It was a challenging week for the Boone Central/Newman Grove boys basketball team and, with a thrilling come-from-behind overtime victory over Mid-State Conference rival Pierce Friday night, one the Cardinals passed with flying colors.
BC/NG opened with a road test at Central City and gave a steady, consistent effort in a 67-44 victory. Scott Ketteler netted seven points as the Cardinals opened a 17-11 first-period lead and Keaton Henry scored six in quarter two as the advantage grew to 33-18. Spreading the wealth, Zac Glidden poured in eight points in the third, with BC/NG notching a 20-point period.
“Central City is an improving team,” noted Card Coach Dan Zoucha. “One of the things we stressed in pre-game preparation was to execute better on both ends of the floor. We felt we did this as the game progressed.”
Friday brought a familiar foe and a familiar type of contest to Albion.
Mid-State rival Pierce played its usual tenacious, aggressive defense and used sizzling three-point shooting to lead for a good portion of the contest, but it was the Cardinals pulling out a 60-54 overtime decision with their own pressure defense and three-point daggers.
It also helped that the Bluejays hiccuped at the free throw line down the stretch. Leading by eight with just over four minutes to play, Pierce went to a stall game, but had the strategy backfire when they missed the front ends of three straight one-and-one opportunities.
Boone Central/Newman Grove used the chance to rally and tied the score on Scott Ketteler’s three-pointer with 32 seconds remaining. The Cards then clamped down defensively and Pierce could muster only a desperation shot in the final second.
Travis Kennedy sank a three-pointer early in the overtime period and netted seven points overall as BC/NG outscored the Jays 12-6.
“Our team kept battling and finding a way to get back in the game. This group of guys really relied on each other to get this win,” Zoucha said. “We are searching for our identity as a team and, with this game, believe that we are a team that will never quit and will show a lot of resiliency.”
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