A pair of deciding points. A sweep. And a confidence boost for the Boone Central/Newman Grove Lady Cadinals.
BC/NG (6-8) followed up a hard-fought 43-42 road victory at Columbus Scotus Thursday with a thrilling 60-59 overtime win over visiting Ord Friday in Albion and gained some momentum for the upcoming final stretch of the 2014-15 season.
Thursday’s victory, in large part, can be chalked up to tenacity. Defensive tenacity, with BC/NG holding host Scotus to just 15 second-half points in its one-point win.
The first half did not look particularly promising for the Cardinals, who found themselves down 17-8 after allowing a trio of three-point baskets by Jessica Schaecher (2) and Anna Wickham in the first quarter. Kaity Stuhr poured in nine points in the second period, but BC/NG still trailed 27-21 at intermission.
“We talked at halftime about 15 of their 27 points coming from the three-point shot. We also adjusted how we defended their post players,” noted Cardinal Coach Andy Imus. “We had to adjust our press break, as their run-and-jump defense gave us some fits.”
The Cardinals heeded the instruction. While clamping down defensively, BC/NG rallied to take a 35-34 lead in the third quarter.
With less than a minute remaining in a back-and-forth final stanza, BC/NG found itself trailing by a point and was forced to foul. In a frenzied finish, Scotus missed the front end of a one-and-one, rebounded, then again missed the free throw. At the other end, Card senior Dana Pelster snagged a miss by Catherine Weeder and scored as time expired to lift BC/NG to the dramatic victory.
Fans who thought Thursday was exciting hadn’t seen anything yet.
Boone Central/Newman Grove and Ord engaged in an entertaining, fast-paced contest Friday in Albion, with the Cardinals needing an overtime period to snare another one-point nailbiter.
“It was a good win over an athletic Ord team,” Imus acknowledged.
Following a fairly normal first quarter, in which BC/NG took a 12-8 lead, the second period turned into a track meet. Ord outscored the Cardinals 23-19 despite eight points by Sadie Wallin and seven from Elissa Slizoski, and the teams went to the locker rooms knotted at 31.
Neither team could seperate in the second half, but BC/NG did take a three-point lead into the final minute. Morgan Alexander’s three-pointer tied it again with 55 seconds to play and the Cardinals had one final chance at regulation victory.
“We had to call a timeout at the 10-second mark,” Imus noted. “We discussed attacking the hoop and, if the seams were squeezed, looking for a kickout. We really wanted to get to the free throw line.
“Sadie missed an off-balance jumper and Dana’s putback was too strong.”
Baskets by Wallin and Pelster and a Stuhr free throw put BC/NG up by four in the overtime before Ord’s Delani Fahey sank a late three-point shot. The Cardinals turned the ball over on their ensuing possession, but then clamped down defensively and held on for the win.
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