Boone Central/Newman Grove knocked off C1-9 Subdistrict #1 seed Central City, but couldn’t overcome #2 St. Paul in Thursday’s event final.
St. Paul (16-9) used a strong second quarter to build a big lead in the subdistrict title game, then held off a determined BC/NG rally to score a 49-39 victory. The win advanced the Wildcats to Friday’s district final, while Boone Central/Newman Grove finishes the 2016-17 season 12-13.
Boone Central/Newman Grove began C1-9 play at Grand Island Northwest High School with an impressive 44-37 victory over top seed Central City (15-9) Tuesday.
An upset didn’t appear imminent early, as Central City sank a trio of 3-point shots and took an 11-2 lead in the first quarter. The Cardinals didn’t panic, however, switching to a 2-3 zone defense and forcing the Bison into 0-for-9 shooting in the second period. That allowed the Cards to pull within two points, 15-13, by halftime and put momentum on BC/NG’s side.
Led by the hot hand of Tessa Hedlund, Boone Central/Newman Grove outscored Central City 16-8 in the third quarter and held a 39-33 lead late in the contest. The Bison cut the advantage to four with a pair of free throws before BC/NG converted its own foul shots to fuel a 5-2 finishing kick.
“Our girls didn’t panic early. We switched to a zone defense and our interior did a great job limiting Central City’s strengths,” Card Coach Andy Imus commented. “Carsen Grape did a great job defensively in the post, as did Karlie Tisthammer.
“I loved the way our girls competed, as they played much better the second half to pull away for the win.”
A quick, athletic St. Paul squad rode a wave of momentum to a 17-4 second-quarter run Thursday, then staved off Boone Central/Newman Grove in the second half for a 49-39 victory.
The teams traded blows in the opening period, with St. Paul grabbing an 8-7 lead with an offensive rebound and putback. That seemed to spark the Wildcats, who sank six field goals and made 5-of-5 free throws to overwhelm BC/NG in the second quarter and take a 25-11 halftime advantage.
St. Paul opened a 31-14 lead in the third period, but as it has all season, BC/NG continued to fight. The Cardinals, who played 10 ranked opponents during a grueling campaign, went on their own 19-7 run and cut the Wildcat lead to 44-39 in the final minute on Tessa Hedlund’s deep 3-pointer.
BC/NG couldn’t complete the comeback, however, as St. Paul scored the game’s final five points with free throw accuracy.
“We shot 8-of-18 and St. Paul shot 17-of-22 from the free throw line, which was the difference in the game,” Imus noted. “We really wanted to go to the district final, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“Our girls played a very difficult schedule this season and knocked off some state-rated teams. They won the holiday tournament, as well as knocking off the subdistrict #1 seed for the second year in a row.
“This was a coachable group of young ladies, led by our three seniors,” Imus praised.
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