When Booneville traveled to Paris last Monday there couldn’t have been any higher drama at the end of either game.
Leigh Swint hit two free throws with 5.3 seconds left and Lexi Franklin stole a Paris pass as they rushed down the court to give Booneville a 26-25 win. Then, Ry Ray drove the baseline and made a layup with 1.4 seconds remaining to give the Jr. Cats a 41-40 decision.
After both teams won easily at Two Rivers on Friday, they started district tournament play at Perryville the next day. The Jr. Cats advanced with a relatively easy win over Lamar, but the girls saw their season end with a 34-30 setback against Atkins.
The boys took on the host Perryville team on Monday in the semifinals, and a win would put them into the finals against either Fountain Lake or Paris tomorrow.
Jr. LadyCats 26 Paris 25
After Paris scored first Carah Miller and Karmen Kent hit from midrange for a 4-2 lead. The Lady Eagles caught up and took the lead on a Jayden Wells bucket but Layla Byrum tied it, then made a three-point play for an 11-8 lead after one. Lexi Franklin got a basket and Bynum added a three-pointer as Booneville took advantage of missed Paris free throws to take a 16-8 lead. Paris cut it to four but Ryleigh Love and Franklin scored inside before a pair of Brailey Forst free throws cut the Booneville lead to 20-14 at the break.
Paris only scored one field goal in the third quarter but their defense was holding Booneville at bay and that shot, from Wells, tied the game at 20 late in the third. Kent put BJH back on top with a putback at the end of the quarter. Rachel O’Neal hit a bucket and then Forst gave the Lady Eagles the lead midway through the fourth quarter with two from the line. It was Kent who tied the score and then Forst was fouled again. This time she only managed one free throw; Bynum had a chance to give Booneville the lead back but missed twice from the line. But Paris did the same and Booneville turned it over with 8 seconds left.
Miller, though, got a hand on the inbounds pass and it deflected to Franklin, whose three was off. The ball went out off Paris and Leigh Swint, who hadn’t figured in the scoring to that point, was fouled driving in. The first free throw was too hard but bounced straight up and into the hoop. The second was nothing but net and Paris tried to rush it up the floor, but Franklin stole a pass and Booneville had the win. Bynum and Kent had 8 points each to lead Booneville.
Jr. Cats 41 Paris 40
Paris scored the first two baskets but Booneville got four of the next five, two of which were threes by Brooks Herrera, and a 12-footer by Dax Goff made it 10-6 before Paris scored the last basket of the quarter. The Eagles also scored the first five points of the second period but after Jesse Wells hit a three, Booneville went on a 16-0 run. Herrera had another three-pointer, Chase Plymale scored twice and Raiden Ferguson capped it with a three from the top of the key for a 26-13 lead. The Eagles scored the last six to cut the lead to seven at the break.
Goff and Plymale scored the only baskets of the third quarter and by the end of that period, the Eagles had tied the game at 30. Paris took the lead early in the fourth quarter, but Goff and Plymale each scored as Booneville went up 35-34. Wells completed a three-point play to give Paris the lead back but two Goff baskets tied the score at 39. Paris was then fouled but converted only one free throw; Booneville played for the final shot and Ray drove the baseline and finger-rolled it in for the win.
Goff scored 12 to lead Booneville; Herrera and Plymale added 9 each. Ray scored six but had the most important bucket.
Jr. LadyCats 31 Two Rivers 20
Leigh Swint’s three-point play sent the Jr. LadyCats on their way; she also had a three-pointer in the quarter and with the score 7-2, Carah Miller beat the buzzer with a three from the top of the circle for a 10-2 lead after one. A slow second frame saw Layla Byrum score the only two baskets of the quarter and Booneville took a 14-4 lead at the break.
Two Rivers scored first in the third quarter but that was met by an 8-2 Booneville run. Ryleigh Love scoed half of those points with Karmen Kent hitting two free throws and Swint a layup. It was 22-8 after three and a Byrum putback and a second Swint three-pointer made it 27-9. Two Rivers cut the lead to 10 but Kent’s layup was followed by a Swint steal and basket for 31-17. Coach McKenzie Morris then emptied the bench giving JJ Keatts, Lizzy Gray, Kyra Brooks, Mia Perez and Bella Crabtree some playing time. Swint led Booneville with 13 points.
Jr. Cats 44 Two Rivers 25
Booneville took control early holding the Gators scoreless in the first quarter. Ry Ray had eight points in the period, starting it with a three-point play and finishing with his first three-pointer of the season and a six-footer for a 16-0 BJH lead after one. Two Rivers actually outscored Booneville in the second quarter 6-4 with Ray and Dax Goff getting the Booneville baskets, but the Jr. Cats still led 20-6 after one.
Booneville dominated the third quarter after TR had scored the first basket. Goff and Brooks Herrera got layups to which Herrera added a three. Later, Colter Fisher and Brenden Dove each canned a bonus shot and Booneville was ahead 35-10 after three. The fourth quarter was primarily left to the JV players, but they showed some scoring prowess as well. Pacey Pendergraft scored on a layup and then Ferris Danes brought the fans to their feet with a three-ball. John Weis followed that with his first points of the season on a layup. Ray’s 10-point effort led the team with Goff scoring six.
Jr. Cats 53 Lamar 40
Dax Goff and Chase Plymale took turns passing and scoring for the first two baskets of the game, but the Warriors showed some moxie and were able to pull within 8-7 before Ry Ray and Brooks Herrera scored as Booneville led 12-9 after one. Lamar scored first in the second quarter but Plymale scored five of the next eight points, with Goff hitting a three for the other tally. Later, Colter Fisher, coming off the bench, knocked down back-to-back threes and BJH led 26-15 at the break.
Ray scored three times inside and Fisher dropped in two more threes as Booneville pulled away in the tird quarter. The second of Fisher’s shots made it 38-20 and consecutive steals and layups by Herrera and Plymale made it 42-22 after three. Goff hit twice and Fisher finished off his game with a steal and layup that he turned into a three-point play. It was 49-27 at that point and the Warriors were finished. Fisher wound up with 16 points while Plymale scored 11 and grabbed 11 rebounds. Goff added nine and Ray eight.
Atkins 34 Jr. LadyCats 30
Layla Byrum scored first but Atkins responded with the next nine points before Leigh Swint got a putback. Atkins led 11-4 after one and added the first basket of the second quarter, but Lexi Franklin, who had missed the Two Rivers game due to illness, canned a three and then followed up a Booneville miss for a bucket. The Lady Devils then scored again but Karmen Kent’s layup and two Swint free throws narrowed the Atkins cushion to 15-13 at halftime.
Booneville scored the first seven points of the second half with Kent getting four of them; Swint hit from 10 and Franklin got a free throw for the other points. This made it 20-15 and after Atkins got within two, Kent hit a free throw and Linley Garrett scored the last basket of the quarter as Booneville led 23-20. Byrum got a putback to add to the lead but a 13-2 Atkins flurry punctuated by Booneville turnovers left the Lady Devils with a 33-27 lead. Swint drove for a layup and Byrum hit a free throw for 33-30, but after an Atkins free throw Booneville would have no further answer. Swint led Booneville with 8 points with Byrum and Kent tallying seven apiece.