Against a hectic slate compounded by the addition of a makeup game mid-week, the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals had a successful, but sometimes inconsistent, four days of basketball action.
BCNG (4-2) opened the busy home court stretch with consecutive wins over Twin River Tuesday and Lakeview Thursday before dropping a low-scoring decision to Mid-State Conference rival Norfolk Catholic Friday.
“This was a tough stretch of games for us,” acknowledged Cardinal Coach Justin Harris. “Twin River and Lakeview are both teams that will be in our sub-district.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove outscored Twin River (2-4) 15-7 in the final period Dec. 11 to notch a 48-42 victory. The Cardinals got a pair of 3-pointers by Brenden Beierman in that final stanza and sank 5-of-9 free throws.
“We did a good job finding a way to win,” Harris said. “We struggled shooting the ball, but fortunately our defense was good enough to win the game. We held them under double digits in every quarter but one.”
BCNG carved out another tough win Thursday, hitting its late free throws to seal a 55-51 decision over Lakeview (1-5).
“Lakeview was a game I felt like we executed really well in the fourth quarter to get the shots we want,” Harris praised. “However, we lacked execution defensively that led to a couple of Lakeview 3-pointers and made it a game that required us to make free throws at the end.
“We hit 3-pointers on four straight possessions in the third quarter that gave us the lead. We have that ability, we just need to show it more consistently.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove could never find a consistent offensive rhythm in its 41-34 loss to Norfolk Catholic (2-4) Friday. The Cardinals took just 36 total shots while committing 24 turnovers against Catholic defensive pressure.
“Norfolk Catholic did a great job of forcing us into turnovers. Some of it was a lack of concentration on our end,” Harris commented. “We did a great job of cutting and getting good looks, as almost 60 percent of our shots were in the paint. But we need to finish those.
“We played good enough defensively to win, but couldn’t overcome the offensive struggles. We can’t win when 40 percent of our possessions end with a turnover.”
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