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Cardinals secure a home opener win

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The season began at Seymour on Friday, Nov. 19, and the Niangua Cardinals could not secure the win. Falling to the talented Tigers 55-44, coach Kalem Copling stated that ‘the first game jitters hurt us.’ 

“Seymour did a good job of speeding us up,” said Copling. “I thought defensively we did a good job of keeping them to one possession. We had some excellent possessions of sharing the ball and finding the right guy to take shots.”

Hunter Cantrell for the Cardinals lead the team in the first quarter with 6 points scored, and Clayton Henderson scoring one free throw. Ending the first quarter with 9 points. It was not enough to defeat the Tigers 20 points scored ending the first 9-20.

“Seymour is a talented ball team, they shoot the ball well and like to play physical,” explained Copling.

The second quarter the team then scored a total of 12 points with Ethan Scheetz contributing 8 points for the Cardinals. Defensively the Cardinals only allowed 5 points to be scored for Seymour catching up on the score 21-25. 

Going into the second half of the game, the Cardinals stayed in the double digits for points scored in the quarters. Scheetz lead again during the third quarter with 6 points out of a total of 10 points. Barley trailing behind Seymour, the Tigers scored 14 points in the quarter. 

Entering the fourth quarter with a score of 31-39, the Cardinals then tallied up 14 points with Clayton Henderson scoring 5 points. While the fourth quarter was played hard by the Cardinals it was not enough to defeat Seymours 16 points ending the game with a loss by 10 points. 

“There were a lot for us to learn from this game,” added Copling. “But I saw a lot of positives that we can build off.” 

And build off the positives is exactly what the Cardinals did. Coming off of a loss, Niangua then hosted the first home game against Humansville on Monday, Nov. 22, winning 52-45. 

Brayden Johnston lead the team this game with a total of 16 points and Scheetz trailed right behind him at 13 points. 

Starting the first quarter, the Cardinals were behind Humasnville 8-9. Coming back out in the second, Niangua then took the lead scoring 14 points. Johnston making 5 out of 6 of his free throws and Cantrell making 3 out of 4. Ending the first half with a score of 22-18. 

“Our defense was locked in for majority of the game,” stated Copling. “I think that defensive mindset played a huge role for the team. Lead to some easy baskets in transition. We did a great job of helping the helper, if our teammate had to help on a driver our backside help came and took away a lot of easy shots by being disruptive in the passing lanes.”

Coming back out in the second half the team scored 15 points in the third and 15 points in the fourth. Humansville only being able to score 13 in the third and 14 in the fourth allowed Niangua to secure the home opener win, 52-45. 

“I’m proud the effort from the boys, the fans came out in support and overall just a really fun night of basketball,” mention Copling.

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