Boone Central/Newman Grove’s home-away-from-home game did not go well Friday night, but the Cardinals returned to the court in Newman Grove Saturday, gaining a bit of redemptiion and, hopefully, generating momentum for this week’s Mid-State Conference tournament.
Boone Central/Newman Grove hosted Battle Creek (12-5) at Newman Grove Friday, with the Braves taking advantage of a myriad of Cardinal shooting woes to post a 77-51 victory.
Battle Creek used a 24-11 blitz out of the starting gate to take early control of the contest and ran up a 41-18 halftime bulge. The Cardinals got center Jessie Sullivan untracked following intermission, but even with the 6-foot-4 senior scoring 17 of his 18 points, BC/NG could not make up the big deficit.
“I thought the boys played hard – we never gave up and kept fighting,” said Card Coach Justin Harris. “It’s tough to win when you shoot 38 percent from 2-point range and eight percent from 3-point range.
“We just gave up way too many shots in the paint to win against anyone.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove (12-5) returned to action Saturday and defeated Elkhorn Mt. Michael 57-42 in a makeup of a game postponed by weather earlier in the week.
“Fortunately, we got another opportunity to prove we could play better the next day,” Harris said.
“Mt. Michael ran a similar offense to Battle Creek’s and, although we still had a few miscues, we gave up fewer shots in the lane.”
While limiting Mt. Michael (12-5) inside, the Cardinals turned Sullivan loose on the other end. Sullivan scored six point s in each of the first two quarters to keep BC/NG within reach of the Knights at halftime (31-28), tallied seven in the third quarter as the Cardinals closed the gap to one, then added a final seven to spark a 20-8 BC/NG run over the final eight minutes. Senior Caden Ranslem’s 3-point field goal and five points were also keys to the strong finish.
“We did a great job of finding some open looks around the hoop. Jessie tied a Boone Central record for most 2-point field goals in a game, with 11,” Harris noted. “We executed really well down the stretch, which was the key in a back-and-forth game.”
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