Boone Central improved to 2-1 by splitting a pair of contests in C1 boys basketball action.
The Cardinals won a second straight game to open the 2020-21 season Thursday, edging host Central City 73-71.
The Cardinals roared out of the gates, scoring 21 points in each of the first two quarters and taking a 42-27 halftime lead. Alex Christo drove a hot start with nine first-quarter points. Ryan Kramer and Carsten Bird each tallied six in the second period.
Central City dug in and fought back behind the hot hand of Jackson McGinnis. The Bison senior poured in 18 of his 30 points following intermission, including 11 in the third quarter. Central City cut into the Card lead throughout the fourth quarter, but Boone Central held off the charge by sinking eight free throws. Bird was 4-for-4 and Dustin Andreasen 3-of-4 at the line.
“Central City pulled within four a couple of times, but we would find a way to get a much-needed basket or stop. This was a great job by the boys to focus and make the plays needed,” Card Coach Justin Harris praised. “Central City cut it to a one-possession game in the last minute. We made our free throws and continued to make sure it was a two-possession game. It was a good thing our press forced them to use three timeouts in the first half.”
Friday’s Mid-State contest in Albion was a typical Boone Central-Pierce court slugfest, with harrassing defense and points at a premium.
A quick start and strong second half carried the visiting Bluejays to a 59-44 victory and 3-0 season start.
Pierce was sharp at both ends of the court early, taking a 17-7 first-quarter lead. Boone Central turned the momentum in the second period, outscoring Pierce 20-14 behind seven points by Kramer and Andreasen’s six, but the Cardinals lost their offensive momentum in the second half and tallied just 17 points in the final 16 minutes.
“We had too many consecutive empty possessions in the first and fourth quarters. This has been a focus during practice, as we need to recognize to get a good look after not scoring for a couple of possessions.
“This was a good test for us, as Pierce is always one of the best defensive teams we face.”
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