After a slow start against Pierce in the first round of the Mid-State Conference Tournament at Norfolk, the Boone Central Cardinals split games in the consolation side of the bracket to place 6th.
Boone Central (7-11) defeated Battle Creek for the second time this season in the initial game of consolation play before dropping a decision to West Point Central Catholic in the 5th place contest.
The Cardinals played stellar defense during the tournament, but continued to have trouble with offensive production.
“This team continues to battle in every game and the coaches are very proud of their efforts,” commented Boone Central Coach Dan Zoucha. “With two regular-season games remaining and sub-districts right around the corner, we need to find some confidence in our shooting.”
Shooting was a problem in the Mid-State opening round vs. Pierce Tuesday, Feb. 2, as Boone Central got off just 30 field goal attempts and made only seven – all from two-point range – in a 47-17 loss.
“We knew coming into the Pierce game we were going to have to defend well and execute on offense,” Zoucha noted. “From the beginning, we tried to get the ball inside and also get some offensive rebounds. We did those things, but were unable to convert shots.
“We kept battling the entire game, which we knew the players would do.”
Shots and baskets came much easier Friday as Boone Central bounced back with a 55-37 victory over Battle Creek in consolation play.
Five players scored as Boone Central took a 14-6 first-quarter lead and the Cardinals continued to play with confidence and assertiveness throughout the contest.
“From the start, all the guys who got on the floor played with a lot of passion and grit,” Zoucha praised. “We took care of the ball and got the shots we wanted.
“We looked for each other well, finishing with 19 assists, and we frustrated Battle Creek with our defense and overall effort.”
While defense remained a constant Saturday in the Mid-State Tournament 5th place game Saturday, offense again became a struggle in a 41-31 loss to West Point Central Catholic.
Boone Central opened with a 12-point first period, but could not hit double figures in any of the remaining three quarters.
“We did many things correctly in our second game against W.P.C.C.,” Zoucha commented. “We outrebounded them, had fewer turnovers and more defensive touches.
“We had many opportunities in this game, but we just could not get shots to fall. Our defensive effort is to be commended. We kept pressure on W.P.C.C. throughout the game.”
Boone Central shot just 20 percent from the field and 50 percent at the foul line, negating an effort that saw the Cardinals outrebound W.P.C.C. 39-31 and force 15 Bluejay turnovers.
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