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Cardinals soar past Chiefs
Brodheads Justice Tway drives the lane to give his team its largest lead of the game, at 23 points, in the second half. Tway finished with 15 points in the game. (Times photo: Adam Krebs)
BRODHEAD - Sometimes in order to regain confidence and swagger, you just need to go out and swiftly beat an inferior opponent. The Brodhead boys did just that Thursday night, knocking off Rock Valley bottom feeder Big Foot 72-60 in a game that the outcome wasn't in question after the opening minute.

"This get's our confidence up," senior Justice Tway said without hesitation. "Maybe we can build it to two (wins in a row), then three and then maybe make a run."

Big Foot (2-12, 0-10 Rock Valley) turned the ball over in each of its first three possessions thanks to Brodhead's 1-3-1 zone and seemingly quarter-mile collective wingspan.

"If you measure wing spans, we've got some pretty long ones to have to look over," head coach Nick Jarvis said. "I thought when we were active we did a nice job of it. I thought it worked well early, and then we got a little tired. You could see they started to find some gaps."

The Cardinals (5-9, 3-7) jumped out to a 9-0 lead in less than two minutes of action and pushed it to 18-5 after Tway hit a 3-pointer and immediately stole the ball on defense and went coast-to-coast, burying home a two-handed flush.

"We wanted to start off fast, get it going, and bury them right away," Tway said.

Tway, who has been battling an ankle injury, said he had no problems Thursday night - something that the rest of the league will want to remember as the Cardinals will be playing spoiler the rest of the regular season.

"I wasn't playing very well the last couple of games," Tway said. "I knew this had to be the game. And I couldn't feel (the pain). I knew I was ready to go and to get back to normal."

Jarvis thought Tway's play was promising.

"He looked really fresh. And the one thing I thought he did a great job of tonight was his shot selection. It was phenomenal. He didn't force the issue," Jarvis said. "I thought we did a nice job of finding him and him finding other people."

Brodhead led by at least 10 points for all but the first 4 minutes and 20 seconds of the game. The Cardinals biggest lead came in the second half at 23 points after Tway had another explosive drive through the lane with 6:03 to go to make it 68-45.

"I thought we did a really nice job of getting each other involved and getting shots for other people. Guys knocked it down when they were open, and I really like that," Jarvis said. "This might have been our best energy (game) of the season."

Brodhead's Brekan Day finished as the game's high scorer with 22 points, the last two of which came on his own dunk off of a baseline drive in the second half. Parker Johnson hit four 3s and finished with 19 for the Cardinals, followed by Tway's 15, Dawson Van Whye's 10 and Dawson McGinty's 6. Brodhead hit eight 3s in the game.

"We had stretches where we didn't get great shots. When we needed to work for great shots we didn't," Jarvis said.

With about five weeks left in the regular season, the Cardinals know they have the talent that it takes to win a few games in the postseason and turn some heads.

"We need to keep grinding, work on our offense, keep the ball moving and play good defense. We can't let up," Tway said. "Hopefully we can get a win in regionals and go from there. Maybe we'll get to sectionals."