Facing an undersized Mena team last Tuesday night, Booneville felt like they could do well rebounding. But what Cody Harrel was able to do was stupendous.
The senior ripped down 23 rebounds — the most by any Bearcat in 28 years — and added 17 points to match Dakoda Owens’ output as the Cats took care of their Mena namesakes 58-41.
Then against Maumelle last Friday night, Booneville almost completed a comeback for the ages. Down 19 early in the fourth quarter, the Bearcats hit six three-pointers and scored 32 points in the quarter, getting it all the way down to three points with four seconds left before the Hornets escaped, 89-83.
The Lady Cats played well for about 2 1/2 quarters in both of their games last week. That was good enough to keep them within range of Mena and to have an advantage over Maumelle, but they fell cold for the last 12 minutes of both games and are still seeking their first conference win.
Mena 41 (Boys)
Booneville hit MHS with a 13-1 run in the first quarter as Brandon Wolski and Dakoda Owens each hit a three-pointer and Cody Harrel completed a three-point play the old-fashioned way to make it 15-3. Mena got a free throw at the end of the period and got two free throws to start the second, eventually getting within 17-10. But then Owens canned another three and Harrel got a layup before Dalton Herrera put in two from the line. Booneville enjoyed a 24-15 lead at halftime, and Harrel already had 13 rebounds at that point.
Dalton Daughtery’s three-ball spurred a Mena comeback that got them within 26-22 early in the third quarter but after the teams exchanged baskets, Owens did a big part in putting the game away by hitting three bonus balls in a row, the last from about 28 feet. Jacob Krepps added a 10-footer at the buzzer to put Booneville on top 39-28 after three. The fourth quarter degenerated into a free-throw contest as Mena tried to foul to get back into it, but Booneville, and particularly Wolski, was having none of it. Fourteen of BHS’s 19 points in the quarter came on free throws with nine of those coming from Wolski as Booneville put the kibosh to the MHS plan.
Harrel finished with 17 points and grabbed 23 rebounds, matching the output of the entire Mena team. Owens finished with five threes and also scored 17 with Wolski adding 15. In all, Booneville outrebounded Mena 37-23.
Booneville 19 (girls)
MHS scored the first eight points of the game before Alley Vaught was able to cash in a free throw; the first field goal came from Logan Lyle and made it 13-3. Ashdon Ross threw in two free throws and Morgan Osborne beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 12-footer to get Booneville within 18-7. After Mena scored first in the second quarter Booneville put together a run with an Osborne eight-footer and a three by Paige Joyce. Lyle would add a free throw to make it 22-13 but Mena scored the last five and led by 14 at the break.
Hannah McClung’s putback got Booneville within 12 and after Mena scored the next three. the sophomore hit from 15 to make it 30-17. But then Autumn Birtcher threw in six straight free throws before Lyle was able to respond, and that basket would represent the last points for Booneville as Mena closed the game with a 16-0 run. Lyle had five points and seven rebounds to lead in both categories as Booneville failed to hit a free throw (0-7) in the second half.
Lady Cats 32
Booneville got a bright start to the game, getting three-pointers from sophomores at the beginning and end of the first period. Hannah McClung opened the scoring with a bonus shot from the wing and Ashdon Ross banked in a trey to end the quarter. In between, Alley Vaught got a putback and Morgan Osborne hit two from the line for a 7-0 lead. Osborne would also hit from 15 and Booneville led 12-5 after one quarter. Vaught’s 10-footer extended the lead and after the teams traded baskets twice, Logan Lyle buried a three-pointer and Booneville led 19-9. Maumelle got back within four but Lyle then hit from 12 and added a free throw, as did Osborne, and the Lady Cats led 23-15 at halftime.
But Maumelle adjusted their game in the third quarter, and opened it on a 9-2 run with Vaught getting the lone basket. Maumelle’s 6-2 center Morgan Fimpel was causing the Lady Cats no end of grief as she swatted away shot after shot. Lyle finally halted the run with a free throw and a layup, but Fimpel then stepped out for a three and Alexis Smith’s steal and layup put the Lady Hornets on top. They also scored the last three points of the third quarter to lead 32-28, and put in the first six of the fourth period before Osborne dropped a three-pointer. But that was as close as Booneville got the rest of the game.
Lyle led the Lady Cats with nine points and Osborne added eight. Vaught scored seven and pulled down 11 rebounds. Kaitlynn Davis, who had missed the past two games with a concussion, was forced to the sidelines again in the first quarter when she hit her head attempting to take a charge. Fimpel came within two blocks of a triple double as she had 18 points and 12 rebounds to go with the eight blocked shots.
It was a nightmare start for Booneville as they committed five early turnovers and found themselves down 13-0 within the first two minutes. But they then settled into the game as Cody Harrel scored on a layup, then stole the ball and got another easy deuce. But then the Bearcats were hit with a technical because Harrel’s number was improperly entered in the book; it showed him as number 1 instead of 15. After the two technical free throws, though, Brandon Wolski nailed a three and Dalton Herrera added baskets of both varieties. Suddenly the Cats were within 17-12, but Maumelle opened it back up a bit and led 22-15 after the first quarter. But the Cats quickly closed within six as Harrel put in another layup, Herrera added a free throw and Trevor Jones scored with two more to make it 26-20. The Hornets scored twice but Harrel and Dakoda Owens reponded in kind, and a JB Minix three was countered by one from Harrel. But Maumelle went on an 8-1 run before Herrera threw in a bonus shot from the top of the key to narrow it to 44-31 at the break.
A two and a three by Minix made it an 18-point lead but Jacob Krepps, Owens and Harrel slipped in for layups to narrow it to 12 before a Gary Burton three and Kendall Donnerson’s dunk again stretched the lead. The teams traded baskets for a while before the Hornets ran off five in a row to assume their biggest lead at 66-46. Herrera scored inside and Owens hit his first three of the game to narrow it to 15 before a MHS basket made it 68-51 after three. Tyshun Robinson’s layup made it a 19-point lead before Booneville began their comeback.
Herrera started it with a layup before Harrel and Owens knocked down back-to-back threes and Owens and Krepps each added two from the line, making it a quick 12-2 burst and narrowing the margin back to nine at 72-63. However, Maumelle replied with the next nine and then they went to the bench for their reserves. Owens’ third three-pointer seemed to be in vain as two more free throws were scored by the Hornets to make it 83-66. But there was another comeback coming as Harrel scored on a layup and Wolski bagged a three-pointer. Harrel and Wolski each scored two from the line and the Cats were again within nine with two minutes still to play. Following a free throw, Owens threw in a 25-footer and Wolski followed suit after another Hornet free throw with 15 seconds left for 86-81. Harrel then picked off an inbounds pass as Maumelle stubbornly stuck with their reserves, and he scored on a layup to make it 86-83 with four seconds left. Booneville called time out but the Hornets managed to get it in. Caleb Redwine was fouled, hit the first free throw, then gobbled up his own miss and put it back in for the final margin.
Harrel racked up 22 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Owens scored a career-high 20, Herrera added 14 and Wolski put in 12 and tied a team record with nine assists. Booneville set a record for points in a quarter with 32 in the fourth period and tied records for total assists (24) and three-pointers in a game (11). The Bearcats shot 61 percent from the three-point line (11 for-18) and 59 percent overall.