In a game featuring ebbs and flows, spurts and runs, Boone Central/Newman Grove made the final dash Friday to wrest the C1-8 Sub-District title from Mid-State Conference rival Norfolk Catholic, 52-46.
BC/NG proved cool and lethal in the clutch, putting together a 13-4 finishing run to overcome a three-point deficit midway through the fourth quarter.
It was the final swing in a wild – and wildly entertaining – game that saw the Cardinals often playing from behind.
“Momentum is always such an interesting thing in athletics,” said BC/NG Coach Dan Zoucha. “If a team can withstand the momentum shift when it goes against you, you usually have a chance at the end.
“We got off to a very good start. Overall, it was not a bad first quarter, but we got a little excited in the last few possessions and turned the ball over more than usual.
“Norfolk Catholic got on a run in the middle of the first and through the middle of the second. We were able to answer and take a halftime lead. We saw the same happen in the fourth quarter, but our players responded, made some crucial steals, got after loose balls and hit their foul shots in the end.”
The victory was a justified reward for the Cardinals, according to Zoucha.
Boone Central/Newman Grove had reached the C1-8 final with a first-round 65-48 victory over Battle Creek.
The Cardinals overcame a slow start to dominate the middle periods. Trailing 17-16 at the end of the first quarter, BC/NG used a 19-9 burst to lead 35-26 at halftime, then broke away from the Braves with a 20-9 run in the third period.
“Battle Creek is a team that had been improving greatly the past few weeks. They have two young guards who are offensive threats,” Zoucha commented. “We knew we would have a definite size advantage inside and that was where we wanted to get the ball. After getting the ball inside, that really opened up our outside shooting.
“Our play in the second and third quarters was quite good. We were able to press and push the ball up the floor. We rebounded well, played good defense and got the ball into each other’s hands nicely.
“Those are all the things you hope you can do.”
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