From heartbreaker to happy times.
After an excruciating loss to the O’Neill Eagles in Friday’s rousing overtime thriller in Albion, Boone Central/Newman Grove (6-5) bounced back to score a Mid-State Conference win at Wayne Saturday.
The Cardinals and visiting O’Neill entertained fans with a fast-paced, exciting contest Friday that the Eagles finally won 70-62 (OT) on the strength of their long-range bombing.
BCNG had a sluggish start, as O’Neill took an 18-9 lead behind a trio of 3-pointers – two by Claire Morrow. Lauren Hedlund’s three just before the end of the first quarter trimmed the gap to 18-12 and the Cardinals held O’Neill to just eight points in the second period to stay within striking distance. The Cards exploded for 21 points in quarter three, led by Hedlund (8) and Kylee Rasmussen (7), and knotted the score at 42-all. From there, it was a donnybrook.
Hedlund dropped in seven more points in the final stanza and led BCNG to a 59-56 lead – the Cards’ biggest of the game – with 19 seconds remaining, only to see O’Neill’s Alyssa Eichelberger hit her third 3-pointer of the second half to tie and force overtime.
“It was a good shot – plain and simple,” said Card Coach Andy Imus.
Carsen Grape put BCNG ahead 61-59 in overtime, but Eichelberger dropped another 3-pointer that sparked an O’Neill surge the weary Cardinals could not match. Eichelberger’s bomb was O’Neill’s 10th 3-pointer in the contest.
“I’m proud of the fight this team continues to show, and this game was no exception,” Imus praised. “We needed to get out to a better start, which has been a struggle for us lately.
Competitive drive, tenaciousness and free throw shooting propelled Boone Central/Newman Grove’s bounceback 47-41 road victory over Wayne Saturday.
The Cardinals again started slowly after the long trip north, trailing 15-4 before closing the margin to 17-13 at the end of the first quarter. Over the next 16 minutes, however, a staunch defensive effort and Hedlund’s yeoman performance on the offensive end of the court turned the game.
BCNG limited the Blue Devils to just nine points in the mid quarters – just two in the third – and Hedlund poured in 12 of her 25 points to put Cardinals ahead 38-24. The hosts made a final strong surge in the fourth period, outscoring BCNG by eight points, but Hedlund scored all nine Card points to secure the victory.
“Overall, I thought our girls continued to compete well,” Imus commented.