Fans shouldn’t have been complaining about the price of admission Friday night, getting more than their money’s worth as host Boone Central/Newman Grove and Ord engaged in a pair of basketball nailbiters in Albion.
The Boone Central/Newman Grove Lady Cardinals got the excitement started, nipping Class C1 #7 Ord 49-48 on Bailey Reigle’s put back shot in the final seconds.
The Cardinals had trouble getting untracked offensively and trailed 25-15 in the second quarter. BC/NG’s effort never wavered, however, and the hosts fought back with full court pressure defense and some strong offensive play in the paint following intermission.
“We did a good job getting to the free throw line, and our press caused them some fits in the second half,” noted Cardinal Coach Andy Imus. “We challenged the girls at halftime to dominate the post area offensively, as Ord had some foul trouble.”
BC/NG (7-8) continued to chip away and took a two-point lead on Carsen Grape’s shot in the lane with 50 seconds to play. Ord (13-2) responded with a 3-point field goal with under 20 seconds remaining. Cardinal coaches elected not to call a time out, letting BC/NG attack quickly. Reigle missed a shot in the lane and Grape’s follow was also off, but Reigle grabbed a second rebound and scored the winning points in the final seconds.
“A good win against a solid team. Ord will be in the hunt again to qualify for the state tournament, as they did last year, and has exceptional guard play. Tessa Hedlund and Bailey answered the challenge defensively, as they hounded Ord’s scorers all night,” Imus said. “It was great to see those two seniors consistently locked in defensively.”
For two quarters, the boys’ nightcap didn’t look like it would follow the script of the opener, as a hot-shooting Ord (8-8) team opened up a 37-18 halftime lead.
Boone Central/Newman Grove (9-6) flipped that script following intermission, however, soaring back to claim a thrilling 64-60 victory over the Chants.
“Ord came out and shot the ball extremely well, as they were 10-of-15 on twos and 5-of-9 on threes in the first half,” BC/NG Coach Justin Harris commented. “I was extremely proud of the way the boys kept battling. We had some bench players step up and execute the things they needed to.
“We did an outstanding job of attacking in the second half, which helped us get to the foul line, where we were 23-of-30. We were down 22 after they hit a three to start the second half, so it was an impressive comeback for our team.”
That comeback began to flourish in the third quarter, as relentless full court pressure and aggressive drives to the basket keyed a 21-9 run. BC/NG continued to roll in the final period and took a 61-60 lead late on Derek Stuhr’s two free throws. A defensive stop and a pair of Carter Henry free throws put the Cards up 63-60 with 13 seconds remaining, leaving Ord an opportunity to tie with a 3-point shot. Dylan Gentrup’s steal ended that threat, however, and Henry sank a final foul shot to seal the dramatic win.
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News