Believed to be first tournament win for school since 1983 district tournament.
After beating Cossatot River in the opening round and Mansfield in the semifinals of the Bearcat Classic, the Booneville Bearcats on Saturday faced the challenge of the Waldron Bulldogs, led by Payton Brown who had scored 77 points in his team’s two wins in the tournament including 42 in the semifinals. But Bearcat coach Ronnie Denton had a plan and it worked to perfection.
Camryn Lawson, Nate Riley and Tyler Hall put the clamps on Brown, while Blakley Cobb poured in 23 points as Booneville invoked the sportsmanship rule on the way to a 55-27 win. It is believed that this is the senior boys’ first tournament win of any kind since 1983, when they won what was then the 4-AA district tournament. Cobb was named as the tournament MVP as Booneville pushed their record to 7-1.
The LadyCats split their first two games before facing Waldron for third place. After the Lady Bulldogs took the lead in the fourth quarter, Booneville outscored them 11-4 the rest of the game and took the contest 30-24. Sophomore Baylee Moses claimed player of the game honors with a 12-point, 8-rebound effort. With the win the girls evened their record at 4-4.
The teams hope to carry the momentum forward into the combined conference opener tomorrow night, when they host Charleston in a four-game set.
LadyCats 37 WYC 33
Booneville grabbed an early 5-0 lead after Beth Wilkinson hit from 10, but after Baylee Moses hit a free throw the Lady Wolverines scored the last five of the period as Andrea Balbuena’s steal and layup put Western Yell on top 7-6 after one. Wilkinson did the same to start the second quarter, then responded to a WYC basket with two free throws which was followed by a Moses layup. Shelby Posey hit from 10, but a Balbuena three tied it and the Lady Wolverines got the lead late in the half only to see Wilkinson again nail two from the line for a 17-all tie at the half.
Both teams had trouble scoring in the third quarter; WYC got a basket first but Bailey Denton’s layup and two Kasidey Thompson free throws put BHS back up before Angel Bowden scored a late layup to tie it at 21 going to the fourth quarter. The Lady Wolverines would take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but Denton scored inside, then Wilkinson tossed in two free throws, then collected a bad pass and scored. Then Denton, after getting a rebound, was knocked down, but the officials called traveling. Booneville, thinking a foul had been called, inbounded it and Denton scored into the wrong basket. Thompson pushed the lead back to three with a free throw but WYC scored, and the teams traded points until Thompson canned a pair of free throws and Booneville forced a turnover leading to a Moses free throw.
Wilkinson scored 15 points, with Denton collecting 13 rebounds to go with nine points, but it was Thompson who came through when it mattered. Shooting 25 percent from the line going in, the junior was 4-for-6 in the fourth quarter.
Bearcats 52 Cossatot River 34
The Cats played incredible defense in the first quarter, holding the Eagles scoreless. Logan Bradley netted three baskets and Blakley Cobb capped the period with a three-pointer to give BHS a 13-0 lead after one. Camryn Lawson added another bonus shot and Cobb got two free throws before Cossatot finally got on the board. Chandler Fritsche scored twice with Mason Weaver and Camryn Lawson each getting a basket before halftime as Booneville led 27-7.
CR hit a three to start the third quarter but Lawson and Cobb scored on back-to-back bonus shots and the lead grew to 22 before the Eagles tallied the next six. Cobb added four more points in the quarter and the Cats led 38-19 after three. The Eagles got within 14 early in the fourth quarter but Bradley scored twice to push it back to 18. Cobb finished with 17 points with Bradley adding 12.
Danville 55 LadyCats 27
Booneville sought to better their result against the Lady Little Johns when they played previously, but Danville was having none of it. They hit four three-pointers in the first quarter, while BHS was limited to baskets by Beth Wilkinson and Bailey Denton and trailed 18-4 after one quarter. They pushed the lead to 19 before a Wilkinson three and free throw started a mild rally. Shelby Posey hit from 15 and Wilkinson scored three more baskets cutting the lead to 28-16, but DHS scored the last five points of the half to lead 33-16.
