10 each to power the Cardinals to a 52-38 win against the Warhawks in
an OCC-Central Division clash.The Warhawks entered the game at 2-0 in the division and had hopes of taking control in the Central with a win.
Wade Mickey scored 11 points and Taylor Hobbs and Kyler Cowgill added 10 each to power the Cardinals to a 52-38 win against the Warhawks in an OCC-Central Division clash.
The Warhawks entered the game at 2-0 in the division and had hopes of taking control in the Central with a win.
Defending division champ Thomas had other ideas as it took control in the second quarter and never looked back.
The Cardinals improve to 3-1 in the division and 7-3 overall and the Warhawks stand at 2-1 and 6-2.
“We certainly felt that this was an important game with them being (2-0) in the league,” veteran Thomas coach Bob Miller said. “We lose this game we go down two (games) to them. Obviously, we felt it’s still fairly early in the league race, but we couldn’t afford to go two games behind them. They had a nice crowd. We felt getting out to a quick start was also something that would send a statement to them.”
Thomas scored the game’s first eight points as it attempted to make the game a rout early on, but the Warhawks bounced back to take their lone lead of the game at 15-14 early in the second quarter following Max Van Meter’s rebound hoop.
The Cardinals answered with a 9-0 spurt to take the lead for good, highlighted by Cowgill’s six points and Mickey’s 3-pointer from the corner.
Thomas connected on seven 3-pointers in the first half and held a 29-21 advantage at the break.
Van Meter attempted to keep his team within striking distance as he scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the first half.
Thomas controlled the tempo in the second half and maintained a comfortable lead throughout the final two quarters.
The hosts managed to close within 33-26 on Dustyn Warner’s bucket and Jourdon Devoll’s free throw, but that would be as close as they would get.
Mickey scored off a turnover and the Cardinals easily solved the Warhawks’ full-court pressure, capped by Justin Hallowell’s bucket as the Cardinals opened a 41-27 lead with 2:30 remaining in the third quarter.
Central never cut the deficit to less than 10 points in the final quarter.
“This was a big game for us and it didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” Central coach Todd Minney said. “We didn’t play a good game. They shot the ball real well in the first half and stuck us a little bit. I don’t think we recovered real well. We didn’t shoot the ball real well at all tonight and the ball kind of bounces that way when you don’t shoot the ball well and the other team shoots the ball well.
“We played catch up most of the night and they did an outstanding job of creating space to force us to play one-on-one, and at the end penetrating and finding lay-ups when we went to trap. When you’re stuck behind that’s the kind of the game you have to play at the end of the game.”