Any way you slice it, 2015-16 was a long, tough season for a young, inexperienced Boone Central/Newman Grove girls basketball team.
The Lady Cardinals persevered through the rocky times, however, and gained some impetus and momentum for their off-season work by winning two of their final three contests.
After defeating Ainsworth in the ‘15-16 regular season finale, Boone Central/Newman Grove (4-18) shocked #1 seed Grand Island Central Catholic 49-47 in the first round of the C1-9 Sub-District tournament Feb. 16 at Northwest High School.
The Lady Cards also gave Central City some nervous moments in the C1-9 final Thursday before seeing their campaign close with a 54-39 loss to the Bison.
Following that final loss, BC/NG Coach Amy Imus lauded his squad’s efforts.
“I’m really proud of the girls. To come in as the four seed, they could have folded very easily,” Imus told reporters. “They’re really a group of coachable kids, and we’ve had three great seniors who helped us establish a culture we’ll keep building on.”
BC/NG 49, GICC 47
Boone Central/Newman Grove was a decided underdog entering the C1-9 Sub-District, but proved nothing is decided on paper with a first-round upset of top-seeded Grand Island Central Catholic.
The Crusaders, feeling they had an advantage on BC/NG in the paint, worked for usually high-percentage inside shots most of the contest. The problem with that plan was, with the Cardinals contesting, GICC failed to make many of them.
“GICC had a good game plan to establish their post play with Woods and I thought Carsen (Grape) and Jenna (Kramer) did a good job of contesting most of their shots,” Imus noted. “Ashlynn (Baker) did a good job defensively, as she worked against their main ball handler most of the game.
“I am proud of the girls for finding a way to win,” Imus acknowledged.
Central City 54, BC/NG 39
A fast start, a late charge, but not enough in between.
That was the story for Boone Central/Newman Grove in Thursday’s C1-9 final, as #2 seed Central City built leads as large as 18 points and survived one final scare to post a 54-39 victory.
BC/NG jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the game and still held the edge midway through the first period before Central City used a barrage of three-point field goals to assert command.
The Bison hit a trio of threes to take a 19-10 lead by the end of the first and added another in the second. The long-range bombing also opened up the inside game for Central City’s two tall post players, who combined for 10 second-quarter points and helped the Bison to a 32-19 halftime advantage.
“We had a decent start and took a quick lead – the girls were ready to play,” Imus commented. “Central City has a strong post player and we decided to front her, as they try to get her a touch on almost every possession.
“Central City did a good job of getting an inside-out game going, as they hit three three’s in the first quarter. Good teams hit those shots, and that’s what they did.”
BC/NG put more pressure on the Bison defensively after halftime and limited Central City’s production, but had trouble scoring itself until late in the period.
Reigle’s three-pointer gave the Cards some life and they opened the fourth with a three by Kramer and another Kramer basket off an assist from Hedlund, cutting the Bison lead to 38-31.
Maddie Moser ended the Cardinal run with a basket and, with time becoming an issue, BC/NG was forced to send Central City to the foul line. The Bison took it from there, sinking 12-of-15 free throws in the final period.
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