Following a pair of losses to quality opponents, Boone Central bounced back to nip Wayne 51-49 in a Mid-State Conference girls basketball tournament play-in game Saturday.
With the win, Boone Central qualified for the tournament bracket and faced #1 seed Guardian Angels Central Catholic Monday night (see Pg. 10).
It was an uphill battle for much of the taut contest. Wayne’s 6’2 post player scored nine points in the first half as the Blue Devils took an early lead, then scored 17 second-period points. The Cardinals kept the score close by hitting 7-of-8 free throws. Boone Central made just 4-of-17 field goal attempts in the third period and fell in a 34-28 hole before fighting back to forge a 35-35 tie.
The Cards changed the momentum in the fourth period, bursting to a 48-40 lead as Ashtyn Hedlund hit a 3-pointer, Lauren Hedlund made a steal and bucket, and Alicia Weeder scored four points. Wayne (4-16) made a late charge, but Boone Central sank 5-of-6 free throws, including a final 1-of-2 by Claire Choat, and the Blue Devils’ last-gasp 3-point shot fell short.
“This game concerned me. Wayne has two guards who can shoot it and a 6’2 post player who can dominate the blocks,” said Card Coach Andy Imus. “They also had a starter, plus their first guard off the bench, who did not play against us the first time we met.
“Compound that with this being our third game in three days vs. Wayne’s second of the week, and we had some adversity to face. I told the girls after the game they could have folded being down six in the third quarter, facing adversity, but they just grinded away to tie 35-35 to start the fourth. I thought Macy Rankin came off the bench and did some really good things, with eight points and 10 rebounds against their post player. The younger girls stepped up and helped provide a spark in the fourth quarter.
“A good win after two tough games.”
Further details in Print & Online editions of Albion News