ELDON – The Cardinal girls' basketball team looked to move up a notch in the conference when they hosted Southeast Iowa Super Conference foe Danville on Tuesday night.
During much of the contest, it appeared that the Comets might get the job done. Missed shots at the foul line and missed chances on the glass, however, hurt Cardinal in a 49-47 Southeast Iowa Superconference south division nailbiter against the Bears.
Danville stayed in a full-court press most of the contest, but the Comets had little trouble consistently breaking the press.
The Comets could only muster four points during the first six minutes of the initial period, all on free-throws, until senior Alexia McClure hit a 3-point goal with 1:42 left in the quarter, pulling the Comets to within one point. With just 17 seconds remaining, a lay-up by Allison Sloan gave Cardinal a 9-8 lead heading into the second quarter of play.
Four lead changes in the second quarter would keep the contest interesting, as Cardinal knocked down eight free-throws during the quarter. Trailing 22-20 with 11 seconds remaining in the half, sophomore Kinsey Hissem converted on a field goal, was fouled and hit the free-throw for a three-point play to put the Comets in front 23-22 at halftime.
The third quarter proved to be the achilles heel for the Comets. Tied as 31-31 with just two minutes left in the period, Danville scored the final three points to take a 34-31 lead into the final quarter of play.
Despite the narrow scoring margin, the Comets struggled to take over. After tying the score 36-36 with 5:50 left in the game, Cardinal would fall behind 47-43 with under a minute left.
With just 18 seconds left in the game, McClure hit a 3-pointer from the right baseline to close the gap to two points. After drawing a charge at the other end of the court by McClure, the Comets regained possession with a chance to tie the game but were unable to convert the possession into points.
"Our critical points in the contest tonight were missing 10 free-throws, and giving up too many second chance points," assessed Comet head coach, Makenzie Ostrander.
McClure finished with a game-high 21 points for the Comets while Hissem added 14 points.
Cardinal (2-5, 1-5 SEI south) next travels to Donnellson to take on conference foe Central Lee next Friday.
Teams 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Danville 8 14 12 15 49
Cardinal 9 14 8 16 47