Game 1 – Jr. Cards rally to defeat Crab Orchard in tourney play
Coach Jimmy Goebel and his NCOE Junior Cardinal basketball team kicked off Gallatin County Tournament action Monday evening by taking on the Crab Orchard Trojans in first round action.
NCOE jumped out to the early 6-3 advantage in the first quarter but at that point the offense became stagnant and the Trojans went on a 16-2 run to leave the Junior Cardinals trailing by double digits following one quarter of play. Second quarter action started slow as well for NCOE, but everything seemed to fall into rhythm when Preston Long returned quicker than expected from an ankle injury he received in the previous game against Grayville. At this time, the Jr. Cards seemed to pull together and began running a much more effective offense, along with cutting down on their turnovers. This offensive improvement would witness NCOE cutting into the Crab Orchard lead, as they topped the Trojans 13-9 in the second quarter of action to only trail by seven points, as they headed into the locker room at halftime.
Following intermission, NCOE picked right back up where they left off but they were able to step up their offensive play even more as they erupted for 23 third quarter points to just 14 from their opponent. This explosion would find the Junior Cardinals claiming their early lead back at 44-42 as they headed into the final quarter of play. This fourth and final stanza was one of momentum as the Junior Cardinals would stretch their lead out to seven points but some sluggish play and several turnovers would witness Crab Orchard narrowing the NCOE lead to just two points with less than a minute to play. NCOE would then step their defense up another notch to alter their opponent’s shot. This adjustment would allow the Jr. Cards to keep the Trojans at bay as they went on to claim the 55-51 victory.
Cord Tucker connected on five three pointers on seven attempts to lead the Junior Cardinals (3-1) with 15 points. Joel Hortin and Colby Prather followed with 11 points (Prather was successful on three of four attempts from behind the arc) and Erik Healy added eight points. Hortin and Tucker dished out four assists to top the Jr. Cards followed by two a piece from Long, Prather, and Healy.
Erik Healy and Joel Hortin each grabbed seven rebounds to claim rebounding honors while Preston Long ripped down six boards and Cord Tucker two. Tucker and Long led the defensive attack, as each were credited with three steals in the game, along with two from Hortin, and one each from Healy, Prather, and Jaden Simmons.
Game 2 – Jr. Cards remain undefeated in Gallatin County tourney play
The Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Junior Cardinal Basketball team was riding high following their come from behind victory, just one night prior against Crab Orchard in the Gallatin County Tournament as they were set to take on the Hardin County Cougars in their second night of play.
Although play started out a little sluggish on the offensive end, the Jr. Cards got things straightened up and were able to jump out to the early 10-4 lead following one quarter of play. Second quarter action was much more balanced, as NCOE was only to outscore their opponent 10-9, but this was enough to to stretch their lead to seven points at the halftime break.
Once second half action picked up, the Junior Cardinals appeared to be ready to go to work and take control of the game. This is exactly what NCOE did as they stepped up their play on both ends of the court to top their opponent once again 12-7 to extend their lead even further, 32-20, as they would head into the final quarter of play. This fourth and final quarter would witness the Junior Cardinal defense causing major problems for the Cougars, as they were only able to muster two more points compared to 13 by NCOE. This defensive stand allowed the Junior Cardinals to improve to 2-0 in tourney play and coast to the lopsided 45-22 victory.
The NCOE offense was led once again by Cord Tucker as he kept his sharp shooting alive and posted 14 points for the Junior Cardinals (4-1). Joel Hortin followed closely with 10 points of his own, while Tate Riggs added nine, Colby Prather six, Erik Healy two, Jaden Simmons two, and Nolan Prather two. Tucker was also the leading assist getter, as he dished out a team high ive followed by C.Prather and Healy with two each, and Lane Connaway one.
Joel Hortin brought down a team high six rebounds for the Jr. Cards followed by Spencer Shipp with four, Colby Prather three, Cord Tucker two, and one a piece for both Erik Healy and Austin Surratt. Hortin also was credited with four steals while Healy added three, Tucker two, Simmons two, C.Prather one, Riggs one, and Shipp one.
Game 3 – Jr. Cards claim 3-peat at Gallatin County Tournament
The Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Junior Cardinal basketball team ventured to Junction Friday evening to play their final game in the Gallatin County Tournament. This time their opponent would be the Gallatin County Junior Hawks. With a win already under their belts thus far this season against the Jr. Hawks, the Junior Cardinals were hoping to claim yet another victory against Gallatin County to wrap up the championship with a perfect 3-0 tournament showing.
Action started out all NCOE as they erupted for a 13-0 lead before Gallatin County was ever able to get a shot to drop. They would then go on to finish the first frame with a 15-5 advantage. Second quarter action would witness the Jr. Hawks connecting a little more often on the offensive end, but another strong offensive performance by NCOE would find the Junior Cardinals heading into the locker room with a 29-14 halftime lead.
Second half action would again tip off with the Junior Cardinals in complete control on the offensive end as they once again topped their opponent 17-8 to stretch their lead to 24-points with one quarter remaining. This fourth and final quarter of play would be a much slower pace but it would again find NCOE topping Gallatin County 9-6 to stroll to the tournament championship. This victory put the Junior Cardinals at a perfect 3-0 tourney showing for the week and allowed them to claim their third consecutive tournament championship trophy at the Gallatin County Tournament.
On a 13-15 shooting night, Erik Healy led the Junior Cardinals with 29 points. Others scoring were Preston Long 10, Joel Hortin eight, Cord Tucker six, and Colby Prather two. Long led the team with eight assists followed by Tucker with four, Healy two, and Hortin one.
Preston Long ripped down five rebounds to led the rebounding category while Joel Hortin, Erik Healy, and Austin Surratt grabbed two a piece, and Cord Tucker collected one. Hortin would be credited with five steals in the contest followed by Long with four, Tucker three, and Healy one.
NCOE (5-1) will be back in action Monday evening when they host the Hardin County Cougars and again Thursday, November 8, when a gritty Carrier Mills squad comes to town.
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