ELDON – Cardinal used a balanced offensive attack to knock off a solid Danville team, 52-45, at home on Tuesday night.
Danville entered the Southeast Iowa Super Conference contest holding down second place in the South Division. Despite committing 16 turnovers in the first half of play, the Comets would hold a narrow lead through much of the game.
Blaine Bryant would set the Comet offense ablaze to open the contest, hitting a 3-pointer from the right wing and following with another trey from the right baseline. Dawson Lewis would then hit a 3-pinter to open a 9-2 lead for the hosts.
Danville would respond during the final five minutes of play in the quarter, outscoring Cardinal 9-2 to narrow the Comet lead to a two-point margin as the first quarter drew to a close.
The second quarter would be tightly contested, keeping the contest interesting with both teams trading baskets. Up 23-21 with 10 seconds remaining in the half, the Bears hit a lay-up to knot the score at 23-23 as the half concluded.
"We could have done a better job offensively in the first half of play, as we had to reduce the number of turnovers we had in the first quarter," noted Comet head coach Michael Strasko. "We were also over-extending ourselves on defense, and stopped reaching during the second half of play."
Danville would take the lead midway through the third frame, 27-26, before the Comets scored 10 of their 13 points in the quarter to open a 36-31 lead heading into the final period of play.
With the Comets holding a thin 48-45 advantage, Elias Elammari stepped to the free throw line with 15 seconds remaining in the game. Elammari would hit two consecutive shots from the charity stripe to put the Comets up by five points.
With seven seconds left in the game, Elammari converted on one more free-throw to ice the victory for the Comets. Bryant and Lewis would lead the offensive attack for Cardinal with 10 points each while Griffin Greiner and Elammari each added eight points apiece for the winners.
Cardinal (5-3, 2-3 SEI south) continues in conference play on Friday night as they travel to Donnellson to take on Central Lee.
"Central Lee will be on the upswing after beating conference leader New London before the break," noted Strasko.
Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Danville 11 12 8 14 45
Cardinal 13 10 13 16 52