Cards in 2018 state tourney is no upset
Boone Central/Newman Grove may have been flying a bit under the Class C1 radar during the latter part of the 2017-18 season.
It’s safe to say, however, that the Cardinals made a number of basketball followers around the state sit up and take notice with their trio of postseason victories over ranked opponents that secured a berth in the 2018 Nebraska Boys State Basketball Tournament. Not the least being Stu Pospisil, who vaulted previously unranked Boone Central/Newman Grove into the #5 position in his latest Omaha World-Herald C1 Top 10.
Although seven regular-season losses might not indicate such, the Cardinals may well have been worthy of that ranking all along.
Technically, Boone Central/Newman Grove “upset” #2 O’Neill, #5 Broken Bow and #6 Winnebago on its way to sub-district and district championships. While watching those victories, however, I personally felt the Cards were simply the better, more talented team in each game. Even facing a 33-17 halftime deficit in the district final was more a case of self-inflicted miscues against Winnebago’s unconventional defensive pressure and unsustainable 3-point shooting by the Indians.
When I relayed my thoughts to Cardinal Coach Justin Harris, he responded, “Yeah, this was the team I thought we would have all season.”
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