The Booneville Bearcats trailed for much of the game at Waldron last Tuesday, but the combination of Blakley Cobb and Camryn Lawson led the team back.

Cobb hit six three-pointers and scored 30 points and Lawson reset the team record with 10 assists as the Cats rolled in the fourth quarter and went on to win 63-52. Cobb also held Waldron’s star sophomore Payton Brown to seven second-half points.

Then, after having the lead for most of the game the Cats found themselves down one point to Ozark with three minutes left last Friday. Previous teams might not have been able to rally.

This one did. In a game that perhaps has defined the season to date, the Bearcats did not let the Hillbillies score again and handed Ozark only their second loss of the season 45-39.

On Saturday the Cats headed to Baptist Prep in Little Rock for the MLK Showcase and were looking good midway through the third quarter against Dumas, but the Bobcats hit another gear that perhaps the Bearcats didn’t have because of playing Friday. Dumas, who had Friday night off, went on to a sizable victory, but this may well help BHS in the long run.

A new year apparently meant a much more confident LadyCat team. After dusting Waldron in a game where the final score did not reflect Booneville’s domination, they took on Ozark, the top-ranked 4A team and 10th overall at 13-0 going in. The LadyCats led after the first quarter and they just would not let the Lady Hillbillies get comfortable. Getting major contributions from sophomores Hannah Gregory and Shelby Posey, Booneville was in the game until the final two minutes when Ozark pulled away to win 47-38.

Two tough assignments await the Cats in the upcoming few days as they travel to Charleston tomorrow, then host Subiaco next Tuesday.

LadyCats 47 Waldron 42

Waldron took the early lead but Booneville’s subsequent 8-0 run put them up by five. Baylee Moses had half of those points with Bailey Denton and Beth Wilkinson each getting a basket. But Aubrey Butler hit three baskets in a row to put WHS back in front before Wilkinson’s free throw tied the score at 14 after one. Denton converted a three-point play, and after Waldron scored the next six Moses did the same to re-tie the score. Denton then splashed a three-pointer to put the LadyCats up 23-20 at halftime.

Two Wilkinson baskets got BHS started in the second half, and the LadyCats held Waldron to two points in the quarter. Meanwhile, Kasidey Thompson banked in a bonus shot and Shelby Posey beat the buzzer with a 15-footer for a 32-22 lead after three. Hannah Gregory’s two free throws and Denton got a layup to make the lead 18. The Lady Bulldogs got it back to 13, but Wilkinson hit from 6, then nailed two free throws and Thompson then did the same for 47-28. Booneville then put their reserves in and Waldron scored the last 14 points of the game.

Wilkinson had her third monster game in a row with 16 points, 13 rebounds and five steals. Moses and Denton had seven points each, and the LadyCats shot 80 percent from the line.

Bearcats 63 Waldron 52

For much of the first quarter the Bearcats couldn’t keep Waldron’s Payton Brown from lighting up the scoreboard. The sophomore had 11 points in the first quarter and the Bulldogs led by as many as 11 before the Cats narrowed it down to a five-point deficit after one. Waldron stretched it back to eight before Camryn Lawson scored back-to-back baskets to make it 22-18. But Waldron’s Trey Williams made the lead nine; Blakley Cobb fired in a three with seven seconds left in the half but that was enough time for Brown to go the length of the court for a layup and a 33-26 Bulldog lead at the half.

Within the first two minutes of the third quarter the score was tied, as Cobb and Nate Riley drove in for layups and Lawson dropped a three-pointer. Brown then hit a layup but Cobb, who had been assigned to Brown for the second half, dropped in a three and the Cats had their second lead of the game, having led 3-1 early. The lead went back and forth for thbe rest of the quarter with two ties included until Logan Tull scored late in the period for a 43-41 lead for the Dogs after three. But Booneville, starting with a Cobb three-ball, scored the first six points of the fourth quarter. Waldron got the next five with a Williams basket giving them the lead back, but the Cats, starting with a Jacob Gregory three, closed with a 13-4 run. Cobb had a three and a two in the blitz and Riley hit four big free throws before Lawson got it to Cobb for Cobb’s 30th point and Lawson’s 10th assist just before the buzzer.

