Right or wrong, Class B basketball in Nebraska has earned a reputation for a grinding, low-scoring style of basketball.
Northwest visited Albion Feb. 6 and certainly used that formula to steal a last-second 49-48 victory over the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals.
In a game in which neither team could break away to large leads, the Vikings and Cardinals volleyed back and forth. Northwest (8-15) carved out a 20-17 halftime edge, with BC/NG battling back to lead 32-30 through three periods of play.
The seesaw battle continued in the final stanza and came down to the last moments. Dylan Gentrup sank one of two free throws to give Boone Central/Newman Grove a 48-47 lead, but Northwest’s Brady Glause sliced through defenders for a layup with 2.5 seconds to play. BC/NG, getting a good look after calling timeout and inbounding at halfcourt, but the shot would not fall.
“It was a slow-paced, grind-it-out game. I didn’t feel comfortable until we got up towards the end of the game,” Cardinal Coach Justin Harris acknowledged. “We had control, but weren’t able to execute down the stretch the way we wanted to.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove (15-7) got back on track Saturday with a late runaway and 70-47 victory over visiting Ainsworth (10-11).
The Cardinals burst to a 20-12 lead in the opening period of play, but Ainsworth kept whittling that advantage until pulling within a point early in the third quarter. From there, BC/NG took charge, outscoring the Bulldogs 36-21 overall in the second half.
“We got off to a good start. Ainsworth battled back and cut the lead in the third quarter,” Harris commented. “We responded to finish out the quarter and we did a better job of rebounding from that point on.
“Cody Nelson played his most complete game of the season, which is what we need moving forward. We forced 21 turnovers, which led to only 10 points, so we need to do a better job converting those into points.”
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