With the bulk of its experience back, the Crete boys’ basketball team opened the season Dec. 5 with a 67-19 win over Columbus Lakeview.
Coach Garrett Borcher said the Cardinals took control early, limiting the Vikings to nine first-half points while scoring 40.
“We were able to turn defense into offense,” he said.
Jaxon Weyand was the team’s leading scorer with 19 points and grabbed six steals. Owen Kuntz added 15 points and six rebounds. Josiah Gardiner picked up five assists to go with five rebounds and nine points.
The Cardinals couldn’t keep that going Dec. 6 at Hastings. The score was tied 13-13 after the first quarter, and the Cardinals trailed by three at the half and after the third quarter.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Tigers, who scored 23 points and held Crete to nine en route to the 56-39 victory.
“We told the guys whoever played the hardest longest would win,” Borcher said.
Hastings got hot in the fourth quarter, he said. However, he saw a lot of good things the Cardinals can build on going forward.
“We know we can play with anyone,” he said. “We have to learn how to put four quarters together.”
Weyand led the team with 17 points and five rebounds. Gardiner added 15 points.
In looking at the first week of competition, Borcher was happy with what he saw overall.
“I think we will be tough on defense. We pride ourselves on that,” he said.
He said the seniors have stepped into good leadership roles so far. Once the team gains confidence, he said, it will be able to play with anyone.
The Cardinals (1-1) will host Beatrice Thursday, Dec. 12, at 7:30 p.m. and travel to Grand Island to play Northwest Friday, Dec. 13. Both are well-coached teams, Borcher said, and both always play hard.