In addition to the 30 points, which included 6-for-11 from beyond the arc, Cobb grabbed eight rebounds. Lawson had nine points to go with his 10 assists, which broke a record that four former Bearcats had shared. Bradley scored nine points and had eight rebounds, and Cobb held Brown to seven second-half points. The Waldron star, who would score 56 in his next game against Subiaco, failed to hit a three against the Cats.

Ozark 47 LadyCats 38

Hannah Gregory had a hot hand early as she scored the first six points of the game with two layups and two free throws. Ozark retook the lead at 10-7, but Bailey Denton drove for a layup and Shelby Posey dropped a three at the buzzer for a 12-10 LadyCat lead. After Ozark tied it, Gregory made a spectacular shot while falling down for 14-12. The Lady Hillbillies then got on a bit of a run and made it 20-15 on a Hannah Ladd basket, but after the teams traded points Beth Wilkinson hit two from the line to draw BHS within 22-19 at the break.

It looked like the game was getting away early in the third quarter as OHS took an eight-point lead, but a Gregory three started a 7-0 run in which Posey scored the other four points to get BHS within 27-26. Ozark scored the next four but Wilkinson converted a three-point play and after Ladd fired in a three, Posey again beat the buzzer with a bonus shot and the LadyCats were within 34-32. But with the score 36-33 the Lady Hillbillies hit back-to-back threes. Baylee Moses hit a pretty reverse layup, following that with a free throw to move the LadyCats within six, but Ozark hit their free throws down the stretch and took the hard-fought win.

Gregory scored 13 points for Booneville with Posey adding 10, and Wilkinson just missed what would have been her fourth consecutive double-double with nine points and eight rebounds. The LadyCats held Ozark to just 33 percent from the field.

Bearcats 45 Ozark 39

With OHS leading 5-2, the Bearcats smacked the Hillbillies with a 14-0 run, starting with a Blakley Cobb three-pointer. He would add three more points before Camryn Lawson and Jacob Gregory also drilled threes and Nate Riley finished it off with a layup for 16-5 before Ozark hit a three at the horn. The Hillbillies would score only one field goal and four total points in the second quarter; meanwhile Cobb added five points to hit total in the frame and Riley added a pair of free throws for 25-11 before Ethan Masingale dropped two from the line after Cobb had been charged with a technical for hanging on the rim after an attempted dunk went awry.

Ozark came firing out of the gate in the second half, quickly cutting the lead to four, before Cobb answered with another three. The Hillbillies got it down to four before Chandler Fritsche scored inside and Lawson added a free throw for a 33-26 Bearcat lead after three. Another Fritsche basket extended the lead but Ozark scored three quick baskets to make it 35-32 and then Booneville was only able to convert one of four free throws. Masingale tied the game at 36 and after Logan Bradley answered, Brendon Lawson converted a three-point play and Ozark had their first lead since early in the first quarter. But Bradley then got his own three-point play and followed that with another basket after a turnover. Ozark failed to score on their next two possessions and Cobb hit two from the line to ice it.

Cobb finished with 19 points, with Lawson and Bradley scoring seven each. Booneville shot 50 percent from the field and held the Hillbillies to 27 percent.

Dumas 62 Bearcats 37

Two early Logan Bradley power moves resulted in layups and Nate Riley added a basket as the Cats got an early 6-2 lead. Dumas got within one but Bradley got another basket inside before Blakley Cobb nailed a two and a three for a 15-7 lead. The Cats were on top 16-12 after one. Bradley would score all six of Booneville’s second-quarter points but their 8-4A opposition drew within one at the half.

Bradley would score again and after a Dumas free throw Cobb fired in another three for 27-22. But the last 12 minutes were a nightmare for the Cats. Dumas, with quick guards Chris Harris and Kyon Smith, stopped the Bearcat guards in their tracks and anticipated passes which resulted in easy Bobcat layups. The result was an 18-2 run that left Dumas with a 40-29 lead heading to the fourth quarter. Noah Reyes cut into the lead with two free throws, but Dumas again responded, this time with a 21-2 run that left no doubt. Sophomores Anthony McKesson and Kaedon Trejo would find their way into the scorebook for the first time this season late in the game.

Bradley finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Cobb scored 12. The tables were turned on shooting from the last game; this time it was Dumas that hit 50% while the Cats only managed 32 percent.