Boone Central made sure a long trek to western Nebraska was worthwhile Dec. 29-30, providing seasonal cheer with a championship performance in the Alliance Holiday Tournament.
The Cardinals, who had gained momentum prior to the NSAA moratorium with three straight wins, continued their scintillating play with dominant victories over host Alliance and the Adams Central Patriots.
Boone Central (6-2) has now won five straight games since a loss to Mid-State Conference rival Pierce.
Boone Central 56, Alliance 39
Boone was sluggish at the beginning of the tournament opener Thursday, but turned the tide with a 12-0 run and 15-5 second-period advantage to take a 22-16 lead.
The Cards were just getting started. Boone bolted to an extended 25-11 blitz in the third quarter and put Alliance (4-3) far in the rearview mirror. Ben Reilly (5) and Trent Patzel (4) led Boone’s second-quarter surge, and Patzel continued to dominate inside after halftime with 10 third-period points. The Cardinals attempted only 11 3-point shots, sinking one in each quarter.
“We had a slow start, then went on that 12-0 run to take the lead,” Cardinal Coach Justin Harris acknowledged. “We started the second half with a run that kept them from really ever making a comeback.”
B. Central 69, A. Central 36
The Alliance Tournament championship game looked like it could be a dandy. And it was – for Boone Central.
No slow start for the Cardinals in this one, as Boone bolted to a 17-8 lead over Adams Central (6-3) in the first quarter and ran up a 30-13 advantage by halftime. Never taking its collective foot off the gas, Boone added 39 points after intermission and posted a 69-36 victory over the stunned Patriots.
“We attacked well and played great defense vs. Adams Central. They got to the paint some, but we made them try to finish over us,” Harris said. “We had three single-digit quarters defensively against a good team, so that was definitely a positive from the tournament.”
Further details and stats in Print & Online editions of Albion News/Boone County Tribune