A pair of tough league games in the span of 24 hours. Foes with accumulative records of 18-3. Contests eventually decided by six total points.
Life in the Mid-State Conference.
The Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals improved to 9-4 this past weekend and, hopefully, continued to identify their strengths and weaknesses with a split vs. O’Neill and Wayne.
The Cardinals will return to action Friday at Madison, then host Guardian Angels Central Catholic Saturday at Newman Grove.
O’Neill 48, BC/NG 45
The O’Neill Eagles nipped host Boone Central/Newman Grove 48-45 Friday at Albion in a game of contrasting teams – BC/NG with a decided size advantage, O’Neill countering with overall quickness and athleticism.
The Cardinals trailed 25-19 at halftime after suffering through a four-point second quarter, then tallied 15 points in the third period as 6-foot-7 center Beau Bremer poured in nine.
BC/NG took slim leads in the fourth quarter and the game was tied 41-41 before O’Neill’s Charlie Burtwistle arced in long back-to-back three-point field goals for a 47-41 Eagle lead in the final minutes. BC/NG used a turnover and missed one-and-one free throw opportunity by O’Neill to close the gap to 47-45 in the waning seconds, but came up empty in two final possessions.
BC/NG 46, Wayne 43
A seemingly tougher task yet awaited Boone Central/Newman Grove Saturday with a road trip to Wayne, which defeated the Cardinals in the recent holiday tournament and sported an 11-1 record.
BC/NG proved to be resilient and tough, bouncing back with a 46-43 victory on the strength of tenacous defense and clutch play in the fourth quarter.
With Jared Anderson scorching the nets for nine points, Wayne raced to a 16-10 first-period lead and held a 21-18 edge at halftime. The Cardinals kept it close in the third quarter as Hedlund and Pierce Koch sank three-point baskets, then rallied in the final stanza with numerous defensive stops and 12 points by Hedlund (including two more treys).
“Wayne is a team with many offensive weapons. We decided to try and change up our defensive looks as much as we could,” Zoucha noted. “As the game wore on, we made some great defensive plays.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News.