The Jr. Bearcats last Monday sought to go to the finals of the 4-3A district tournament, where if successful they would play county rival Paris.

For quite a while it looked like Booneville would pull off the feat against host Perryville as they led 25-15 at halftime. But the Mustangs kicked it into another gear, knocking half the lead off in the third quarter and using a 11-2 run near the end to gain the lead and eventually a 47-45 win. Perryville would go on to win the tournament by defeating Paris in the finals.

Perryville 47 Jr. Cats 45

Brooks Herrera hit a very deep 3-pointer to start the scoring and after Perryville recovered to take the lead, Dax Goff and Chase Plymale traded passes and baskets. Perryville tied it again, but Ry Ray fired in a three for a 10-7 lead after one. Ray started the second quarter with a layup and after a Mustang free throw Plymale stole the ball and converted on a three-point play. Goff followed with a putback and then Plymale and Colter Fisher each got a layup for 21-8. Later, Ray hit from 12 and Herrera turned a steal into a layup; Perryville made a three-point play at the end of the quarter but Booneville still led by 10.

Another Ray 12-footer increased the lead but PJH put in the next seven points before Raiden Ferguson could respond. Order looked to have been restored after Herrera hit two from the line and followed with a three-pointer for 34-24, but the Mustangs outscored Booneville 8-3 the rest of the period and trailed by just 37-32 after three. They quickly decreased the lead to one but Goff hit a jumper in the land and Plymale for the third time converted a steal to a layup. Perryville cut the lead to 41-40 before another Ferguson basket and then a long three-pointer tied the score.

Perryville would then take a 45-43 lead and after a Booneville turnover, Ferguson swiped a Mustang pass and appeared headed for a tying layup. But the ball ended up going off his foot out of bounds. Perryville then nailed two from the line; a Herrera three missed and Goff collected the rebound and rattled one home but the Jr. Cats were then out of time.

Booneville’s scoring was balanced; Ray led the way with 11 with Herrera adding 10. Goff and Plymale scored 9 points apiece and Goff also had 12 rebounds, becoming the first Booneville junior high player to grab over 200 rebounds in one season.