Boone Central/Newman Grove’s 2013-14 basketball season has somewhat resembled an amusement park ride – up and down, up and down.
The Cardinals continued a campaign of highs and lows this past week, defeating Stanton in Newman Grove Friday before dropping a Mid-State Conference clash to Guardian Angels C.C. Saturday at West Point.
Coming off a second frustrating loss to Wayne, Boone Central/Newman Grove (9-5) burst from the gates Friday and rolled to a 40-24 halftime lead in a 69-58 victory over the Stanton Mustangs.
Derek Gentrup sparked the Card start, sinking seven free throws and scoring nine points as BC/NG took a 16-12 first-period lead. Pierce Koch sank a 3-pointer and tallied seven points as the Cardinals doubled Stanton’s output in the second quarter, 24-12.
“We got off to a very quick start. We were able to use our press effectively and we played a very uptempo game, one that we know we can play,” commented BC/NG Coach Dan Zoucha. “We felt we were able to wear Stanton down and get to their bench as the game went along.”
West Point has traditionally been a tough place to garner victories in the Mid-State Conference. That proved to be the case again for Boone Central/Newman Grove Saturday, as host Guardian Angels C.C. nipped the Cardinals 61-59.
“Putting two games together in a row has been difficult to do this season,” Zoucha noted. “Playing back-to-back truly tests your will and how well you execute.”
As has been the case on a number of occasions this season, BC/NG struggled early in Saturday’s contest. The Cardinals scored just four points in the first quarter, then allowed Guardian Angels 22 second-period points to trail 30-21 at intermission.
“We got off to a poor start at G.A.C.C. This seems like a broken record and we have addressed this many times this season,” Zoucha said. “We were able to get some very good looks in the first quarter, but could not get the ball to drop. The second was better offensively, but we were not at our best defensively.
“We had a great shot to tie the game late and two attempts to go on top late, but it just did not work out,” Zoucha said. “Unfortunately, in games such as these, one tends to look at the last attempts and puts a lot of emphasis on what could have been. In reality, there were many chances for us to go up 8-10 points early on and we did not get that done.”
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