BCNG has no luck vs. red hot Shamrocks

Photos, Joe Flanagan, Albion News

Not to be.
After throttling Lakeview 52-36 in the first round of the C1-8 Sub-District basketball tournament at Columbus High School Tuesday, Boone Central/Newman Grove appeared poised for a sub title and district final berth.
After all, only #5 seed Scotus – which entered C1-8 play with a 6-16 record – stood in BCNG’s path after defeating #4 Madison 67-55 and shocking #1 seed Twin River 63-46.
It would be the red hot Shamrocks who kept their late-season roll intact, however, with a 62-43 victory over #2 Boone Central/Newman Grove in Thursday’s final. It was the fourth straight win for Scotus, which ended a 12-game losing skid in the regular-season finale vs. Aquinas Catholic.
The stunning loss slammed the door on Cardinal hopes of a return trip to the state tournament and ended BCNG’s 2018-19 season at 12-12. Despite that disappointment, Card Coach Justin Harris had praise for his squad, which began the campaign with just four returning letterwinners from the team that played in Lincoln.
“I thought the seniors did a great job stepping into more prominent roles this year. We saw a lot of growth from them, from their freshman year, along with more confidence,” Harris commented. “They were all part of the state tournament team last year and back-to-back conference tournament runners-up.
“We are thankful for the time and effort they have dedicated to the basketball program. We hope success continues to follow them in their future endeavors.”
Shamrocks Shoot Lights Out
While Scotus certainly needed solid all-around play to sweep through the C1-8 sub-district, the Shamrocks’ hot hand(s) proved to be the real key.
Boone Central/Newman Grove began the sub final with shooting fire of its own, taking the early lead on a trio of 3-pointers by Carter Henry and another from fellow senior Will Frey. Bryce VunCannan had the answer, however, bouncing off the bench to sink consecutive threes that sparked a 7-0 Scotus run, giving the Shamrocks a 20-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
With VunCannan nailing another 3-pointer, Grant Shanle and Eric Mustard each adding a trey, and the Shamrocks swiping five steals in the second period, Scotus built a 33-21 advantage by intermission.
Boone Central/Newman Grove came out with its strongest charge of the contest following halftime, cutting the lead to five points behind Frey’s nine points, before Dalton Borchers sank a jump shot for Scotus that started an 11-2 Shamrocks burst.
BCNG never seriously threatened down the stretch, as VunCannon added a fourth 3-pointer and Shanle sank 3-of-4 free throws.

Further sub-district details in Print & Online editions of Albion News