The Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Junior Cardinal Basketball team hit the court Monday evening to wrap up their regular season play when they welcomed their White County neighbor, the Carmi-White County Bullpups to Dan Price Gymnasium NCOE got out of the gates quickly on 8th Grade Recognition Night when they jumped out to an 11-4 lead following one quarter of play. The Junior Cardinals would extend this lead to nine at halftime after outscoring the Bullpups once again in the second quarter of play.
Following intermission, one would like to say the defense picked up immensely, but for lack of better terms, the offense struggled severely for both squads as the two teams combined for a total of five third quarter points. However, it would be beneficial for the Jr. Cards for they were able to stretch their lead to 27-15 heading into the fourth and final stanza of play. This fourth and final quarter was once again a struggle on the offensive end for NCOE as they witnessed the Bullpups outscore them for the first time in the contest, 6-5. This, however, was not enough to keep the Junior Cardinals from pulling off the victory, 32-21.
Scoring for NCOE (19-1) was very balanced with Preston Long leading the way with 10 points while Joel Hortin added eight points, Erik Healy six points, Cord Tucker five points, and Colby Prather three points. Healy, Long, and Tucker each dished out two assists to top the team while Hortin and Jaden Simmons added one. Joel Hortin was the top rebounder with six boards followed by Erik Healy with five, Preston Long four, Cord Tucker three, and Colby Prather two. Long was credited with four steals in the game while Hortin added three, Tucker two, Healy two, Prather two, and Simmons one.
The Junior Varsity contest watched the Junior Cardinals fall behind early against the Bullpups as they faced a 12-6 deficit following one quarter of play. NCOE struggled with their offense even more in the second frame as they were only able to muster one point. This offensive struggle found the Jr. Cards falling behind 21-7 as halftime arrived.
Second half action was better on the offensive end for NCOE but the early lead the Bullpups gathered was just too much to overcome as the Jr. Cards fell by the final score of 43-20.
Spencer Shipp was the leading scorer for the Jayvee squad (3-9) with 11 points. Others scoring in the game for the Junior Cardinals were Nolan Prather with five points, Lane Connaway two points, and Tate Riggs two points. Riggs was credited with the lone assist.
Rebounding honors were shared by Spencer Shipp and Zeke Baumgart as each gathered four rebounds in the contest. Others with rebounds were Tate Riggs (3), Nolan Prather (2), Brockton Washburn (1), and Dayton Tharp (1). Riggs collected two steals in the game followed by Baumgart and Bryer Sauls with one a piece.
The Junior Cardinals will kick off their Little Greater Egyptian Conference play Thursday evening when they host the Pope County Pirates in first round action.
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