The Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Junior Cardinal basketball team ventured to Junction again Friday evening to play their final game of the four team round robin tournament against the host team, the Gallatin County Junior Hawks. Sporting a perfect 2-0 record thus far in the tourney and the championship already in their grasp due to a head to head deciding factor, the Junior Cards were hoping to make it a perfect 3-0 tournament record and remove all doubt as to who the champions should be. However, they were well aware this unblemished mark would not be an easy task as the Junior Hawks were improving each time they hit the court.
First quarter action was one in which both teams struggled to get an open look due to impressive defensive pressure but as the quarter came to a close, it would be the Junior Cardinals claiming the 7-4 advantage. This three point advantage would not stand as shooting woes kicked in for NCOE and they were unable to get a single field goal attempt to fall which allowed the Junior Hawks to stage a comeback and claim the 10-9 lead at the halftime break.
Following intermission, both teams hit the court on a mission to win the game and this third quarter would witness NCOE outscoring their opponent 12-8 to reclaim their early advantage and head into the fourth and final quarter with a 3-point lead. This final stanza would be faster paced than those prior but in the end the Junior Cards would cushion their advantage enough to claim the outright tournament championship with the 31-24 victory.
Scoring for the Junior Cardinals were Preston Long 14, Aryon Jolley seven, Will Thompson three, Joel Hortin three, and two each for Colter Rister and Cole Roberson.
Cord Tucker, Cole Roberson, and Preston Long each dished out two assists to lead the team.
Rebounding was topped by Preston Long with four while Colter Rister and Will Thomspson added two apiece along with one each for Cole Roberson and Erik Healy.
Those with steals in the contest were Long (6), Roberson (2), Thompson (2), and Tucker (1).