Playing their second CLAA Conference opponent at NCMC Holiday Hoops in Trenton, the North Mercer Cardinals pulled away from a tight game at halftime with a 28-8 third quarter surge, that proved key in a 69-56 win over Hardin-Central, improving the Cardinals record to 7-2 on the season.
Colton Hartley helped to keep Mercer in the game in the first half, scoring 22 of the Cardinals 30 points prior to the break, with Hardin-Central leading 31-30 at the half. In the third quarter, Hartley's teammates picked up more of the scoring slack, with Garrett Noe coming alive from a trio of three-point field goals, with freshman Trey Wilson adding a three pointer, and Hartley himself adding 10 more points in the third stanza.
Hartley finished with a game-high 37 points for North Mercer, who will have the #1 seed in next week's Milan Tournament. Noe had 12 points and Caleb Wyatt 11 for the Cardinals. For Hardin-Central, Colton Layman led the way with 15 points, with Cliff Kugler adding 14, and Wyatt Craven 12. Wednesday night's game was broadcast on KTTN FM 92.3, with webcast and videocast from www.kttn.com and 'Internet TV'.
In the first game broadcast on Wednesday night on KTTN, the Southwest Livingston boys claimed a low-scoring victory over Princeton by a score of 36-29, keeping the Tigers stuck at only one win thus far on the basketball season. Derek Montgomery led the Wildcats with 10 points, with Brant Faulkner scoring 15 points and Devin Purvis 10 for Princeton.
In a late afternoon game broadcast from the Ketcham Community Center on Hot Country Z 101.7, the Princeton girls won for the fourth time this season, holding down a number of Southwest Livingston rallies in the fourth quarter to take a 57-52 victory. It was a balanced scoring effort for the Lady Tigers, with Nancy Berwanger held relatively in check with 16 points, while Paige Phillips added 13, and Trinity Kile 10 points. For Southwest Livingston, senior forward Sydnee Rounkles surged over the 1,000 point plateau in her high school career, with a second-quarter bank-shot giving her the mark as part of a 16 point night. Sophomore guard Maritza Chavez had 11 points and freshman guard Haylee Johnson 10 for the Lady Wildcats.
The Princeton girls and boys now prepare for a Grand River Conference doubleheader on Friday night against the Maysville Wolverines, to be heard on KTTN FM 92.3 and www.kttn.com, with pregame at 5:50, girl's tip at 6:00, and boy's tip at 7:30.
The first game of Holiday Hoops on Wednesday saw the Kirksville Lady Tigers down the Savannah Lady Savages by a final score of 54-41.
On Monday at NCMC Holiday Hoops, the unbeaten run of the Gallatin boys came to an end, with Putnam County downing the Bulldogs by a final score of 72-66. Other final scores on New Year's Eve from the Ketcham Community Center in Trenton were:
(Girls) Cainsville 61, Hale 49
(Boys) Hale 57, Gilman City 48
(Girls) Hamilton 50, Putnam County 34
(Boys) Hamilton 51, Schuyler County 30
(Girls) Chillicothe 68, Schuyler County 35
Games scheduled between the Cainsville and Norborne BOYS and the Gallatin and Norborne GIRLS were cancelled due to Monday morning's wintry weather. Those games will not be rescheduled.
Two more games remain for NCMC's Holiday Hoops event for this year, with Tina-Avalon and Novinger meeting in a THURSDAY night doubleheader. The girl's game is scheduled for 6 o'clock with the boy's game at 8 o'clock, wrapping up the eighth annual event on the North Central Missouri College campus in Trenton.