Albia KO’s Cardinal boys in district opener
ELDON — Visiting Albia poured in 43 points in the second half Monday to pull away from Cardinal 75-57 in the opening round of Class 2A District 12 boys’ basketball action.
Senior post player Tanner Kellogg scored a game-high 34 points and guard Matt Baker chipped in 24 to help the Blue Demons (13-9) knock Cardinal out of the postseason in front of a rowdy, packed gymnasium in Eldon.
The host Comets, who were led by junior Charlie Rachford’s 14 points and senior Dakota Showman’s 13, hung tough to start.
The two teams battled back and forth in the first quarter with neither team gaining a clear-cut edge. Showman hit a 3 midway through the period to give Cardinal a 10-8 lead, but Albia answered back with a 3-pointer of its own. Albia pushed its advantage to 15-13, but senior Cody Carter hit his first of two treys with a minute to go in the quarter to hand Cardinal the 16-15 lead after one.
The Comets’ one-point lead would be fleeting, however, as Albia opened up the second quarter on a tear. The Blue Demons scored the first seven points in the period to take a 22-16 lead, and Cardinal never got closer than two points again.
Albia upped its lead to 27-19, but baskets by sophomore Kaleb Durflinger and Rachford cut the deficit to 29-24. Albia made a 3 in the final minute to go up by eight points, but a final basket by Showman helped Cardinal inch within six at the half, 32-26.
Following the close first half, Cardinal showed signs of life out of the break as Rachford, Showman and sophomore Brandon Potts all scored baskets in the opening minutes. A make by senior Jonathan Pedersen whittled Albia’s lead to 37-35 midway through the quarter, but the Blue Demons seemed to have an answer for nearly everything Cardinal threw at them and responded with an 18-5 run to end the period.
With Albia up 55-40 after three, Kellogg scored another nine points from the paint in the final eight minutes to lead his team to victory.
In addition to his 13-point performance, Showman was a worthy floor general in the final game of his prep career dishing out a game-high eight assists.
Pedersen totaled 10 points and seven rebounds, and Durflinger scored eight points to go with nine boards for Cardinal, who made 23 of 47 field goal attempts as a team. Carter supplied seven points off the bench, while Potts rounded out the team score with five points, and he also tallied seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
Albia moves on to the district semifinal in Monroe Thursday where they will face sixth-ranked PCM (20-1). Cardinal’s season ends with an even 11-11 record overall.
Cardinal vs. Albia
ALBIA— 15 17 23 20 — 75
CARDINAL — 16 10 14 17 — 57
CARDINAL — Rachford 7 0-3 14, Showman 5 1-2 13, Pedersen 4 2-2 10, Durflinger 3 2-3 8, Carter 2 1-2 7, Potts 2 1-2 5, Urtado 0 0-0 0, Totals 23 7-14 57.
3-point goals — Showman 2, Carter 2. Rebounds — Durflinger 9, Pedersen 7, Potts 7, Showman 6. Assists — Showman 8. Steals — Rachford 3, Carter 3, Potts 2, Durflinger 2. Blocks — Durflinger 4, Potts 4, Rachford 2.