For the first time ever, the Booneville Bearcat basketball team became regular-season conference champions when last Tuesday night they held off a belated Paris rally to take a 72-61 win, giving them a four-game lead over Fountain Lake with just three games left to play. The team then returned home for Senior Night and used the middle two quarters to turn the game into a rout with a 66-28 win, the sixth time this season that the Cats have held a team under 30 points for a game.

At the start of the third quarter, Blakley Cobb ignited the near-capacity crowd when he converted an alley-oop pass from Camryn Lawson for a dunk, starting a decisive 13-2 run.

The win over Two Rivers was their 22nd in a row and 23rd overall, tying the single season record for longest winning streak in the history of Booneville schools and for most wins in a season by any BHS basketball team. The latter record was set by the 1997-98 girls’ team, the first one to advance to the state tournament. The Bearcats are 23-1 overall and 13-0 in conference play.

After showing some offensive prowess the previous week, the LadyCats found themselves stifled by the defenses of Paris and Two Rivers last week. In the Two Rivers game, the already thin team lost another player as Hannah Gregory tried to take a charge and was injured in the process. The junior will miss the rest of the season.

Booneville makes the short trip to County Line on Friday before district tournament play begins at Two Rivers next week.

Bearcats 72 Paris 61

Booneville went up 6-2 thanks to a pair of baskets from Logan Bradley and one by Nate Riley, but the Eagles took the lead at 7-6 and 9-8 before a three-pointer and a layup by Grant Goers pushed Booneville in front and the Cats led 13-12 after one. Booneville then hit Paris with a 16-4 blitz to start the second quarter; Blakley Cobb fired in three three-pointers, Goers converted a three-point play and Bradley had two baskets. Later, Goers and Bradley had back-to-back three-point plays and Tyler Hall added two baskets for a 39-21 halftime lead.

It became 44-23 not long into the third quarter after Goers threw in another three-pointer; Paris scored the next five but a Riley basket restored order at 49-30. The Eagles narrowed the lead to 51-35 after three and then got within 13, but a Goers three started a 7-0 run and the lead was seemingly safe at 20. But Paris suddenly got red hot from behind the arc as Micah Duncan hit three bonus shots and Nick Bazyk two. The Eagles, in fact, hit seven three-pointers in a row and, with some missed Bearcat free throws along the way, actually cut the lead to 68-61 with a minute to go. But Camryn Lawson then two from the line and after Paris finally misfired, Cobb added two more to set the final.

Goers had a monster game, scoring 23 points and getting 15 rebounds while handing out five assists and getting three steals and three blocks. Bradley got 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Cobb scored 13. Lawson had his second double-digit assist game of the season, with 10.

Paris 45 LadyCats 24

Brittnie Maness’ three-pointer gave the LadyCats a short-lived lead before a 7-0 Paris run put the Lady Eagles on top. Baylee Moses tossed in a three-pointer and a Hannah Gregory basket pulled Booneville within 14-8. Kasidey Thompson then went to work, taking a charge from Jadyn Hart before the latter fouled her while she shot a three-pointer. Thompson put in all three from the line and Gregory added two more to get Booneville within 16-13 and then Shelby Posey also drew a charge, this time from Kieli Robinson. However, Booneville would not score again in the quarter and the Lady Eagles scored the last seven points to take a 23-13 halftime lead.

Paris also scored the first seven points of the third quarter to go up by 17. Moses dropped in an 8-footer but Paris grabbed the last five points as well, capped by a Hart three-ball that made it 36-15. Moses scored seven points in the fourth quarter, with Lindsay Wallace adding a pair of free throws. Moses led the LadyCats with 12 points and seven rebounds; Thompson and Posey each tied the record for most charges taken in a season with 10, which was set by Brittany Ward during the 2011-12 season.

Two Rivers 45 LadyCats 15

Shelby Posey came out firing, nailing two early three-pointers to give Booneville a 6-4 lead. They were ahead or even until Kaitlin Hunnicutt put in two late baskets to give the Lady Gators an 8-6 lead after one quarter. Hunnicutt added five more points before Booneville scored again as Baylee Moses got open for a layup, then responded to two Hunnicutt free throws with a running 10-footer. Two Rivers scored the last four points of the quarter and took a 19-10 halftime lead.

A third Posey three-pointer narrowed the Two Rivers lead to seven before the Lady Gators scored the next seven. Included was the play on which Hannah Gregory was injured. Hunnicutt went to the basket and scored; in trying to take a charge Gregory took a shot to her head. Posey scored on a layup on the ensuing play, but the LadyCats would not tally again. A deep Hunnicutt three—she would finish with 29—put TR up 32-15. The Lady Gators poured it on in the fourth quarter, hitting four threes. Posey finished with 11 points with Moses adding the other four.

Bearcats 66 Two Rivers 28

The Cats pulled out of a 3-3 tie—Logan Bradley had opened the Booneville scoring a three-point play—and he added two layups and Grant Goers another. Noah Reyes added a free throw and Blakley Cobb two and a Goers layup made it 14-8 after one. Camryn Lawson started the second quarter with a three-pointer and Goers added two more layups. The Gators tried to stay in the game, getting within 23-16, but a two and three by Cobb started a 13-4 run; two Goers free throws made it 36-20 at the break.

At the start of the third quarter, Lawson lobbed one to Cobb who slammed it home. Cobb then made three consecutive steals and turned them into five Booneville points and after TR scored, Lawson got a layup, Bradley hit two from the line and a Goers layup made it 49-22. Bradley added two baskets and Lawson and Nate Riley each hit a three for 59-23 and a Reyes layup put Booneville up 61-26 after three. The younger players then took over for most of the fourth quarter, save for a brief curtain call with two minutes left, and sophomore Blake Jones added a flourish at the end with a buzzer-beating three.

Cobb finished with 18 points, and Bradley did not miss a shot (7-7 field, 3-3 line) on his way to 17. Goers had another double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Lawson scored eight and had six assists.