After defeating Wayne in a bracket play-in contest, the Boone Central/Newman Grove Cardinals finished the annual Mid-State Conference Tournament with a three-game run in Norfolk this past week.
Boone Central/Newman Grove needed a top effort against #1 tournament seed Crofton (15-3) Monday, Jan. 28.
The Cardinals got the effort, but couldn’t find enough points to stay with the C2 #3 Warriors in a 44-25 decision. BCNG could muster just two points in the opening period and and fell in a 21-8 hole by intermission.
“Overall, it was disappointing to lose, because the girls were right where they needed to be defensively – holding a powerful offensive team to 44 points,” said Cardinal Coach Andy Imus. “Offensively, we struggled shooting the ball. We shot 7-of-28 on 2-point fields and 1-of-17 on 3-point field goals, for an effective field goal percentage of 19 percent.
“Really proud of the effort the girls brought against Crofton,” Imus acknowledged. “Just disappointed we did not shoot the ball better.”
Another strong effort by the Cards was rewarded Thursday, as Boone Central/Newman Grove road a second-half rally to a big 47-36 win over Hartington Cedar Catholic in a consolation bracket contest.
The Trojans got nine points by Jada Cattau in the first quarter, then hit a trio of 3-point shots in the second to take a 29-22 lead into halftime. The second half was all Cardinals, however. BCNG clamped down defensively and outscored Cedar Catholic 25-7, as Hedlund scored 19 of her game-high 28 points, including one 3-pointer and 8-of-10 free throws.
“It was a tale of two halves. We just did not do a good enough job defensively in the first half. We had girls out of position, and a lack of focus gave them some layups off back cuts,” Imus said. “We started to switch their ball screens in the second half, and did a better job of pressuring their guards and making them uncomfortable with the ball.
“Lauren carried us in the second half with 11 points in the third quarter and eight in the fourth. She played with confidence, and her will to win carried the team through.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove finished its exhausting week with a 33-25 loss to Norfolk Catholic in a game for 5th place Saturday.
Cardinal shooting woes returned, as BCNG shot just 25 percent from the field, including a chilly 1-of-10 from 3-point range. After leading 10-6 at the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals were outscored 12-0 in the second and could add just 15 points in the second half.
“Norfolk Catholic did a good job sagging in its help and taking the driving lanes away – especially taking away what Lauren wanted to do,” Imus noted. “She creates quite a bit with her driving and does such a good job knowing when to take it (shot) or pass it off. We just couldn’t get a flow offensively after the first quarter.
“Again, defensively, we are right where we need to be – holding a team to 33 points should be good enough to win. Offensively, we need to step up.”
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