Like a locomotive gathering steam, the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals headed into the annual holiday break with a light shining brightly down the tunnel of the 2012-13 season.
Boone Central/Newman Grove, which opened the campaign 0-2, ran its winning streak since to six games by reeling off four straight victories in seven days Dec. 11-17. Included in that streak were a key Mid-State Conference win over Norfolk Catholic and a road victory at Minden Monday.
The Cardinals will next be in action Dec. 27 in the opening round of the 2012 Great Northeast Nebraska Shootout holiday tournament at Wayne State College.
BC/NG 51, T. River 39
Boone Central/Newman Grove tipped off its hectic week with a 51-39 decision over Twin River Dec. 11 at Newman Grove.
The Cardinals got off to a strong start and took a 17-10 first-quarter lead behind Tyler Hedlund’s seven points. Carter Johnson knocked down a pair of ‘three-balls’ in the second period as BC/NG took a 28-21 lead into intermission. The Cardinals clamped down defensively in the second half and an 8-of-11 performance at the free throw line helped secure the win.
BC/NG 49, N. Catholic 38
While Friday’s 49-38 victory over Mid-State rival Norfolk Catholic won’t necessarily erase the sting of last year’s district final loss to the Knights or the recent state football championship defeat, the outcome was big in regards to the 2012-13 conference season.
“Being a stronger conference team was one of the many things we spoke of coming into this game,” Zoucha noted. “We felt playing at home was going to help us control the tempo.”
In fact, the Cardinals were the more aggressive team through the first three quarters and controlled most aspects of play. Harassing the Knights defensively and riding the hot hands of Hedlund and Gentrup, BC/NG fashioned a 26-17 halftime lead, then turned back every Norfolk Catholic challenge in the latter portions of the contest.
BC/NG 62, W. Holt 28
After a sluggish start on the road Saturday night, Boone Central/Newman Grove exploded in the second half and overwhelmed West Holt 62-28 at Atkinson.
“As a coach, you sometimes worry about the emotional letdown from a big game the night before,” Zoucha acknowledged. “In the first half, we were not as sharp as we needed to be. While playing well on defense, we just did not execute as well as we needed in that half.
“The second half was a totally different half. We pushed the ball up the floor and converted opportunities. We switched up our defense, got more deflections and turnovers, and totally changed the momentum of the game.”
BC/NG 56, Minden 44
Despite the frantic pace of the past week, the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals had enough gas left in their tanks to keep the win streak intact and close out the pre-holiday portion of the schedule with a 56-44 victory over host Minden Monday.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News.