The Booneville Bearcats made their first week of basketball a very successful one, easily taking the measure of non-conference foes Western Yell County and Danville. One huge reason was that the Cats shot the ball extremely well.
Against Danville, the Cats shot 54 percent from the field and hit 11 of 12 from the line. This came after a 48 percent performance against WYC in which the Booneville defense held the Wolverines to 15 percent shooting.
The LadyCats also had a successful debut, using a 17-0 fourth-quarter run to beat Western Yell. Against Danville, down 11 with 1:15 left, they promptly scored 7 points in 59 seconds to cut the lead to four, but they simply ran out of time.
Booneville will face their namesakes from Mena at Bearcat Gym tomorrow night, before playing games in Hackett next Monday and Tuesday.
LadyCats 37 Western Yell 23
After WYC scored the first three points Kasidey Thompson opened the LadyCat scoring by hitting two of three from the line. The first field goal came when Karlie Campos hit a 15-footer; this was followed by a shot just inside the arc from Beth Wilkinson and a Thompson layup to make it 8-3 after one. The LadyCats got only two Wilkinson layups in the second quarter, but managed to hold on to the lead due to stingy defense. Booneville held WYC to 10% shooting at halftime and led 12-9.
The LadyCats continued to have trouble scoring and after a Campos basket, WYC made their only run of the game, a 6-0 skein that put them on top 17-14. Campos and Bailey Denton got baskets to restore Booneville’s lead after three at 18-17. The Lady Wolverines took a short-lived lead, but a Thompson basket was followed by a Wilkinson three-pointer and the LadyCats were off to the races. Baylee Moses scored eight of the next 12 points, capped by a reverse layup that gave Booneville a 16-point lead at 35-19 with two minutes left.
Wilkinson scored 11 points and had 11 rebounds, with Campos almost getting her own double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Moses scored all eight of her points in a three-minute span in the fourth period.
Bearcats 59 Western Yell 30
Camryn Lawson and Brandon Bradley each hit an early three and Logan Bradley added two inside baskets as the Cats scored the first 10 points. WYC closed to within seven but Lawson then added two free throws and Booneville led 16-7 after one. A 13-0 run to start the second quarter removed any doubt; Lawson bagged another three-ball, Logan Bradley added two baskets with Mason Weaver and Tyler Hall getting one each. Blakley Cobb finished off the half with a bonus shot as the Bearcats led 32-14 at halftime.
Cobb was just starting to heat up; midway through the third quarter the 6-4 junior scored 11 points in a row, tallying 13 for the quarter as Booneville built a 23-point lead after three (51-28). Western Yell would not make a field goal in the fourth quarter; meanwhile, Lawson and Chandler Fritsche each hit a pair from the line, followed by layups from Kaleb Rhodes and Jordan Hawkins to finish the scoring.
Cobb ended the night with 19 points and six rebounds; Logan Bradley scored 12 and Lawson 10. Nate Riley had a tremendous night passing as he dealt out eight assists, one short of the single-game record. Booneville held the Wolverines to 15 percent from the field (6 for 40), half of which were three-pointers.
Danville 41 LadyCats 35
The LadyCats almost matched Danville basket for basket in the first quarter, the difference being that three of the Lady Little Johns’ baskets were of the three-point variety. Beth Wilkinson, Karlie Campos and Bailey Denton each had a hoop, but Booneville found themselves down 13-6 after one. Two more Wilkinson baskets closed the gap but Danville then scored six in a row before Denton could respond, and Danville took a 23-14 lead into the locker room.
Two Karlie Campos baskets started the third quarter and after Danville responded, Wilkinson and Denton each hit from 8 and the Lady Cats had closed within 25-22. However, BHS would score no more in the quarter and Danville hit the next eight for an 11-point lead going into the final period. The teams traded points for a while and BHS was making no headway, at least until 1:15 remained on the clock. At that point, Baylee Moses drove the baseline and popped from 8. Booneville then made two steals in a row; while the LadyCats gave one of them right back, Wilkinson turned the other into a three-pointer. After Booneville called their last time-out, Hannah Gregory stole the inbounds pass and scored. They could not intercept the next one, though, and Danville hit two free throws to ice it.
Wilkinson just missed her second straight double-double, scoring 15 points and hauling down nine rebounds. Campos and Denton each added six points. A glaring statistic was that Booneville got to the line only twice, hitting neither, while Danville was 11 for 18.
Bearcats 53 Danville 37
Booneville used a good second quarter to start pulling away from the Little Johns. Nate Riley scored the first two BHS baskets of the game; Blakley Cobb had the next four points, with Camryn Lawson and Mason Weaver getting the rest of the points as the Cats led 12-8 after one. Booneville made an 11-2 run to start the second quarter, with seven of those points coming from the line as Cobb hit four, Lawson two and Riley one. Logan Bradley and Weaver had the baskets, with Weaver also getting a putback for the last points of the hals as Booneville led 25-12.
The Cats expanded the lead to 17 after Lawson hit a three and Bradley knocked one down from six, but Danville scored the last four points of the third quarter and cut the BHS lead to 34-21 after three. To start the fourth quarter, Bradley hit a 15-footer on the baseline. Danville replied but the 6-8 junior hit the same spot, with the same result. DHS scored again but Booneville then made an 8-2 run, with Cobb getting the last two baskets. The final nail came when Bradley stepped out on the left wing and drilled a 3-pointer to make it 51-31.
Bradley finished with 17 points and seven rebounds while blocking four shots. Cobb added 14, with Lawson scoring nine points and handing out five assists. The Cats were stellar in their shooting as they hit 54 percent from the field and 91 percent from the line.