Another winnable opportunity against a high-caliber opponent slipped away early last week, but the Boone Central Cardinals bounced back to sweep a pair of Mid-State Conference weekend contests and improve to 6-7 in 2011-12.
Boone Central fought Class C1 #9 Hastings St. Cecelia on even terms for 30 minutes Tuesday, but couldn’t make the final push in an upset bid, falling 41-33 to the Bluehawks in Albion.
“This was another defensive battle for our team. The effort was outstanding and, as we progress with the season, we will need this type of effort on the defensive side,” said Cardinal Coach Dan Zoucha.
BC certainly made it difficult for the Bluehawks to score, which allowed the hosts to stay in contention throughout. The Cardinals held St. Cecelia to 22 first-half points and, with Kade Leetch coming off the bench to hit a second-period three-pointer and score five points, trailed just 22-19 at intermission.
Unfortunately, Boone Central couldn’t muster enough offense of its own. The Cards’ got only two three-point field goals – by Leetch and Alex Johnson – in the third period and trailed by six heading into the final stanza.
Tanner Mazour scored five points in the fourth and Leetch hit his third trey as BC closed to within three late, but St. Cecelia dropped 8-of-10 free throws to secure the victory.
Boone Central had no trouble returning to the winning track Friday against hapless Madison, rolling to a 73-27 victory in Albion.
The Cardinals used balanced scoring to take an 11-6 lead after one quarter, then 6-foot-6 junior center Beau Bremer fueled a 17-6 BC run with 12 second-period points.
BC continued the romp following intermission, outscoring Madison 45-15 in the second half.
Boone Central traveled to West Point Saturday and brought home a big 54-48 Mid-State victory over Guardian Angels Central Catholic.
The Cardinals used a strong start and torrid finish to notch an important conference victory.
“We had a good start and a good finish against Central Catholic,” Zoucha acknowledged. “We did a good job making some clutch baskets in the fourth quarter.”
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