The Booneville junior basketball seasons came to an end last Monday night in the district tournament at Dover.

The Jr. LadyCats played excellent defense but could not get critical free throws to go which might have made a difference in the game, and were beaten by Dardanelle 19-16. The boys took on Waldron again and the Bulldogs saw to it early that there would not be a repeat of the competitive game that BJH brought to Waldron the previous week. The Dogs were quickly up 14-0 and won 48-24.

Dardanelle 19 Jr. LadyCats 16

Booneville failed to score in the first quarter as they had trouble adjusting to the Dardanelle box-and-one, with Heaven Sanchez being the target. But the Lady Lizards didn’t do much better and only led 4-0 after one. DJH added another basket before Booneville finally scored as Lindsay Wallace went in for a layup. Booneville finally was able to get Sanchez a few touches in the second quarter and she went 3-for-4 from the line. Dardanelle went up by four, but Joleigh Tate beat the buzzer with a three to put BJH within one at halftime.

A Dardanelle three pushed the lead back to four but Sanchez nailed two more free throws and Tate hit from 12 to counter a Lady Lizard basket, pulling Booneville within 14-12 after three. Booneville missed a series of free throws early in the fourth quarter, but kept Dardanelle from scoring, and Tate tied the game at 14 with an 8-footer. After a Dardanelle free throw, Sanchez found a lane to the basket with 32 seconds left. She missed, but was fouled and dropped both free throws and the Jr. LadyCats had the lead. But Dardanelle hit a baseline jumper that rattled around before going in and on the ensuing play, DJH picked off a pass and scored to set the final.

Sanchez scored seven points, all from the line, and Tate matched that number to lead Booneville in scoring. Hayley Roberts blocked three shots to finish the season with 43, far surpassing the previous team record. Sanchez was good on 17 of her last 19 free throws of the season (89.5%).

“We had girls playing out of position all season,” said girls’ coach Jake Fennell. “We needed a true point guard.” He went on to say that with the most of the team being eighth-graders and with talented seventh-graders such as Leigh Swint, Layla Byrum, Teagen Shelton and others coming aboard, that 2018-19 promises to be better. Swint has the potential to become that point guard, added the coach.

Waldron 48 Jr. Bearcats 24

Waldron wasted little time, storming to a 14-0 lead within the first 2 1/2 minutes. Ethan Wooldridge finally got BJH on the board and he would add another basket later in the period, but the Bulldogs led 21-4 after one. Josh Brackett opened the second-quarter scoring but for each Booneville score in that quarter, Waldron would score twice. Wooldridge added another layup and Zac Costa made two from the line, but Waldron’s Isaac Villareal had all of his 13 points by halftime and the Dogs led 31-10.

Brackett canned a 3-pointer and Wooldridge scored on a layup to start the third quarter, but the Bulldogs outscored Booneville 11-2 the rest of the period and led 42-17 after three. WJH added the first six points of the fourth quarter to put the sportsmanship rule in effect. Booneville got the last seven points of the game with Rocky Ross scoring four, Austin Hill two and Cade Smith one. Wooldridge led Booneville with eight points.

Like Fennell, boys’ coach Eric McKnight is looking to this past year’s seventh-graders for help next season. He characterized them as a hard-working group. Guard Brooks Herrera is one of many that show potential; he already has very good shooting range. Chase Plymale could provide an inside presence and there are many others who could definitely help.