After a big win against Union Christian on Monday the Jr. LadyCats sought to be more competitive against Lamar than they had been at the home of the Warriors earlier in the season.
At halftime it looked as if Lamar was going to have another runaway but that was when the Booneville defense buckled down. The Jr. LadyCats held Lamar to seven points in the second half including two in the fourth quarter, giving them a chance to force overtime at the end. But two three-point shots went astray and Lamar escaped 35-32.
The team (11-4, 5-3) also had a close loss at Fountain Lake and will try to regroup when they play Two Rivers at home on Friday prior to what should be a wide open district tournament next week in Paris. It looks as if six teams have a legitimate shot at the title.
The boys downed Union Christian on Monday but lost to Lamar and Fountain Lake.
Jr. LadyCats 44 Union Christian 13
Booneville found the going easy in the first quarter as they led 11-0 just 2 1/2 minutes in. Leigh Swint had a two and a three in the run and Heaven Sanchez dropped two free throws and scored on a layup before Brooke Turner finished the opening 18-0 run with a bonus ball. After Union finally scored Layla Byrum ended the period with a layup for a 20-2 lead. Byrum added a basket to start the second quarter and after that the starters were done for the night. Karmen Kent scored twice and Sara Ulmer and Makerla Scott fired in back-to-back threes and Booneville led 32-4 at the break.
Kent hit from 12 to begin the second half and added a layup for 36-4, and Carah Miller finished off the third quarter with a three-ball to give the Jr. LadyCats a 39-6 lead after three. Ulmer dropped one in from 15 and Lizzy Gray banked in a three with four seconds left to close the scoring. Kent led Booneville with eight points, with Sanchez and Byrum scoring six each as 10 Booneville players scored, including six that hit threes.
Jr. Cats 42 Union Christian 27
Booneville streaked to a 9-2 lead with four different players scoring, and after the Eagles responded, Randon Ray ended the quarter with a three-pointer. Evan Escobedo’s layup started the second quarter and Mason Goers dropped a three, and a Brooks Herrera free throw made it 18-4. After Union scored three in a row the Cats outscored them 6-2 the rest of the period, with Chase Plymale providing the last basket of the period for a 24-9 lead.
A quick 9-0 run at the beginning of the second half erased any doubt. Escobedo scored twice and London Lee hit a three and a two for a 33-9 lead. Plymale scored twice, Lee hit a second three-ball and Rocky Ross finished off the scoring. It was 42-20 after three. Escobedo led in scoring with 11 as Lee and Plymale racked up six apiece.
Lamar 35 Jr. LadyCats 32
Hoping to erase memories of their 46-14 defeat at Lamar earlier in the season, Booneville exchanged points with Lamar for much of the opening period. Heaven Sanchez opened the scoring with a two and a three and Leigh Swint gave Booneville the lead with another three-pointer. Lamar retook the lead but two Joleigh Tate baskets put Booneville on top 12-11 after one. They boosted the lead to 16-13 on baskets by Layla Byrum and Hayley Lunsford, but LJH tallied the last 15 points of the quarter and led by 12 at the break.
Booneville did not hit a field goal in the third quarter as they only scored on two free throws by Tate and one each for Swint and Sanchez, but Booneville only allowed one field goal themselves and they trailed 33-20 going to the last quarter. Sanchez and Byrum got the fourth quarter started with layups; Hayley Williams responded for Lamar but the Lady Warriors would not score again. Tate scored two putbacks and then Sanchez stole the ball and laid it in for 35-30. Byrum missed from the line but Lunsford got the putback and it was 35-32 with 2 1/2 minutes left. Then the defenses took over; Tate missed the front of a one-and-one, but so did Lamar, and Lunsford’s three was off the mark. But LJH missed again from the line, giving Booneville one more chance, but Lunsford again couldn’t connect.
Tate scored eight points and had seven rebounds with Sanchez adding six points. Neither team did themselves any favors from the line.
Lamar 47 Jr. Bearcats 31
The Warriors scored the first five points but the Cats got the next 10; Mason Goers scored twice inside before Brooks Herrera cashed in all three free throws after being fouled on a bonus attempt. Randon Ray then added a three-pointer before Lamar also dropped one at the end of the quarter and BJH led 10-8 after one. But following a Herrera basket that gave Booneville a 14-13 lead in the second quarter, the Warriors scored the last 10 of the period and led 23-14 at halftime.
Threes by Ray and Goers kept Booneville in the game early in the third quarter, but Lamar then hit the next 10 points and they were off to the races. Ray’s layup narrowed it to 39-24 after three, but Booneville could not make any headway in the fourth quarter. Goers led Booneville with 13 points, with Ray adding eight.
Fountain Lake 31 Jr. LadyCats 29
Early on it appeared that Booneville was going to run the Lady Cobras out of their own gym, as three-pointers by Heaven Sanchez and Joleigh Tate surrounded a Hayley Roberts basket for an opening 8-0 lead. Layla Byrum also added a three and Roberts dropped in a second 6-footer as Booneville led 13-7 after one. The scoring slowed down in the second quarter; Brooke Turner got a basket and Byrum picked off a FL pass and laid it in for the only BJH scoring; they led 17-11 at the break.
Fountain Lake got within two before Booneville scored again, on a Tate basket, but before long the Lady Cobras had knotted the score at 20. But Leigh Swint hit two free throws, Tate another and Roberts again hit a 6-footer, and BJH led 25-21 after three. Yet another Roberts basket made it 27-21 but FL scored twice before Swint responded with a steal and a layup. But the Jr. LadyCats began to give up back-side rebounds and FL scored three times on them to take the lead.
Booneville then had to foul and the Lady Cobras missed two one-and-ones, giving the Jr. LadyCats a chance. Tate missed a 10-footer but the rebound was tipped out to Swint, whose potential winning three-pointer was just short. Roberts led Booneville with nine points, with Byrum adding seven and Tate six.
Fountain Lake 53 Jr. Bearcats 21
Booneville matched Fountain lake early on as Randon Ray hit a three and Evan Escobedo got a layup for 5-5, but the Cobras scored the last eight of the first quarter and the first nine of the second to lead 22-5. Mason Goers broke the skein with two layups but Fountain Lake led 29-9 at the break.
It got no better in the third quarter, as two Brooks Herrera free throws were all Booneville got in the first part of that stanza. The Cobras opened it out to 42-11 before Ray and Herrera hit back-to-back threes. Still, it was 46-19 after three, and the Cobras were home free. Herrera led with seven points and Ray added six.
The scheduled jamboree at Hackett on Saturday was canceled, but the seventh-graders have picked up one final game as they will travel to Mansfield today. The girls are 6-3 so far on the season and the boys carry an 8-1 record.