The Booneville basketball teams broke out of their recent struggles as both the Cats and LadyCats posted two double-digit wins. The Bearcats’ win over Waldron last Thursday was especially impressive, as they used a 20-2 third quarter to put away Waldron for the third time this season. Booneville (17-9, 7-5) had four players in double figures, led by Blakley Cobb with 20 and Logan Bradley’s 19-point, 11-rebound and four-block effort to easily overcome a 37-point performance by Waldron sophomore phenom Payton Brown and take a 73-52 win.
The LadyCats (9-13, 4-6) turned in two stellar defensive performances, holding both Mansfield and Waldron under 20 points. The girls have held an opponent under 20 four times this season and are playing their best defense in terms of opponents’ scoring in 35 years. They average giving up under 38 points a game.
Booneville completes the regular season Friday night at Paris, with the district tournament next week in Pottsville.
LadyCats 46 Mansfield 16
Booneville rolled out to a 9-0 lead, getting four points by Beth Wilkinson, three from Baylee Moses and finished the run with a Bailey Denton steal and layup. Mansfield got two free throws near the end of the quarter, but that would prove to be their last points of the half. Hannah Gregory started the second quarter with a layup which was followed by back-to-back threes by Wilkinson and Gregory. Gregory would have three more baskets in the quarter and the LadyCats went 4-for-4 from the line to take a 29-2 lead into the locker room.
With the JV players on the floor for the third quarter, the LadyCats got only an Adria Coffer jumper, while Brooklyn Carlton scored all eight Mansfield points. Booneville led 31-10 after three quarters and then Moses got a hot hand in the fourth, dropping seven points in the first two minutes of that quarter. Kasidey Thompson also added a three-pointer later in the period.
Gregory led three LadyCats in double figures with 13 points, followed by Wilkinson with 11 and Moses with 10. The LadyCats forced 22 turnovers and did not allow a Lady Tiger field goal in the first half.
Bearcats 57 Mansfield 39
The Bearcats struggled offensively in the first quarter, with Blakley Cobb scoring all seven Booneville points. Mansfield got a three and a two from Ethan Metcalf to lead the Tigers to a 12-7 lead. After a Mansfield basket began the second quarter, a Noah Reyes free throw started a 10-2 Booneville run. All the other points came on three-pointers; first it was Camryn Lawson, then Chandler Fritsche surprised the Tigers, the crowd and perhaps himself with his first career bonus ball. The third one, by Nate Riley, gave the Cats a 17-15 halftime lead.
Booneville had a huge third quarter, fueled by Logan Bradley, who had not scored in the first half. The 6-8 junior started the third quarter with a layup and Riley added another. After Mansfield matched that, the Cats outscored the Tigers 19-5 the rest of the quarter. Bradley had 11 of those points, including the conversion of a three-point play, and Mason Weaver added a couple of baskets. BHS led 40-24 after three quarters and just kept pushing the lead. Reyes hit two baskets, Bradley added two free throws and another Riley layup made it 48-24 before MHS could respond. Later, Kaedon Trejo put in three free throws, Tyler Hall drilled a three-pointer and Anthony McKesson finished the scoring with a breakaway layup.
Bradley scored all of his 15 points in the second half; Riley and Cobb scored nine points each and Reyes tallied six. Booneville allowed no Mansfield player more than seven points.
LadyCats 35 Waldron 18
Waldron took a brief lead on free throws, but Booneville hit the Lady Bulldogs with a 13-0 run. Beth Wilkinson had six points in the run and Hannah Gregory five, and a Shelby Posey 15-footer cloed the run as Booneville led 15-6 after one. WHS cut it to six but Booneville then put in five of six from the line to make it 20-9, and Jessica Parrish ended the half with a three-pointer for a 23-10 lead at halftime.
The third quarter saw Booneville run time off the clock. Points were at a premium with the LadyCats only getting five points while Waldron scored six, thereby getting within 10 before Bailey Denton hit from 6 to make it 28-16 after three. Wilkinson converted a three-point play to start the fourth quarter, and Booneville did not allow Waldron a field goal in the period. Wilkinson got two free throws and Denton capped the night with a layup.
Wilkinson tallied a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds; Gregory was next with seven. Posey also had a good night on the boards, pulling down eight, and the Lady Bulldogs were limited to 22 percent shooting from the field.
Bearcats 73 Waldron 52
Two early Jacob Gregory three-pointers started his senior night right and an intervening Blakley Cobb layup helped BHS grab an early 8-2 lead. But Waldron’s Payton Brown would score the next 11 Bulldog points, including a four-point play that gave WHS the lead, and after Booneville tied it Trey Williams gave Waldron a 16-14 lead after one. Logan Bradley promptly tied the score and would add another basket, with a Cobb 12-footer putting Booneville back ahead. But back-to-back Waldron threes gave the visitors a 25-20 lead; Noah Reyes and Nate Riley got layups but a Brown three-ball kept Booneville at bay. Reyes and Cobb tied the score just before halftime but Brown had just enough time to convert a three-point play and the Dogs led 31-28 at halftime.
But the Bearcats put on a tour de force in the third quarter. Two Bradley baskets gave Booneville the lead; Brown got inside for a hoop but that was all Waldron would score. Cobb racked up seven quick points, then a Bradley layup preceded two Reyes power moves to the hoop. In the meantime, Brown was forced to the bench with four fouls. Gregory closed out the quarter with a three-pointer and Booneville led 48-33 after three. Cobb hit from 15 to start the fourth quarter and the Cats were content to allow Brown and Williams to score baskets, because the Cats were matching them. A Bradley 15-footer put the Cats up by 17, and Booneville closed out the game on a 10-3 run. Camryn Lawson, who had seven assists, scored all eight of his points in the last two minutes.
Cobb ended the night with 20 points, with Bradley scoring 19, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking four shots. This enabled him to tie Kalin Owens for the season blocks record and left him only three behind TJ Hoover for the career lead. Riley and Reyes added 10 points each and though Brown racked up 37 points, only two other Bulldogs found the scoresheet.