The Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals took one on the chin for a second straight game at Twin River this past Tuesday, but bounced back to defeat Mid-State Conference rival Norfolk Catholic Friday.
Twin River and the Cards battled gamely for four quarters Dec. 15, with the Titans securing a hardfought 68-65 decision by outscoring BC/NG 26-20 in the final period.
“We played with good effort, but lacked execution finishing defensive possessions and securing loose balls,” noted Card Coach Justin Harris. “Twin River has a solid team and made its last eight free throws at the end. We had a shot at the buzzer to tie, but it didn’t fall.
“We’re going to learn from the loss and value the ball a little more going forward. Scott (Ketteler) had a great game. Cody Nelson really provided a spark in the third quarter. Cody is someone we expect to continue to improve with more varsity experience.”
Although Norfolk Catholic is off to an uncharacteristic 1-6 start in 2015-16, you can throw records out the window when the Knights and Cardinals meet. Every game of this rivalry is a big game.
Boone Central/Newman Grove (4-2) was also coming off a pair of losses after opening 3-0 and Coach Justin Harris felt his charges needed a victory to “start feeling good about themselves again.”
BC/NG got just that, using a key 8-0 run early in the fourth quarter to spark a 57-45 victory.
Boone Central/Newman Grove forged a slim 24-22 halftime lead over the Knights and held a 42-39 edge early in the final stanza when Kyle Kramer began the decisive run with a 3-point field goal. Scott Ketteler capped the brief blitz with a layup to give the Cardinals a 50-39 lead with 2:32 to play.
“We struggled shooting in the first half, but bounced back in the second half with some key three-pointers,” Harris said. “Scott had another great all-around game, and we continue to share the ball well.
“Norfolk Catholic battled hard and played better than they had recently. We will have to improve our zone offense in the games ahead, but we had some great possessions with it too.”
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