The Booneville basketball teams celebrated Senior Night when they hosted Paris last Friday. The Bearcats had to rally from an early 13-point deficit and tied the game on three occasions but could never gain the lead, as the Eagles won 54-48. The girls, after a competitive first quarter, were shut out by their Paris counterparts in the second period, and the Lady Eagles were well on their way to a 52-22 win.

Still, there was a lot of appreciation for all the hard work the seniors put in. The boys, at 16-10, have already locked up the most wins by a Booneville senior boys basketball team in 34 years as the seven seniors have blended well with the incoming sophomores. Sabreena Alfaro, the LadyCats’ lone senior, had a shining moment in the fourth quarter when she hit her first career three-point basket.

Booneville began 4A-4 tournament play last night (Tuesday) in Subiaco. The Bearcats faced Dardanelle, a team much like themselves in that both teams have had great wins and puzzling losses during the season. The LadyCats sought to pull off an upset against Pottsville. In each case, a win would send Booneville to regionals next week in West Fork.

Paris 54 Bearcats 48

The Eagles’ Race Taylor scored the first four baskets of the game and was on his way to a 10-point quarter. Caden Yarborough’s 15-footer and Blakley Cobb’s layup got the Cats on the board, but Paris would go on to lead by as many as 13 (19-6) before an Adam Haney layup made it an 11-point game after one. In the second quarter, Logan Bradley made his presence felt. After hitting two from the line to start the period, the 6-7 sophomore found himself back at the stripe almost immediately. He made the first one this time and after missing the second, got his own rebound and hit from 12. Bradley would go on to score 11 in the quarter as the Cats fought their way back into it, primarily from the line (10-14 in the period). Two free throws from Yarborough drew the Cats within 29-24 at halftime.

A Cobb 10-footer starter the second-half proceedings and after Paris hit a three-pointer, Haney answered with one of his own and Yarborough’s layup tied the score at 32. Two Paris free throws were countered by a Cobb layup; Paris went up by three on two Kris Graham free throws but Bradley got a putback and after Taylor was only able to make one of two at the line, Josh Scott drove in for a layup to knot it at 38. But Garrett Moore made his only basket of the game a big one, sinking a three at the end of the third quarter to put Paris back on top. That started an 11-2 run that put the Eagles up 49-40. Booneville struck right back, with Bradley scoring inside and Yarborough outside. Yarborough’s free throw made it 52-46 and then Camryn Lawson dropped the PHS lead to four with a layup. But BHS wouldn’t score in the last two minutes and Graham hit a pair from the line to put it away.

Bradley had his season-high with 15 points, with Yarborough adding 13. Taylor’s 21 points led Paris, who profited from an uncharacteristic spate of Bearcat turnovers.

Paris 52 LadyCats 22

Paris took an early 9-2 lead, but Booneville scrapped their way back into it. Bailey Denton knocked down a 10-footer and after Paris responded and put on the press, Beth Wilkinson threaded her way through it and dropped the ball off to Lexi Ross for a layup. Wilkinson then scored herself, cutting the deficit to three, but Paris scored the last four of the quarter for a 15-8 lead. Booneville could not find the basket in the second quarter, while Arkansas State signee Lycia Peevy and her teammates racked up 14 points for a 29-8 halftime lead.

The lead grew to 34-8 before Adria Coffer’s putback broke the scoring drought for the LadyCats. Peevy would score five of the next seven points before Kasidey Thompson hit a free throw. Denton dropped a 12-footer later in the period, but Paris was on top 47-13 after three. In the fourth quarter, Madison Burtrom was fouled shooting a three-pointer and got the second free throw to go for her first career point. Paris scored the next five before Booneville replied with the last eight, including Sabreena Alfaro’s first three-pointer which went on off the glass. Denton led Booneville with eight points with Wilkinson adding seven.

Ozark 48 Bearcats 32

Booneville took a 5-1 lead on a 15-footer by Adam Haney; Ethan Bowman’s three-point play got Ozark within one before Caden Yarborough knocked in a pair of free throws. The Cats led 7-6 after one; Bowman hit two free throws which was countered by a Camryn Lawson layup. But Booneville then had a scoring drought that lasted the rest of the half while Ozark scored 10 points and led 18-9 at halftime.

Booneville closed the gap early in the second half; Blakley Cobb dropped two free throws and Tucker Knight fired in only his second three-pointer of the season to make it 18-14. But after the teams swapped baskets the Hillbillies scored the next six and again led by 10. Cobb then converted a three-point play, but the Booneville deficit was nine heading to the fourth quarter (30-21). Two Haney baskets got the Cats back within seven after OHS had scored first in the fourth quarter, but an 11-2 run after that put the Hillbillies in a commanding position at 43-27. Ozark went on to lead by as many as 20. Yarborough led the Cats with nine points and Cobb added seven.

Ozark 50 LadyCats 26

A Bailey Denton three-point play opened the Booneville scoring after the Lady Hillbillies scored first, and Booneville stayed with the league leaders thanks to two Beth Wilkinson free throws and a 17-footer by Adria Coffer. After Ozark took the lead again Booneville reclaimed it on two Denton free throws and a Wilkinson basket. Ozark, though, took the lead 12-11 after one period and stretched it to eight early in the second quarter. Booneville only scored three points in that period; the Lady Hillbillies had stretched the lead to 27-12 before a loose ball caroming around the lane led to a Sabreena Alfaro layup. But Ozark led 29-14 at halftime.

Jessica Turner’s basket got OHS going in the second half; while the LadyCats only allowed seven points in the quarter, they only tallied four themselves, on baskets by Karlie Campos and Denton, and so trailed 36-18 heading to the final quarter. After a Wilkinson free throw opened the fourth quarter, Ozark scored the next nine points to put it out of reach. Denton led the LadyCats with 11 points and Wilkinson added 10.