The Booneville junior girls were down four to Paris with seconds left in the game but two Heaven Sanchez steals were turned into four Booneville points and the Jr. LadyCats were able to force overtime. However, the Lady Eagles’ Jayden Wells took over that period and sent the Jr. LadyCats to their third frustrating loss in a row.
They recovered quickly, almost completely stifling Two Rivers on Friday night including a first-half shutout to gain their 12th win of the season against six losses. They finished 3-4 in the conference with the losses coming by a combined 14 points.
The Jr. Bearcats had tied Paris at 40 with a minute to go in the game, but the Eagles scored the last five points to get the win. Like the girls, though, the Jr. Cats blitzed Two Rivers, getting their high point total of the season in a 59-24 win.
The district tournament is at Paris this week. The girls took on Fountain Lake on Monday, with the boys facing off with Perryville at 5:00 today.
Paris 42 Jr. LadyCats 36 (OT)
A Leigh Swint three-pointer followed a Joleigh Tate basket and two Heaven Sanchez free throws and Booneville had a 7-2 lead, but a Jayden Wells three-point play started a Paris 8-0 run, finished by Karsyn Tencleve’s three-pointer for a 11-7 Lady Eagle lead after one. Paris went up by six in the second quarter but a Brooke Turner putback and a Tate layup got Booneville within two; following two Paris baskets Heaven Sanchez threw in a three-ball and Booneville was only behind 22-19 at the break.
A Hayley Lunsford putback got Booneville within one; Paris got it back out to four but Tate scored on a layup, then Swint tied the score by driving in and hitting from 15. But a Jacee Hart basket put Paris back on top after three. Wells hit a free throw to add to the lead but a second Sanchez three-pointer tied it at 28. Again Wells scored to put PJH in front and Brailyn Forst dropped two free throws, and with less than 30 seconds left that lead held at 32-28. But after a Booneville turnover they put on a press, and Sanchez made a steal and fed Layla Byrum for a layup. Then Sanchez made another takeaway and this time scored herself to tie the game and force overtime.
But Wells started the extra session with a free throw—she would score 18—and followed with a layup for 35-32. By this point Sanchez had fouled out; Tate got a layup but then also picked up her fifth foul, and Wells cashed in the second free throw. Hart did the same and Wells then made it 39-34. Karmen Kent put back a miss to get BJH within three, but that was it as Wells scored the last three. Sanchez led Booneville with 10 points and Tate added eight.
Paris 45 Jr. Bearcats 40
The Eagles’ Mikael Ellingburg proved a handful in the early going. He scored half of Paris’ 14 first-quarter points. The Jr. Cats had tied the game at 6 following two mason Goers free throws, but Paris scored the last eight of the quarter and the first basket of the second as well for a 10-point lead. But after a London Lee free throw Randon Ray splashed a three-pointer and made it a four-point play after being fouled. Ellingburg would answer three times with only two Ray free throws as a response and Paris led 22-13 at that point, but a Goers basket started a 7-0 run. Ray and Brooks Herrera added scores and Ray then put in a free throw to narrow the Paris lead to 22-20 at the break.
Juan Santos opened the scoring in the third quarter with a Paris basket but Goers responded with a three-point play, and a putback by Lee gave Booneville the lead.. Two Herrera free throws tied the score after an Ellingburg three-point play but Paris then went up by five. Rocky Ross scored twice inside to make it 32-31 before a Santos basket made it 34-31 after three. Ray stole a Paris pass on the first play of the fourth quarter and turned that into a layup and after Paris responded, Goers hit a free throw and Ross tied it at 36 with a layup. The Eagles went back on top by four but Lee splashed a three-pointer and then Ray stole the ball again and was fouled. He hit the first free throw to tie it at 40 but missed the second, and Santos shook loose for a layup that turned into a three-point play, then after a Booneville miss he got another layup for the final score.
Ray led Booneville with 12 points and Lee added 10, with Goers getting eight and Ross six. Ellingburg led Paris with 20.
Jr. LadyCats 31 Two Rivers 6
Booneville’s offense started slowly but the defense stifled the Lady Gators. Heaven Sanchez, Hayley Lunsford and Leigh Swint scored in the first quarter for a 6-0 Booneville lead. Swint started the second quarter with a free throw and then converted a three-point play. Joleigh tate added a free throw, Sanchez scored twice and added a third basket after a Lunsford free throw, and Booneville led 18-0 at the break.
Two Rivers finally scored to start the third quarter, answered by a Swint free throw, and then she and Brooke Turner each fired home a three-pointer. Booneville led 25-3 after three quarters; Karmen Kent opened the fourth quarter with a layup and would add the last basket of the game. In between, Layla Byrum scored the other basket of the quarter. Sanchez scored eight and Swint seven for the Jr. LadyCats.
Jr. Bearcats 59 Two Rivers 24
Booneville had a 10-0 lead in very short order; Randon Ray hit a three and London Lee also scored three points in the opening flurry. The Gators finally scored but Ray got a layup and Mason Goers hit two free throws, and Booneville led 14-4 after one. The teams swapped baskets twice to start the second quarter but Goers ended the period with back-to-back threes and it was 24-8 Booneville at the break.
Goers would splash a third three-pointer in the third quarter but a Two River flurry cut the lead to 12. However, Booneville got the last 14 points of the period, started by a Lee three-pointer. Goers scored twice, Ray dropped another three and followed with a layup and Brooks Herrera finished the run with a layup for 42-16. Booneville then put in the younger players and Two Rivers scored eight straight, but when they too put in their backups Booneville then ended the game on a 17-0 run. Chase Plymale started it with a three-point play and finished it with a layup; in between, Raiden Ferguson and Austin Goff each scored twice and Casey Mattson and Jayden Forst once each. Goers led Booneville with 18 points as nine different players scored.