The Booneville LadyCats have been cranking up the defense lately and last Tuesday night saw a performance that erased a 40-year-old school record.
They limited conference foe Waldron to 11 points, breaking the defensive record of 12 which had been set against Hartford in 1980, in a 49-11 win at home last Tuesday. That moved their record to 8-4, 3-2 in the conference.
Against Hackett on Jan. 8, Booneville rolled to a 67-30 win, fueled by 17 points each by Leigh Swint and Heaven Sanchez. Swint didn’t miss a shot, going 5-for-5 from three point range to tie a record set last year by Brooke Turner and Baylee Moses for most threes made in a game without a miss.
Booneville’s boys also picked up a 64-41 win on homecoming night against Hackett, which became more impressive when the Hornets upset league leader Charleston last Tuesday.
After stepping out of conference to defeat Western Yell County on Monday, they had a much-anticipated showdown with the Waldron Bulldogs the next night. But the visitors took control early, shot 61% from the field and handed the Bearcats (9-1, 3-1) their first loss, 58-40.
Bearcats 64, Hackett 41
Booneville scored the first six points of the game, four of them by CJ Johnson, and added three-pointers by Blake Jones and Mason Goers to take a 12-7 lead after one quarter. Jones added two more threes and Johnson collected a steal and layup to make it 20-9. Later, the Hornets would get it back within three, but the Cats would score the last six points of the half to go into the locker room up 31-22.
The Bearcats erased any doubt with a 13-2 run to start the third quarter. Jacob Herrera started it with two baskets and after Hackett responded, Jones scored seven out of the next nine points and it was 44-24. Herrera hit a three and Austin Hill canned two free throws to make it 49-33 after three. The visitors got within 12 but then Johnson hit two shots to start a 12–1 blitz. Jordan Sanchez’s layup made it 61-38 and Jaydon Forst provided the coup de grace with a three-pointer.
Jones scored 21 points, with Johnson providing 10. Hill and Goers scored nine each and Herrera eight.
LadyCats 67, Hackett 30
Hackett racked up the first five points before the LadyCats got their wake up call. when it came, Booneville proceeded to score 25 out of the next 27 points. Leigh Swint started it with a three-pointer and added another in the run, as well as taking a charge and hitting two free throws. Joleigh Tate added nine points in the blitz and Karmen Kent tallied six as the LadyCats led 25-9 after one. There was no letup early in the second quarter as BHS made a 12-2 run; Swint tallied another three, Heaven Sanchez and Hayley Roberts added layups and Brooke Turner splashed a three to make it 37-11. Sanchez then halted a mild Hackett uprising with a bonus ball and Kent’s layup took BHS to 42 points and a 19-point lead at halftime.
Another Swint three-ball started the second half as Booneville made an 11-2 run to up the lead to 53-25. Swint then took her third charge of the game and followed that with her fifth three in as many tries. Two baskets by Sanchez and a three from Tate made it 60-29 after three. After Roberts started the fourth quarter with a layup Sanchez capped her night with two steals and layups.
Swint and Sanchez each scored 17 points with Tate getting 15. Kent filled up the stat sheet with 9 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Bearcats 59, WYC 38
The Wolverines scored first but CJ Johnson hit two threes that surrounded a Jacob Herrera three point play. A Blake Jones layup made it 11-2, but WYC wasn’t giving up that easy as they got within 16-13 after one. Austin Hill’s layup then started a 9-2 run that was finished off by a Mason Goers three. Evan Escobedo and Goers each hit two free throws that made it 29-19 at halftime.
Jacob Herrera turned the third quarter into a personal showcase. The senior had 12 points in the period, including the last six, as the Wolverines were held to six points in the frame. It was 46-25 after three and Coach Ronnie Denton emptied the bench to start the fourth quarter. Raiden Ferguson promptly hit a three and after Brooks Herrera scored his first basket of the season, the rest of the offense came from Austin Goff, who hit two layups and a pretty floater from 8 feet.
Jacob Herrera racked up 16 points and Goers tallied 10. Johnson scored 8 with Escobedo, Jones and Goff all tallying six. Booneville once again took care of the ball well, with only seven turnovers.
LadyCats 49, Waldron 11
Leigh Swint’s opening layup was followed by back-to-back threes by Joleigh Tate and Heaven Sanchez, who then produced a layup for a 10-2 lead. Karmen Kent and Sanchez each scored before Waldron tallied again and Brooke Turner’s three made it 17-6 after one. Layla Byrum opened the second period with a steal and layup; Rheagan Sanford answered for Waldron but that, incredibly, would be their last field goal of the game. After a Sanchez free throw, Hayley Roberts hit from 8 and Sanchez ended the half with a three to make it 25-8.
Sanchez then began the second half the way she ended the first. Kent followed with five straight points and then Tate and Turner splashed back-to-back threes for a 39-8 lead after three. Byrum and Swint completed the 24-0 run with layups before Sanford got a free throw to drop. Waldron tallied twice more from the line before Roberts converted a three point play off a putback and Byrum found Carah Miller for the last basket.
Sanchez put in 14 points for the LadyCats; Kent had seven points and seven rebounds with Tate and Turner scoring six apiece. Swint, while scoring only four, had seven assists with no turnovers and made six steals. Tate collected her 300th career rebound late in the game.
