The Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals won a key conference home game before falling a little short on the road in a weekend split Jan. 4-5.
BCNG opened the back-to-back with a hard-fought 67-62 victory over O’Neill Friday in Albion. After trailing at halftime, the Cardinals used a proficient offensive attack in the final two quarters and clutch free throw shooting to earn the win.
“We did a better job of pushing the ball than we have done all year. We only had 12 turnovers, of which six came in the second quarter, allowing them to build a lead,” Cardinal Coach Justin Harris commented. “We fought our way back and took control of the game in the third quarter.
“It was a good home win for us to pick up.”
Although the result for Boone Central/Newman Grove (6-5) wasn’t as positive Saturday at Wayne – a 61-51 loss to the Blue Devils – Harris still saw some good things from his team.
“Although we didn’t put up a lot of points and lost, I was pleased with our half-court offense,” Harris said. “We continually made the right reads as cutters, passers and drivers, which led to easy baskets. We had 29 of 46 shots in the paint.
“The game was back and forth, with Wayne having a slight lead the majority of the time. We continually answered them and our defense was solid, with a few breakdowns we need to get corrected. We again pushed the ball well and, hopefully, see the potential to get some easier points by executing that part of our offense better.
“The difference in free throw percentage could have helped change the complexion of the game.”