The fortunes of the Booneville girls’ basketball program have not been the best of late, but if the success of this year’s seventh-grade team is any indication then LadyCat basketball might be about to turn the corner.
The “Fightin’ Sevies”, as they called themselves, turned in a record of 15 wins and 3 losses on the season for coach Jake Fennell, including several very convincing wins. Their losses came to Charleston (twice) and Trinity, and the girls avenged the Trinity loss with an impressive 28-8 win at a recent jamboree in Hackett.
Jacee Hart was the leading scorer and rebounder throughout the season playing the post position and Haley Roberts complemented her at forward, with Abby O’Bar and Maddie Walker coming off the bench to spell them. Each of these players stand 5-8 or taller, with Hart topping the chart at 5-10. In a win against Hackett in the jamboree Hart scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and in the finale against Mansfield she had seven points, six rebounds and four blocks.
Joleigh Tate ran the team from the point guard position. The daughter of former LadyCat standout Mandy Klek, she has enough size (5-5) to hold her own inside when driving. Starting with her at guard were Brooke Turner and Heaven Sanchez. This trio played stellar defense throughout the season as several opponents were held to less than 10 points. Hayley O’Connor and Katelynn Spain also showed a lot of potential; both have quickness on their side and did a good job giving the starters rest at times.
Completing the roster were forwards Makearla Scott and Celsi Haller and guard Kadance Crum. Each of them improved their game throughout the season.
The seventh-grade boys, while not compiling as impressive a record as the girls, also had their moments throughout the season. Evan Escobedo and Cade Smith developed outside shots as the season progressed while Rocky Ross provided exceptional quickness. George Griffiths, Jacob Garcia and Blazen Jones also logged significant minutes at guard.
The inside game was held down by Brandon Parrish, Levi Wilson and Seth Stevens, with Nathan Lunsford, Austin Goff, John Ramey and Emory Honey completing the roster for coach Ronnie Denton. The seventh-grade Cats were competitive with most teams that they played, picking up several wins during the season and gaining confidence as Denton continues to build the program.
With these players getting good experience and the concurrent development of basketball programs in lower grades, Booneville is striving to build a program that will be competitive year in and year out. Exciting time appear to be on the horizon for the Bearcat brand of hoops.