It was a daunting three days, but the Boone Central/Newman Grove Lady Cardinals handled it in grand style, emerging with three straight victories, a 10-8 record and a bracket berth in the this week’s Mid-State Conference Tournament.
BC/NG began its hectic stretch Thursday, hosting Mid-State rival Norfolk Catholic (3-14) and sending the Lady Knights home with the short end of a 48-41 final score.
In a sluggish contest, where the teams combined to shoot 53 free throws, the Cardinals trailed 21-15 at intermission. BC/NG regrouped at halftime, however, outscoring Catholic 33-20 in the second half.
“We knew what Catholic was going to do on both ends of the floor, but the girls had a hard time adjusting in the first half,” Card Coach Andy Imus commented. “We also had some unforced turnovers against their 1-2-1-1 press.
“Our foul trouble in the first half slowed us down, as we had to run some zone defense and weren’t nearly as aggressive rebounding out of it. We did a better job taking care of the ball and became more responsible rebounding in the second half.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove hit the road Friday night and secured a big 55-46 conference victory over host Battle Creek (9-9).
It was another case of a strong finishing kick for the Cardinals. BC/NG trailed 25-23 at halftime, then pressured the Bravettes into second half mistakes and outscored the hosts 33-21 in the final two quarters.
“Our press did some good things, as did a change in offensive alignment in the second half,” Imus noted. “We had good ball movement and stayed on the attack. Three Tessa Hedlund 3-pointers in the third swung the momentum in our favor and we shot 9-of-10 from the foul line.
“A good win vs. a solid Battle Creek team.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove and Norfolk Catholic met again Saturday at Newman Grove, battling in a Mid-State Conference Tournament play-in game.
It proved to be a game of runs, with BC/NG sprinting to an early 11-0 lead, Catholic closing the margin to 20-18 by halftime, and the Cardinals locking down the win with a 22-15 second-half advantage.
“A quick 11-0 run tio start the game was the decisive factor. Our girls came ready to play,” Imus said. “We seemed to relax some in the second quarter and, again, could have been victim of scoreboard watching. We had Catholic on their heels, but instead of the knockout punch, we made some mistakes that allowed them back into the game.
“I thought we came out in the third quarter and put them on their heels again.
“I was proud of the girls for playing the same team twice in three days and finding a way to win. Three games in three days is not easy. The girls held up well, as they continue to improve.”
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News