The Norris City-Omaha-Enfield Fighting Cardinal basketball team headed to Crab Orchard Thursday evening in hopes of keeping their winning ways alive as they prepared to take on the Trojans in a Greater Egyptian Conference battle. With one win already under their belts against the Trojans from earlier in the season the Fighting Cardinals were hoping to collect another.
The Trojans, however, had different plans as they had their offense going early in the game and erupted for 17 first quarter points compared to just 13 for the Fighting Cardinals. Now trailing by four points, the Fighting Cardinals tightened up their defense and limited Crab Orchard to just 11 second quarter points. The NCOE offense remained consistent as they posted another 13 points to their score to cut into the Trojan, 28-26, as halftime arrived.
Following intermission, both teams made some defensive adjustments and managed to hold their opponent to their lowest total of the night, but NCOE would manage to trim the Crab Orchard lead to just one as they outscored the Trojans 9-8 in the third quarter of play. Now, trailing 36-35, it was time for the offense to step up for the Fighting Cardinals. This is exactly what happened as the Fighting Cardinals exploded for their best showing yet in the game as they scored 17 points. Unfortunately, the NCOE defense did not stay consistent as the Fighting Cardinals allowed the Trojans a monstrous 27 points. This fourth quarter meltdown allowed the Trojans to end the NCOE win streak as the Fighting Cardinals fell by the final score of 63-52.
Trey Simmons had the hot hand for the Fighting Cardinals (11-13) in this game with 14 points. Others scoring for NCOE were Jack Riggs and Joe Melton with seven points apiece, Colton O’Neal and Brandon Skaggs with six points each, Jaden Barton five points, CJ Richardson three points, and Ty Money and Eli Brown with two points apiece.
Coach Jordan Johnson and his Jayvee squad took control early in the junior varsity game as they dominated from start to finish outscoring the Trojans in every quarter of play. This dominating play allowed them to collect their eleventh victory of the season against just four losses with the 24 point win, 54-30.
The Junior Varsity team (11-4) was led in scoring by Eli Brown with 24 points. Nathaniel Wilson followed with nine points while Colter Rister and Jake Rush added four points each, Jace Johnson three points, and Ty Lane, Brendan Frost, Bryce Jolley, Aryon Jolley, and Jacob Richerson each added two points.