Three consecutive 20-point quarters led the Booneville Bearcats to a 73-50 win over Western Yell County in the Cats’ season opener last Tuesday. BHS then overcame a subpar shooting night in the home opener against Danville to get a 50-32 win.
The Lady Cats played strongly for a half in both their games, but the lack of depth—there are only six available players right now—told in the end.
Booneville hosts Arkoma tomorrow night.
Bearcats 73 Western Yell 50
The Bearcats spotted Western Yell a six-point lead before a Chandler Fritsche basket and a three by Camryn Lawson tied the score. The Wolverines would take a two-point lead out of the first quarter but two quick Tucker Knight baskets took care of that. WYC would tie it twice more but a Knight three-pointer started a 9-0 run, and a Caden Yarborough bonus shot and Josh Scott’s layup gave the Bearcats a 33-23 halftime lead.
The Wolverines remained in striking distance until about halfway through the third period, but Booneville went on a 12-2 run to put the game away. Fritsche and Mason Weaver started it with layups and after Scott put in a free throw, Yarborough canned a three-pointer. Logan Bradley and Yarborough capped it with layups and Booneville led 53-33 after three. Fritsche then personally kept the ball on the Bearcat end, scoring five points in a row after a Haney three, and Nate Riley gave the Cats their biggest lead at 69-39 on another bonus ball.
Yarborough finished with 15 points; Fritsche scored 13 points and got 9 rebounds while Knight added 11 and Bradley nine. The Cats hit 54 percent from the field and dominated the boards 33-20.
Western Yell 34 LadyCats 25
Two baskets by Karlie Campos and one by Beth Wilkinson staked BHS to a 6-2 lead, and Wilkinson would add another basket and a free throw as the LadyCats maintained that lead. WYC tied the game at 10 but a Bailey Denton 10-footer put Booneville in front 12-10 after one. However, the Lady Wolverines shut out BHS until a Campos basket very late in the second quarter. WYC had scored nine points in the interim and led 19-14 at the break.
Denton dropped an 8-footer to move BHS within three, but Western Yell’s Andrea Valbuena then took charge of the game. She scored six points in a row and had eight in the period on the way to a 20-point night. Campos had the only other Booneville basket in the quarter and the LadyCats found themselves down 30-18 after three. Booneville, though, clawed their way back; Wilkinson and Lexi Ross each hit two free throws and Wilkinson then fired in a 15-footer to make it 30-24. But Valbuena put in a three-point play with just over two minutes left and the Lady Wolverines took the win.
Wilkinson finished with 10 points for Booneville and Campos added eight, while Ross led in rebounding with seven. In the end BHS could not overcome 27 percent shooting.
Danville 40 LadyCats 26
Much of the first 10 minutes saw one team or the other go on scoring runs. Booneville started it with Karlie Campos, Beth Wilkinson and Bailey Denton each scoring for a 6-0 lead, but DHS promptly scored the next 11 and led 11-6 after one. Booneville got the next five to tie the score with a Lexi Ross free throw, Wilkinson’s 10-footer and a Campos hook shot. Each team then had four-point runs to make it 15-all, and the first half would end in an 18-18 tie after Wilkinson hit from six.
Denton fired in an 8-footer to give Booneville the lead, but Danville went on an 11-1 run to take control of the game. In all the Lady Little Johns outscored Booneville 16-5 in the third quarter, and the LadyCats would not make much headway in the fourth quarter. a Wilkinson layup and Adria Coffer’s free throw was all they could muster. Wilkinson led Booneville with 14 points, while Ross grabbed 8 rebounds.
Bearcats 50 Danville 32
Booneville was quickly out to a 7-2 lead with an Adam Haney three being the big blow, but Danville rallied and took a one-point lead after one period. The Cats went on a 10-2 run with four different players — Tucker Knight, Josh Scott, Blakely Cobb and Caden Yarborough — getting baskets. Mason Weaver got a rebound and basket and Yarborough’s 12-footer helped the Cats to a 21-13 lead at halftime.
But with Ben Cantrell (17 points, nine rebounds) providing a strong inside presence, Danville rallied back. They cut a 12-point lead to four before Yarborough, who had been struggling, finally got hot. Leading 32-24 after three, the Cats got nine points from Yarborough in the fourth quarter, which was more than the Little Johns got as a team. In all, Booneville outscored Danville 16-8 in the fourth quarter.
Yarborough finished with 22 points, nine rebounds, four assists and four steals. Knight added seven points and seven rebounds as the Bearcats overcame 32 percent shooting. Booneville again dominated the boards (41-31).