Wilkinson scored the first basket of the third quarter and Baylee Moses hit a free throw to end it, but in between Danville hit three more bonus balls and two other baskets for a 46-19 lead after three. Danville was able to coast in from there, but Brittnie Maness scored her first career points on two layups late. Wilkinson led the LadyCats with 16 points, which took her past 500 points for her career.
Bearcats 59 Mansfield 48
Boonevlle got a tougher-than-expected test from the Tigers but pulled away late in the third quarter and early in the fourth. After Blakley Cobb hit a three to open the scoring Mansfield scored the next seven points. Logan Bradley scored twice to tie it but after MHS missed a free throw, Noah Reyes rebounded but shot it into his own basket. He made up for it by scoring the next four Bearcat points and Booneville went on to a 14-13 lead after one. Ethan Stovall nailed two three-pointers for a five-point Mansfield lead, and the Tigers kept the advantage until Camryn Lawson hit a three and two from the line to tie the score. Mandfield beat the buzzer with a basket and led 24-22 at halftime.
The Tigers continued to lead early in the third quarter, but Booneville closed the quarter on a 14-2 run. Bradley had six points in the blitz and Cobb ended the period with a three-pointer for a 41-30 Bearcat lead after three. Nate Riley scored on back-to-back layups with Lawson and Bradley then countering a Mansfield three with baskets for 49-33. The Tigers still wouldn’t go away as a Stovall three made it 49-41, but Riley came right back with a bonus shot of his own. One more Mansfield push narrowed the lead to seven but Cobb hit a layup and Riley bagged four free throws to put it away.
Bradley led Booneville with 16 points and eight rebounds, and set a new Booneville single-game record with six blocked shots. Riley added 13 and Cobb 11, with Lawson scoring nine points and handing out five assists.
LadyCats 30 Waldron 24
Two Baylee Moses baskets broke an early tie and propelled the LadyCats to a 6-2 lead after one quarter. Shelby Posey extended the lead but Waldron’s Chenoa Burdess tied the game on her own. The Lady Bulldogs then took the lead, but Moses dropped in two free throws and after Bailey Denton missed one, Beth Wilkinson was there to collect the rebound and score to give the LadyCats a 13-10 halftime lead.
Denton and Moses each scored three points in the third quarter, with one of the Moses free throws coming on a technical after the Waldron coach disputed a charging call when Burdess knocked down Denton. The LadyCats led 19-15 going into the fourth quarter but Waldron opened the fourth quarter with Samantha Slater scoring five straight points as the Lady Bulldogs took the lead. Two Wilkinson free throws put BHS back in front; Waldron tied it at 21 but Denton then converted a three-point play and Wilkinson then picked off a Waldron pass, pulled up and hit from six. Baskets from Denton and Moses then locked the game up.
Moses had 12 points and eight rebounds; Denton had eight points and nine rebounds with Wilkinson scoring six and getting eight rebounds as well. Posey also had nine rebounds as the LadyCats dominated the boards 47-26.
Championship Game: Bearcats 53 Waldron 27
After Blakley Cobb and Payton Brown traded baskets, it was all Booneville. Logan Bradley hit a free throw, Chandler Fritsche converted a three-point play and Cobb dropped a bonus shot. Nate Riley and Bradley hit layups with Cobb getting two free throws to finish off the 13-0 run as BHS led 15-4 after one. Fritsche got another putback and after Brown converted a three-point play, Cobb did the same and added a 10-footer, then Camryn Lawson dropped a three-pointer and hit from six to 27-9. The Cats led 29-14 at halftime.
Bradley and Riley opened the third quarter by each converting a three-point play and getting a basket. After Brown managed a basket, Cobb cashed in a three-point play and hit two from the line, adding another basket after two Bradley free throws for 48-16. Brown banked in a three, but Bradley hit from eight and Cobb dropped in a 10-footer at the horn for a 52-19 lead, triggering the running clock. A Jacob Gregory free throw was the only BHS scoring in the fourth quarter.
Cobb had 23 points and six rebounds, with Bradley getting 12 points and seven rebounds. Brown, who had scored a total of 110 points in his previous three games, was limited to 10 points by the defense of Lawson, Riley, and Tyler Hall.