It was another hectic week of action against Mid-State Conference foes for the Boone Central/Newman Grove Lady Cardinals, including back-to-back contests against the same opponent Friday and Saturday.
Following a loss at Norfolk Catholic Thursday, BC/NG hosted Battle Creek Friday at Newman Grove and secured its second victory of the season. In a bit of a strange twist, however, the Lady Cards then faced a trip to Battle Creek Saturday to face the Bravettes again in a Mid-State Conference matchup of #8/#9 seeds.
Unfortunately for BC/NG (2-15), the turnaround included a turn in results, as Battle Creek won the rematch to advance in the Mid-State bracket.
N. Catholic 60, BC/NG 29
Boone Central/Newman Grove traveled to Norfolk Thursday, where a sluggish start snowballed into a 60-29 loss to Norfolk Catholic.
The host Lady Knights raced to a 17-7 lead in the game and then used an 18-6 run to open a 35-13 halftime lead.
“We had another slow start and allowed easy baskets on the defensive end,” said Card Coach Andy Imus. “Our defensive stance was not good, our help side did not rotate, and it felt like we were always a step slower on each end of the floor.”
BC/NG 42, B. Creek 38
The Lady Cardinals seemed to find that ‘aggressor’ attitude Imus was seeking Friday and rode a strong finish to a 42-38 victory over Battle Creek.
Although a 9-6 first-quarter lead turned into a 32-25 deficit entering the final period, BC/NG turned in a spirited 17-6 run in the fourth to claim its second win.
“We were down 19-16 at halftime, as the girls could not get their shots to fall. We shot 3-of-8 on free throws, so we left some points out there,” Imus noted. “The second half, we outscored Battle Creek 26-19 with a strong fourth quarter. We switched to a zone press and zone defense, which led to being the aggressor, and it paid off.
“We closed out the fourth quarter hitting 6-of-7 free throws, which gave us great momentum. We had 12 offensive rebounds, which resulted in 10 points off second chances, and we shared the ball well. We had much better flow and rhythm, which got us many open looks.”
B. Creek 61, BC/NG 38
Friday’s success made Saturday’s performance in a 61-38 loss to the same team of Bravettes even tougher to swallow for Boone Central/Newman Grove.
Battle Creek jumped on the Lady Cards from the opening tip, taking a 20-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. BC/NG could never really cut into that lead and were outscored in each quarter.
“This was a disappointing game to say the least,” rued Imus. “Our girls knew we had to come out ready to play and a 20-8 first-quarter deficit proved too much to overcome.
“We had 18 first-half turnovers and 29 for the game, which led to transition points or free throws for Battle Creek. We had just 18 the night before. Battle Creek upped its defensive pressure and our girls could not handle it. We did not play with confidence and, frankly, looked like we were just trying to survive at times.
“These back-to-back games really signify our season of inconsistency,” Imus concluded. “We saw a 27-point swing in less than 24 hours. We will continue to improve on the details of the game as we near districts.”
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