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Lady Cards win holiday title

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The holidays weren’t exactly a time to kick back and enjoy cookies for the Boone Central/Newman Grove girls basketball team.
The Lady Cardinals took a focus and purpose on their trip west Dec. 29-30 and carted home the championship of the Broken Bow Indians Hoops Holiday Tournament with victories over Bennington and Broken Bow.
“We really put an emphasis on focusing on basketball during the holiday tournament. Overall, I am proud of the effort and focus our girls brought that resulted in winning the tournament,” said Cardinal Coach Andy Imus. “We see flashes of great team play and will continue to stress stringing it together as we move into the second half of our season.”
BC/NG 59, Bennington 40
Boone Central/Newman Grove opened the four-team holiday tourney by throttling Bennington 59-40. The Cardinals used a 19-5 blitz in the second period to take a 35-17 halftime lead.
“We were ready from the tip off against Bennington and played well at times,” Imus commented. “We stressed being a more consistent team, as we did some very good and then would have some miscues that were unacceptable.
“We didn’t communicate well, at times, on defense and allowed Bennington some uncontested shots. We didn’t box out at all times and didn’t do a good job closing out at times.
“We did some very good things on the offensive end that allowed numerous girls to score,” he noted. “They shared the ball well and took advantage of the opportunities Bennington gave us – mainly, their lack of post defense.
“Overall, I was pleased with the effort the girls gave on both ends of the floor.”
BC/NG 45, Broken Bow 22
Broken Bow may have had the home court advantage in the tourney title game Friday, but it was Boone Central/Newman Grove that dominated play in a 45-22 Cardinal victory. BC/NG burst to a 20-3 lead and allowed the Indians to score double figures in just one quarter.
Lauren Hedlund scored six points during BC/NG’s first-period run, Tessa Hedlund and Keiley Tisthammer hit 3-point field goals and Kramer went 4-for-4 at the foul line. Lauren Hedlund added four more points in period two, as the Cardinals built a 32-13 halftime bulge.
“We stressed getting a good start and playing with a sense of urgency, and our 20-3 first-quarter score was indicative of our girls being ready to play,” Imus said. “We probably fell victim to ‘scoreboard watching,’ as our second and third quarters lacked the urgency we displayed in the first.
“Our press did some good things and caused some turnovers that led to points. Again, we need to continue to improve our defensive communication, so it happens all the time.
“I was proud of the effort the girls brought on the defensive end, as they did a good job with on ball pressure for the most part, playing the passing lanes well,” Imus praised. “Our defensive pressure was an improvement from previous games, and now, something we need to see on a consistent basis.”

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