In the championship game of Mansfield’s Bill Frye Classic, Booneville was having to battle from behind and it seemed that their opponent, Waldron, was building momentum as the third quarter went on.
Then, as he did so many times on the football field, Noah Reyes took over the game.
The senior scored all 10 of his points in the third quarter and ignited the decisive rally as the Bearcats (15-1) rallied from as many as six points down and won going away, 61-48. Booneville has won 14 straight and is one of only four 3A schools, along with Valley Springs, Ashdown and Osceola, that have only one loss thus far in the season.
Blakley Cobb led with 23 points with Grant Goers scoring 12 and grabbing 19 rebounds, and the Cats held Waldron star Payton Brown to 12 points, 18 below his average.
The Cats had previously dispatched Oklahoma schools Arkoma and Vian to get to the finals.
The LadyCats were not as fortunate as they came up just short against Arkoma, who went on to win the tournament, and Magazine.
Booneville will celebrate basketball homecoming this Friday when the Bearcats host Perryville, as homecoming queen Kasidey Thompson will preside over the ceremonies.
Arkoma 47 LadyCats 44
The Lady Mustangs scored the first seven points but Booneville struck back with 10 in a row, getting putbacks by Hannah Gregory and Brittnie Maness and a Baylee Moses three-pointer to go with three free throws. The LadyCats led 10-9 after one and Gregory scored the first eight BHS points of the second quarter. But Arkoma got hot from three-point range and eventually took a 25-19 lead into halftime.
Gregory splashed a three to start the second half and after Arkoma answered, Moses made two baskets surrounding a Shelby Posey three-ball and the LadyCats led 29-27. But Arkoma scored the last eight points of the quarter and led 35-29 going to the fourth. Gregory and Moses got layups to get BHS within two but Arkoma then scored the next six, and eventually went up by 10. But when Booneville started fouling, the Lady Mustangs missed nine free throws in a row, enabling the LadyCats to get back in the mix.
Gregory hit a three and then Moses found Lindsay Wallace for a layup, following that with a free throw for 45-41. Arkoma scored but Moses dropped a three, then Maness was fouled. However, she couldn’t connect, and after Arkoma missed two more free throws Booneville had the last shot, but Moses was off the mark. Gregory led the LadyCats with 17 and Moses added 15.
Bearcats 78 Arkoma 45
Arkoma scored first but Camryn Lawson came out on fire, hitting four three-pointers in the first quarter. Grant Goers also scored two baskets and Josh Brackett ended the period with a three-ball from the corner for 25-12. After a Blakley Cobb three started the second period, Noah Reyes scored three times and Goers twice and a Cobb layup made it 40-25. The Mustangs got within nine but Goers got a putback, Nate Riley scored and Goers hit a three just before halftime for a 47-31 Booneville lead.
All doubt was erased early in the third quarter with a 14-2 Bearcat run. Cobb had half of those points as BHS stormed to a 61-33 lead. Brackett again ended a quarter with a basket, this time of the two-point variety, and the Bearcats went to the fourth up 63-39. Jacob Herrera and Zack Costa followed Andrew Mattson’s free throw with baskets and then Tyler Hall dropped a step-back three and made good on a three-point play for 74-45. Austin Hill and Herrera added the finishing touches.
Goers led the Cats with 17 points; Cobb added 14 and Lawson scored all 12 of his points in the first quarter. Eleven different Bearcats scored with nine of them getting 5 or more points as Booneville shot 57 percent from the field.
Baylee Moses started the game with a driving layup and Hannah Gregory followed that with a three-pointer. Gregory would add another three points by the end of the quarter and Booneville led 13-10 after one. But then Magazine’s Kiara Vasquez started asserting herself and by the midway point of the second quarter the Lady Rattlers had taken a 16-15 lead, which they stretched to 26-19 at halftime as Vasquez had 17 by that point.
Foul trouble slowed the Magazine center in the third quarter, but the LadyCats couldn’t take advantage. Moses had four in the quarter, but the Lady Rattlers kept their seven-point advantage at 38-31 going to the fourth period. Booneville got it down to five, but Magazine settled it with a 9-4 run and that was that. Moses led the LadyCats with 13 points and seven rebounds with Gregory adding 10, but they couldn’t overcome Vasquez who had a double-double, 24 points and 11 rebounds.
Bearcats 62 Vian 48
The two teams spent the first quarter swapping baskets; Grant Goers had five points in the quarter but it was Camryn Lawson who tied it at 11 after one with a three-point shot. Despite the Cats hitting four threes (Blakley Cobb two, Goers and Lawson one each) in the first half of the second quarter, the Wolverines wouldn’t go away and it was tied at 23. Noah Reyes fired in a 15-footer and Nate Riley cashed in a free throw but Vian again tied it with a three before Goers beat the halftime horn with a bonus ball for 29-26.
BHS put it away early in the third quarter with an 11-2 run. Lawson had four points in that skein and he added a layup to make it 42-30 before Vian got the last basket of the quarter. The Wolverines got within seven early in the final period but a 7-2 mini-run, with Cobb and Goers accounting for all the points, stretched it to 54-38 and the Wolverines were finished.
Goers ended up with 21 points, with Cobb getting 17 and Lawson 14. The Cats hit 14 of 16 from the line in the fourth quarter.
Bearcats 61 Waldron 48
Blakley Cobb scored Booneville’s first five points, but a pair of Payton Brown free throws finished a 5-0 Bulldog run and Waldron led 10-5. But Camryn Lawson and Grant Goers each hit a three with Nate Riley and Tyler Hall adding layups, and BHS led 15-12 after one. Another Cobb three-ball shored up the lead but Waldron then hit Booneville with a 12-2 run, with Drew Dozier and Isaac Villareal getting five each. A Brown layup made it 24-20, and became 28-22 before Goers, for the third game in a row, splashed a three just before the buzzer to narrow the Bulldog lead to three.
It became 32-27 before Noah Reyes started to assert himself. Working against Brown, he outmuscled the Waldron star twice in a row and Cobb added a layup for a 33-32 BHS lead. Brown hit two from the line but then the Cats made the decisive run. Reyes knocked down Waldron’s Gada Wagner on his way to a basket; fouled, he missed the free throw but Goers got a putback just as Waldron coach Josh Brown was hit with a technical. Nate Riley hit one of the two free throws and Cobb added two more and suddenly BHS led 40-34. Reyes and Payton Brown traded points the rest of the period and the Cats led 44-38.
After Wagner hit two from the line, but Cobb got a layup and followed with a three-ball, then Goers made it 51-40 with a basket. The Dogs made one last push, getting within seven, but Cobb and Riley then got baskets and Waldron started putting Booneville on the line, where the Cats hit 7-for-8 to put it away.
Cobb racked up 23 points to lead the Cats; Goers added 12 points and yanked down 19 rebounds with Reyes getting all 10 of his points in the decisive third-quarter run. With Lawson, Hall and Riley taking turns on defense, Booneville held Brown to 12 points. Cobb, Goers and Reyes were named All-Tournament.