The Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals took it on the chin for the first time this season – twice – but fought back Saturday to finish the hectic pre-holiday slate with a strong performance.
Undefeated Class C2 Twin River used a dominant third quarter and free throw accuracy to knock off Boone Central/Newman Grove 65-62 Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Genoa.
The Cardinals led 35-28 at halftime, but struggled in the third period as Twin River rattled off an 18-6 run. Derek Gentrup scored 11 of his 17 points in a 21-point fourth quarter for BC/NG, but the Titans sank 11-of-14 free throws to secure the upset.
“Being prepared to take everyone’s best shot has been something we’ve spoken of on many occasions,” said Card Coach Dan Zoucha. “In our first four games, we were ready for those challenges. However, in this game, we were not as prepared as we should have been mentally and that falls back on the coach.
By the time Boone Central/Newman Grove found its offensive mojo Friday – scoring 26 of its 53 points in the fourth quarter – it was too late to avert a 66-53 Mid-State Conference loss to host Norfolk Catholic.
The Cardinals scored just 16 first-half points, then fell behind by as many as 20 by allowing Norfolk Catholic 21 third-period points.
“We needed the effort we exhibited in the fourth quarter throughout the game,” Zoucha noted. “We battled poor shooting, lack of intensity on defense and a lackluster effort on the glass in the first half.
Cardinal defense returned to the forefront Saturday at Newman Grove and, with it, a semblance of order. Boone Central/Newman Grove ended its brief two-game skid and improved to 5-2 by hammering West Holt 66-21.
The Cards never allowed West Holt more than six points in a quarter and built a 45-9 halftime bulge with a 29-point second period, spearheaded by Hedlund’s trio of 3-pointers and 13 points.
“Playing relaxed was our focus for the game and we did exactly that,” Zoucha stated. “Our overall effort was great from all the kids who played. We were able to push the ball up the floor and cause West Holt trouble with our pressure.
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