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Sometimes numbers speak for themselves. Carter Boothe’s statline of 23 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists said almost all you need to know.
Boothe’s performance led Central Decatur to a 67-50 road win at East Union that was closer than the score indicates in the fourth quarter.
“It’s my first time in eight years I’ve had a guy with a triple double,” Central Decatur coach Zach Clark said. “That’s one heck of a night. That shows what he can do.”
The Eagles trailed by double-dgit margins much of the night and trailed 50-35 after a long Boothe 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter.
Mason Gossman, quiet offensively for much of the night, began to force the issue and sparked a 10-0 Eagles run. The East Union press flustered the Cardinals over that stretch.
Casey Walter, cold up until that point, added to the flurry with a couple free throws and a clucth 3-pointer.
“Casey (Walter) is not a secret to the conference,” East Union coach Matt Brown said. “He doesn’t go anywhere by himself. He has to learn to use his height and shoot over or show everybody the ability penetrate that I know he has got.”
A Riley Ball jumper from the left block stopped the Eagles run with Central Decatur going up 54-47 and seemed to calm the Cardinals’ nerves. From that point forward the Cardinals handled the press thanks largely to the vision and ball skills of Boothe, who found the open man repeatedly to end the game.
His 15 assists came seamlessly.
Clark was impressed with his bench players who filled in over the time Central Decatur expanded its lead from five to 13.
“We had three starters on the bench when we took it from five back to 13. Tyler Davis and Micky Morgan and Trey petty came off the bench,” Clark said. “They haven’t been in that situation a lot this year. We’ve been in a ton of close games and it usually has been some other guys in those situations and those guys did a great job.”
Despite struggling on offense early, Gabe Nixon played well enough to keep East Union in the game early. His 12 first-half points were the first 12 points the Eagles scored in the game.
“Gabe Nixon really stepped up tonight offensively,” Brown said. “He really hasn’t found his rhythm yet this season so hopefully tonight is just the beginning play with a kittle bit more confidence. Wherever our three seniors go, we go.”
This was just yet another night of unpredictable Pride of iowa Conference a basketball. It’s a league that many coaches can see nearly two handfuls of teams competing to be among the upper echelon of the conference this season.
“There are no nights off in the POI. It’s whoever brings their best game every night,” Brown said.
Clark expects to have a better idea of where everyone stands in about two weeks. His squad and others in the conference have a flurry of games coming up. Right now he’s struggling to figure out where everyone is.
“I think it’s crazy. I don’t think you stand anywhere,” Clark said.
UP NEXT — East Union (7-3) hosts Southwest Valley Tuesday at 7:45 p.m.
CD (67) — scoring — Carter Boothe 8 3-3 23, Grant Atwood 4 3-6 11, Tyler Davis 5 0-0 10, Cole Pedersen 3 0-2 6, Mickey Morgan 3 0-1 6, Trae Petty 2 1-3 5, Kyle Guill 2 0-0 4, Gideon Porter 1 0-0 2. 3-point goals — 6 (Alli Masters 3, Raegan Boothe 2). FG Shooting — 28-57 (49 percent). Rebounds — 42 (Carter Boothe 14, Cole Pederson 8, Grant Atwood 5, Nathan Guill 5, Gideon Porter 4). Assists — 19 (Carter Boothe 15), Steals — 9 (Carter Boothe 2, Morgan Mickey 2). Blocks — None — Team fouls — 22. Fouled out — Nathan Guill.
EU (50) — scoring — Gabe Nixon 17, Mason Gossman 15, Casey Walter 8, Kyle Campbell 5, Ryan Collins 3, Dillon Weis 2. Totals — 3-point goals 4 — (Casey Walter 2, Gabe Nixon 1, Kyle Campbell 1). Team fouls — 17. Fouled out— None.
CD (67) — 12 19 16 20
EU (50) — 5 16 14 16