Any two-point loss in basketball is tough.
But working hard for 32 minutes, then for two more overtime periods, only to fall barely short of victory, hurts just a bit more.
Such was the case Tuesday, Feb. 7, as the Boone Central Cardinals saw several late opportunities for their 11th win of the season slip away in a 69-67 double-overtime loss to visiting Doniphan-Trumbull (15-7).
Although a game-winning shot by Jordan Slough was the final dagger, it was a 32-point performance by Doniphan-Trumbull center Garrett Bunde that burned the host Cards.
The hefty 6-foot-3 senior had nearly half of D-T’s point total, converting 13 shots from the floor, adding 6-of-8 free throws and drawing the fifth fouls on Cardinals Beau Bremer and Brett Temme in the late stages of the contest. Bunde scored eight of the visitors’ 12 points in the first OT period and added his final bucket during the second overtime.
“This was a back-and-forth game. We had difficulty stopping their inside play,” acknowledged Boone Central Coach Dan Zoucha. “We tried a couple of different defenses, but a lack of communication on some possessions hindered our effectiveness.
“We did continue to battle. We had a chance at the end of regulation, but could not get the shot we wanted. We also had to battle foul trouble and this made us less effective late when we needed to be.”
Both teams had final opportunities for victory near the end of the fourth quarter, but Tanner Mazour’s jump shot was blocked by Creighton Buhr and Doniphan-Trumbull’s Grady Koch missed two free throws after being fouled in the waning seconds.
In the initial overtime session, Kade Leetch blew past defenders on a drive from the right wing to boost BC back on top 60-58, but Bunde again scored from point-blank range to force a second overtime. Nearing the end of the second OT, with the teams tied at 67, Slough drove to the center of the lane and pulled up for a 10-foot jumper that silenced the hometown crowd. Boone Central could get off only a half-court desperation shot in the final second and the visiting Cardinals were able to celebrate a dramatic victory.
“The foul line once again was really a problem, as we finished 19-of-34,” Zoucha noted after the contest. “One of our goals has been to get to the foul line – we have to be able to get the points once we get there. We just struggled.
“As coaches, we always tell our players to play hard and play with the level-headed approach it takes to compete in sports. There were a lot of emotions that played out in our last home game and we were very proud of the effort and composure our players showed.
“We just came up a little short.”
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