The Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Fighting Cardinal basketball team hit the road Friday evening to try and keep their Greater Egyptian Conference record unblemished but they knew they were in for a ‘tall’ task as their opponent would be that of the Thompsonville Tigers. Not only were the Fighting Cardinals outsized at a majority of the positions, they were facing the Tigers on their Homecoming night which always adds extra motivation to the home squad.
First quarter action got underway with the Tigers using their size advantage and long range shooting ability to go on a 14-4 run and claim the 10-point first quarter lead. The second quarter would find the Fighting Cardinals starting to come alive on the offensive end as they were able to match their opponent with 14 second quarter points to keep the Thompsonville lead at just 10 points heading to the locker room at halftime.
Following intermission, the Fighting Cardinals would once again struggle getting good looks but their defense would maintain the Tigers for the most part. This offensive struggle though would allow Thompsonville to extend their lead to 15 as the third quarter closed. The fourth and final quarter would once again witness NCOE playing right with the much larger Tiger team but unfortunately, right with was not good enough as the Fighting Cardinals fell by the final score of 54-39.
Trey Simmons led the scoring column with 10 points followed by Brandon Skaggs with seven, Houston Money six, Colton O’Neal four, Jack Riggs three, Ty Money three, CJ Richardson three, and Jaden Barton three.
Junior Varsity action started out with both team struggling to connect on their shots but as the first quarter would wind down, NCOE would find themselves trailing 9-6. This deficit would swell to nine points in the second quarter when the Tigers would outscore the Fighting Cardinals 12-6 to claim the 21-12 halftime advantage.
Second half action would watch the Fighting Cardinals hit the court with much more intensity than they showed in the first half. This intensity would not only narrow the Thompsonville lead but find NCOE tying the contest up as the third quarter came to a close. NCOE would keep the momentum on their side despite a few hiccups that allowed Thompsonville to make some runs of their own and as time was winding down, the Fighting Cardinals would manage to hit some clutch shots that enabled them to remain undefeated as they claimed the 46-42 win.
Ty Lane paced the Fighting Cardinals with 18 points followed by Eli Brown with 11, Ty Money seven, Nathaniel Wilson six, and Brendan Frost four.
Freshmen action would play two halves of a continuous clock and the Fighting Cardinals would manage to top the Tigers in each of these to claim the 30-17 victory. Three players, Colter Rister, Cole Roberson, and Aryon Jolley would score six points to lead the way for NCOE while Jake Rush would add three, Tyler Connaway three, Gabe Largent two, Zaine Smith two, and Will Thompson two.