Ranked teams to the left, ranked teams to the right. Everywhere you looked, there was fierce competition in the 2014 Mid-State Conference girls basketball tournament in Norfolk.
Boone Central/Newman Grove dropped decisions to two of those highly-rated foes last week to finish sixth in the Mid-State event with a 1-2 record.
It could have been an entirely different tournament for the Lady Cardinals if they could have turned around their first-round contest against Norfolk Catholic Tuesday.
One week after absorbing a 21-point pounding by the Lady Knights, Boone Central/Newman Grove put up a much stiffer fight in a 41-37 loss at Northeast Community College.
“It is a real challenge for us dealing with their interior size on the offensive boards,” said BC/NG Coach Mike Kennedy. “Once we started better limiting them to one shot, it was a very even contest.
“We will have one more chance at this team in the first round of sub-district. I look forward to that game.”
BC/NG got back on the winning track Thursday, defeating Hartington C.C. 67-43 in a consolation bracket contest at Norfolk Catholic High School. The Lady Cardinals were clicking on all cylinders offensively, found defensive traction in the second quarter and took out some frustrations on Cedar Catholic.
Clinging to a 13-12 advantage after one period of play, BC/NG used its full-court pressure, Gottier’s three baskets and a 3-point field goal by Elissa Slizoski to go on a 17-6 second-quarter run and take control by halftime.
It’s tough to face a Top 10 basketball team.
It’s even tougher when that rated team has its feathers ruffled after a loss in its previous game.
Such was the case for Boone Central/Newman Grove (13-8) in Saturday’s Mid-State fifth-place against the Pierce Bluejays. The Cards threatened to hand Pierce back-to-back defeats for a half before a 20-2 third-quarter blitz propelled the Bluejays to a 56-27 victory.
“We had a great first half of basketball. We had more than one opportunity to be ahead at halftime, as the kids executed a very unique defensive game plan almost flawlessly,” Kennedy commented. “In the third quarter, we turned the ball over and gave up some shots we did not give up in the first half. Pierce gained some confidence by making those shots and we lost confidence by our turnovers.
“It snowballed from there and we wasted a really strong first half performance.”
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