The Booneville basketball teams made sure last Friday would be a Senior Night to remember for a long time. The Bearcats and LadyCats combined to hit 23 three-pointers as they swept County Line, 70-50 in the girls’ game and 52-36 in the boys.
Baylee Moses hit all five of her three-point attempts to lead the charge and fellow senior Shelby Posey added three more, while senior Andrew Mattson knocked down five bonus shots in the Bearcats’ win.
Earlier in the week, history was made on Tuesday night as for the first time, freshmen were permitted to join the senior girls’ team. It was allowed on an emergency basis as the LadyCats had only six players available. And two of them made an immediate impact as Leigh Swint scored nine points, including two critical free throws, and Karmen Kent added five to augment four LadyCats in double figures as Booneville edged Perryville 59-58. The Bearcats never really got going against the Mustangs and took a 64-47 loss.
The district tournament is this week in Lamar. The LadyCats (12-15, 4-10) took on Two Rivers on Monday with the winner playing Jessieville on Tuesday, and the Bearcats (14-12, 7-7) faced Paris with Atkins awaiting the victor.
LadyCats 59 Perryville 58
Booneville jumped to a 9-2 lead early as Joleigh Tate scored twice, Baylee Moses hit a three and Heaven Sanchez added a basket while Lindsay Wallace took her 26th charge of the season. A second Moses three-pointer sent the LadyCats to a 12-4 lead after one period. Moses added another basket and Sanchez scored twice as the lead ballooned to 18-6, but Perryville used a 10-2 run, with eight coming from Kyra Hargrove, to get back in the game. Booneville, though, used a free throw from Tate and two from Shelby Posey to keep the lead at halftime, 23-20.
The Lady Mustangs took the lead early in the second half as a Grace Walker three put them in front 26-23. Moses tied it back up with a three-pointer, then after a Perryville turnover, freshmen Leigh Swint and Karmen Kent made history by entering the game, the first freshmen to play basketball at the senior high level for Booneville. Swint didn’t take long to grab a rebound and she was then fouled going up, making the second free throw. Walker hit another three for a 4-point Perryville lead but after a Tate free throw, Kent got her first career basket and Sanchez gave BHS the lead back. Kent would later add another basket and a free throw, but PHS took a 4-point lead to the fourth quarter.
This was erased quickly as Posey dropped a pair of three-pointers early in the period. Perryville twice tied it back up but Booneville then hit the Lady Mustangs with a 12-2 run in which Swint scored six of the points. The LadyCats led 56-48 at that point but Perryville got back within one with a 7-0 run of their own. Posey hit a free throw and after a Perryville miss, Swint was fouled with nine seconds left. She hit the first and after a PHS time-out, dropped in the second as well for 59-55, and that proved critical because Walker fired in a three as time expired.
Moses led Booneville with 15 points while three other LadyCats—Tate, Posey and Sanchez—scored 10 each. Swint added nine and Kent racked up the other five. It was the first LadyCat win ever over Perryville, who finished second in the conference, and they also own wins over third-place Jessieville and fourth-place Paris. The LadyCats shot 56 percent from the field in overcoming 29 turnovers.
Perryville 64 Bearcats 47
The Mustangs’ Cole Melton hit two three-pointers as Perryville hit the Cats with a 14-2 run to open the game. Jacob Herrera had the only Bearcat basket in that time frame. Andrew Mattson halted the run and Herrera would hit from three-point range, but Booneville was in a 19-7 hole after one. The teams traded baskets twice to start the second quarter but the Mustangs closed out the half on a 14-3 run. Austin Hill hit a bonus shot for the Cats’ only points, but Melton hit two more and added a layup at the buzzer for a 37-14 PHS lead at the break.
Booneville picked up some ground at the start of the second half as Mattson and Hill dropped in three-pointers, countering another Melton layup. But Perryville scored the next five and though Mason Goers hit a three and Mattson and Blake Jones added layups, they still trailed 45-29 after three. It became 49-31 before Herrera hit a three and Jones fired in two bonus balls to cut the lead to nine points with 5 minutes left. But Reid Standridge silenced the crowd with a layup and two free throws, and Booneville would not get any closer than 10 the rest of the way. Herrera led Booneville with 15 points, and Mattson added 13 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.
LadyCats 70 County Line 50
Baylee Moses began the onslaught with a pair of three-pointers and after a Joleigh Tate basket, Brooke Turner got in on the act for an 11-4 LadyCat lead. Tate would add two from the line and Shelby Posey buried one late in the period for a 16-8 Booneville lead. Posey also opened the second quarter with a three-ball and Hayley Roberts, after missing several games with an injury, returned to action with a layup. County Line scored the next two but Leigh Swint then came off the bench and immediately hit a three-pointer to which Tate added a layup for 24-12. Martha Neumeier tried to keep the Lady Indians in the game, scoring her team’s last 12 points of the quarter, but in the meantime Posey had hit another three and Swint found the bank open from beyond the arc, and her free throw made it 33-19. Layups by Lindsay Wallace and Roberts gave BHS a 37-22 halftime lead.
Roberts put in a layup and two free throws as Booneville kept the pressure on, and Moses followed with another three-ball. After a Neumeier layup Moses was fouled shooting a three and hit two of the shots. The Lady Indians scored the next five but then Turner scrapped for an offensive rebound and was fouled, hitting the second free throw, and Moses ended the quarter with her fourth three for a 51-33 lead after three. The senior would also start the fourth quarter with a bonus ball—the LadyCats’ record-breaking 11th of the game. After a Posey basket and a Turner free throw it was 57-35. A couple of three-pointers got the Lady Indians within 14 but Wallace and Tate scored layups and then Tate swiped a County Line pass and went all the way in. Swint followed by knocking a ball out of Neumeier’s hands to Posey, who went in uncontested for a 68-46 lead. Seniors Moses and Posey then left the game, replaced by freshmen Carah Miller and Lizzy Gray in their LadyCat debuts.
Moses hit for 18 points, including 5-for-5 from three-point range, while Posey added 15 including three bonus balls of her own while also dealing out five assists. Tate had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, Roberts hit all of her shots in scoring eight points and Swint had an impressive stat line with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. Booneville again shot 56 percent from the field and hit 65 percent (11 of 17) from beyond the arc.
Bearcats 52 County Line 36
Jacob Herrera had all eight of Booneville’s points in the first quarter, but they were matched by the Indians and the score was knotted after the first quarter. Herrera notched a steal and layup to start the second period and after a County Line response, Andrew Mattson hit a three and Booneville eventually led 15-10. But Caleb Robberson hit two threes for the Indians, the second of which gave CL a 18-17 lead. Blake Jones responded with a three-pointer but Tyler Duggar got in a layup just before halftime to tie it back up at 20.
Duggar also started the third quarter with a basket; Mattson responded with a three but Robberson also hit one and Mitchell Keezer gave CL a 27-23 lead with two from the line. Mattson hit another three and a Herrera layup put BHS back up 28-27, but County Line responded again and had a 31-30 lead late in the third quarter. Mason Goers took care of that with a three-pointer and BHS led 33-31 going to the final quarter. Booneville then turned up the defensive heat, and Zac Costa started a Booneville run with two free throws. Jones then hit two three-pointers, Austin Hill added another, and Mattson finished it off with two more threes, one each side of two free throws by Herrera.
Mattson finished with 19 points, with Herrera scoring 14 and Jones 9. The Cats nailed 12 three-pointers, one short of the record, and committed only six turnovers.