better defense, but allowed Wayne too many open looks from outside the arc, as they hit 8-of-16 three-point attempts.
“We played hard, as we have all year,” Zoucha said. “We just need to keep the attitude that we can play better and get better.”
Boone Central used another fast start offensively and coupled it with a dominant defensive performance – holding Battle Creek under double figures in every quarter – to score a 38-25 conference victory Friday.
“This was a great defensive effort from everyone who played in the game,” Zoucha praised. “While we may not have had the output offensively, the overall effort exhibited is what we have been striving for all season.
“This was a great win for our kids, especially the seniors on Senior Night. We will need this type of effort throughout the conference tournament this week.”
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