Sports

Cardinals rebound with Mid-State tourney wins

A disappointing start turned into a high-flying finish by the Boone Central Cardinals this past week.
Boone Central bounced back from a lopsided loss to #2 seed Wayne in the first round of the annual Mid-State Conference tournament Tuesday to defeat Battle Creek and O’Neill in successive consolation contests Friday and Saturday.
Boone Central Coach Justin Harris liked the Cardinals’ resiliency.
“Unfortunately, we were one win away from being the fifth seed. Instead we drew the seventh seed to play Wayne in the first round,” Harris said. “Winning two Mid-State games in a week is tough though, so it was great for us to finish the way we did.”
Wayne 76, B. Central 48
Boone Central had plenty of fight against Class C1 #8 Wayne (18-3), but execution became an issue as Tuesday’s tournament opener progressed.
The teams were tied 15-15 after the first eight minutes of play, but the Cardinals allowed three 20-point quarters from there and couldn’t keep up with the Blue Devils. Wayne took a 35-29 lead to halftime, then expanded the margin to 55-37 in the third period.
“We battled tough the first twenty minutes, but then they capitalized on our turnovers and expanded the lead,” Harris noted. “We gave up some easy layups that you can’t allow good teams like that to get.
“I thought we competed better than we did the last time we played, even though the score might not show it.”
B. Central 64, B. Creek 52
Boone Central had lost a conference decision to Battle Creek just one week earlier, but turned the tables on the Braves Friday with a 64-52 victory in tournament consolation action.
Christo helped the Cardinals get off to a strong start with six first-quarter points and Andreasen hit a 3-pointer and scored five points in the second period as Boone Central pulled ahead 31-28. The Cards could never completely separate from Battle Creek (10-9), but consistently outscored the Braves in each stanza. Kramer poured in eight points in the final period and BC sank 12 free throws – 8-of-10 by Calvin Webster – to secure the ‘W.’
“We attacked really well the majority of the night. Points in the paint were 36-16 in our favor and we were able to shoot more free throws,” Harris commented. “Calvin had a great night from the line and did a great job coming up with some steals.”
B. Central 66, O’Neill 56
Boone Central finished off the conference tourney and week with a 66-56 victory over O’Neill (10-10) Saturday. Trailing 19-17 through one quarter of play, the Cardinals clamped down with pressure defense, took a 33-30 halftime edge and steadily widened the margin in the final two periods. Kramer was the fulcrum for BC, leading the second-quarter surge with nine points, nailing two 3-point baskets following halftime and adding six points in the final stanza to help lock up the win.
“We had a sluggish start, but I thought our press gave us some life,” Harris said. “Ryan continues to play well versus O’Neill, as he has scored over 20 points in the last three meetings.
“We again did a great job of getting the ball in the paint and dominated points in the paint 44-24.”