BCNG boys come up dry on road

While it goes in the record book as a pair of losses, Boone Central/Newman Grove Coach Justin Harris saw a lot of positives by his team in two tough road contests this past week.
BCNG traveled to Elkhorn Thursday, dropping a 73-55 decision to Mount Michael. The Knights bolted to an 18-8 lead and, after a better quarter by BCNG in the second, used an extended 22-13 run following halftime to go up 63-40.
The Cardinals had trouble putting the clamps on Knight standout Joseph Chouinard, who opened with nine first-quarter points and scored 23 of his 25 in the first three periods.
“It was a tough week on the road, first with Mount Michael, which is one of the top teams in Class B,” Harris said. “It was a fun environment to play in their cracker box of a gym, where it was loud and had a lot of excitement.
“I thought we played with good energy and battled throughout the contest. Unfortunately, we went 9-of-23 around the rim. Some credit goes to their defense contesting those shots, but definitely shots we should finish.
“They have a quality lineup, and I thought we competed better against a top-tier team than we had in the past. I think this was a game that can really help prepare us for future contests against quality opponents.”
Boone Central/Newman Grove was back on the road Friday and experienced a Mid-State Conference heartbreaker when host Battle Creek used a torrid fourth quarter to nip the Cardinals 73-72.
BCNG finished a sluggish first quarter in strong fashion to lead 17-15 and Henry’s nine points sparked a 20-point second period that put the Cardinals in front 37-32 at intermission.
With Henry and Will Frey each scoring six points in the third quarter, BCNG stretched its advantage to 55-45, only to see the Braves storm back in the final stanza. The Cardinals could not find any offense to go with Henry (11 fourth-quarter points), while Battle Creek (10-6) got four 3-pointers and 15 points by Payton Frederick, along with nine points from Reece Bode, to outscore BCNG 28-17 and steal the win.
“This was a game where we struggled the first 5-6 minutes. Then I felt we took control,” Harris commented. “Statistically, we did a lot of things well enough to win. However, our free throw shooting was under 50 percent, and that came back to bite us.”