By Michael Buhler
The Conway Springs Cardinals boys basketball team found that one of the best ways to shake off a frustrating road loss is to win the next game. That it happened on homecoming made it all the better.
After suffering a 48-35 loss to Wichita Independent last Tuesday, the Cardinals downed Belle Plaine 56-41 last Friday on homecoming.
Conway Springs led Belle Plaine 25-18 at the intermission, then outscored the visiting Dragons 19-10 in the third quarter to take a 16-point lead (44-28) to the final period.
“Our focus coming into the Belle Plaine game was really solid after dropping the game at Indy,” Conway Springs coach Paul Lange said. “That was good because Belle Plaine had improved since the last time we played. I thought Izic Billups and Nash Johnsen were really good for us all game long.
“Izic had to handle many of the point guard duties for us in addition to carrying the scoring load we normally expect from him. He was able to score in a variety of ways while setting up others around him. One of the beneficiaries of that was Nash, who hit shot after shot from the floor to keep the Dragons off balance throughout the game while leading us in rebounds with eight.”
Johnsen led the Cardinals with 21 points, while Billups had 20.
“It was a special night all the way around starting with it being homecoming,” Lange said. “My son, Benjamin, was the crown bearer and one of our players, Patrick Friess, was crowned king. However, I don’t think any moment was bigger than Jacob Doffing coming in and scoring in the last minute of the game.
“He had limited experience coming into this year and has been working all season long for that moment. I think everyone in the gym was pulling for him to get that bucket and the crowd erupted when the ball went through the net.”
The Cardinals headed to Douglass earlier this week and host Mulvane Thursday before making the trip to Medicine Lodge Friday before coming home to face Chaparral Tuesday to conclude the regular season.
Conway Springs: Nash Johnsen 21, Izic Billups 20, Taylor Wykes 8, Jacob Doffing 2, Patrick Friess 2, Lance Pauly 2, Cade Howell 1.
At Independent last Tuesday, the host Lions outscored Conway Springs 12-2 in the third quarter to turn a one-point halftime lead to a 37-26 lead by the start of the fourth quarter.
Billups led the Cardinals with 10 points.
Conway Springs: Izic Billups 10, Derrick Smith 9, Nash Johnsen 5, Taylor Wykes 5, Lance Pauly 4, Patrick Friess 2.