The 2016-17 basketball season is in its earliest stage, but the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals are already proving they will be a factor in the Class C1 ranks.
Boone Central/Newman Grove improved to 4-0 this past week with hard-earned victories over two solid opponents.
The Cardinals traveled to Central City Thursday and used a 17-8 run in the third period to key a 57-45 win over the host Bison. BC/NG maintained a 26-22 edge at halftime, but could not gain separation until the spurt following intermission.
“Central City is a solid team that continues to improve,” noted Cardinal Coach Justin Harris. “We did an excellent job of attacking and finding open guys in the second half.”
Although BC/NG shot just 40 percent from the field, they Cards held Central City to just 28 percent field goal accuracy. BC/NG was 21-of-52 from the field, 4-of-11 from 3-point range and 11-of-16 at the foul line while outrebounding the Bison 42-33.
When Boone Central/Newman Grove and Pierce meet, fans know they will be treated to an intense, physical battle, with claws sharpened and feathers ruffled.
Friday’s Mid-State Conference tilt in Albion was no exception, as host Boone Central/Newman Grove shook off a slow start and imposed its will on the Bluejays in the second half of a 52-45 victory.
Pierce, sparked by red hot 3-point shooting, burst to a 21-13 first-quarter lead and, while slowed in the second period, held a 31-24 halftime advantage. The Cardinals trimmed the deficit to three by the end of the third quarter, then stymied Pierce in the final stanza with their trapping, harrassing defensive pressure and finished on a 15-5 run.
“After a terrible start, the kids started to make plays. We gave up almost more points in the first quarter than in the other three (quarters) combined,” Harris commented. “I thought when we trapped them, it was successful and led to good things.
“Pierce is a tough team that is well-coached.”
BC/NG’s defensive fury eventually wore down the Bluejays who, after their sizzling start, finished just 16-of-46 from the field (35%) and 7-of-22 from behind the arc (32%). The Cardinals shot just 31 percent from the floor, but did an excellent job reaching the foul line and converting (16-of-20). BC/NG won the rebound battle (35-32) and forced 17 Pierce turnovers, while committing only 12.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News