Although very competitive in both contests, the Boone Central Cardinals dropped agonizing decisions to a pair of state-rated foes this past weekend.
The losses were Boone Central’s third and fourth straight following a 5-1 start, coming against teams with records of 7-2, 6-4, 8-2 and 9-2.
Boone Central ventured west to Kearney Friday, where the host Kearney Catholic Stars (8-2) had the final answers in a taut 36-29 decision.
Catholic hit a trio of 3-point shots to take an 11-4 first-quarter lead, and added two more in the second period in building a 19-13 halftime advantage. Boone Central clawed back in the second half and finally gained a 29-25 edge midway through the fourth quarter on the strength of defensive pressure and Ashtyn Hedlund’s 3-pointer.
Kearney Catholic forced several Cardinal turnovers and went back in front 30-29 before Lauren Hedlund made a steal, but missed two free throws. Catholic followed by sinking a pair of free throws, then continued to cash in at the line as Boone Central was forced to foul.
There are certain games that cause coaches to lose even more sleep than usual.
Saturday’s seesaw 44-41 loss to visiting St. Paul (9-2) was one of them for Imus.
“A frustrating game in the sense that we let this one get away from us,” Imus rued. “We had a few mistakes early in our press, where St. Paul scored, that should not have happened. We need to be consistent in our press when we run it.”
Despite those errors, neither team could get much separation in the contest. After trailing by a single point at halftime, Boone Central used a strong third quarter and took a six-point advantage early in the fourth. St. Paul battled back, finally edging in front with some late free throws, then sealed the win with a final steal.
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