Waldron 58, Bearcats 40
The Bulldogs were smarting from a home loss at the hands of Charleston and came out firing on all cylinders. Gada Wagner scored the first two baskets of the game and Waldron would get another before CJ Johnson opened the Bearcats’ account with a three. but that was all BHS could muster in the first quarter as Waldron would add six more for a 12-3 lead. Mason Goers hit from 15 and Austin Hill swished a three early in the second quarter, but in the meantime Waldron had scored eight more and therefore led 20-8. Later, Johnson added another three and Jacob Herrera scored, but Waldron led 28-16 at halftime.
The Bulldogs rapidly pulled away in the third quarter, with Isaac Villarreal scoring seven straight points to give WHS a 40-18 lead. Hill tried his best to keep the Cats going, with a layup and a three, but these were matched by Villarreal and Waldron took a 24 point lead to the fourth quarter. Both teams then emptied their benches, and Brooks Herrera used it as an opportunity to bid for more playing time. The sophomore showed determination driving inside against players as much as 9 inches taller than him and getting fouled. He would hit four of six from the line and added a three-pointer, and Chase Plymale tallied his first basket of the season late on.
Hill would lead Booneville with 11 points and Brooks Herrera added seven. Jacob Herrera and Johnson each scored six, but it was Waldron’s night as they shot 61% from the field and forced 15 turnovers from the Cats.
JUNIOR HIGH BASKETBALL
Lexi Franklin has been on quite a run of late.
After stealing the ball 11 times against Danville, the freshman added seven more against Hackett and an additional nine against Western Yell County. This has helped the Junior LadyCats gain convincing wins in their last two games, taking them to 7-4, 2-1 in the conference.
The junior boys, having not played in four weeks before their January 7 game against Hackett, looked very rusty and were in danger of having their unbeaten start the season snapped. But Dax Goff put the team on his back as Booneville scored the last 5 points and won 33-30. They then eased to a comfortable win against Western Yell County last Monday. The Junior Cats exited that game with a 7-0 record.
Junior LadyCats 41, Hackett 25
Lexi Franklin swiftly had nine points on the board before Hackett could reply. She hit two threes and converted a steal into a three-point play. BJH led 9-5 after one and after baskets by Angie Brown and Linley Garrett, seemed to be cruising. but Hackett scored the next six points to close within two before Franklin ended the period with two layups for a 17-11 lead.
Again, the Lady Hornets closed within two but Franklin again had the reply and Roni Tillery scored to start a 8-2 run. Garrett hit a three and Ryleigh Love put in three more points as Booneville led 27-17 after three. Franklin had a steal and layup she start the fourth, then Garrett replied to a Hackett basket with a three pointer and Brown also scored for 34-19. Tillery added two more baskets down the stretch as BJH pulled away.
Franklin scored 18 points and had 7 steals for Booneville while Garrett and Tillery each tallied six.
Junior Bearcats 33, Hackett 30
Booneville couldn’t find the mark at all in the first quarter, as Hackett shut them out in the first six minutes to grab a six-point lead. After another Hornet basket Dax Goff finally put BJH on the board with a layup and a three pointer. Colter Fisher added a free throw and eventually Booneville got within one on a Jace Washburn basket, but Hackett tallied seven out of the last nine points and led 18-12 at halftime.
The third period saw a scarcity in points by both sides. Goff scored two baskets and Fisher added two free throws, while Hackett managed five points and still had the advantage, 23-18, going to the fourth quarter. The Junior Cats hit Hackett with the first eight points of the fourth quarter, with a Washburn steal and basket giving BJH their first lead at 26-23. Hackett was not through defending their home court, though, going on a 7-2 run to take a two point lead. Goff tied it again and Washburn hit one of two for 31-30. The teams exchanged missed free throws and then Goff was fouled with 5.4 seconds left. He missed the one-and-one and fouled a Hackett player on the rebound.
But his free throw was off the mark as well and Goff was fouled on the rebound. This time, with 0.4 seconds left, he hit both shots. The drama was not over as Hackett called time and got the ball inbounds, where one of their players fired a shot from 80 feet out that went in and out. Goff finished with 18 points with Washburn adding six.
Junior LadyCats 29, WYC 16
Booneville failed to score in the fourth quarter, but by that point it did not matter as they had held WYC scoreless in the third and built an insurmountable lead. Lexi Franklin scored seven of BJH’s 15 first-quarter points with Ryleigh Love adding four, including a three-point play. Booneville enjoyed a 15-5 lead after one; WYC cut it to five in the second quarter but Angie Brown got a layup, Love added a free throw and Franklin ended the half with a steal and layup for a 20-10 lead
Franklin picked up right where she had left off at the end of the first half, stealing the ball twice and getting layups each time. Linley Garrett added three free throws and Love scored on a putback while the Junior LadyCats held the Lady Wolverines scoreless in the period. WYC returned the favor in the fourth quarter by holding Booneville off the board. The closest BJH came to scoring was when Beverly Harrison had a shot roll off the rim and out. by that point, though, victory was secure.
Franklin lit up the stat sheet again, with 13 points, six rebounds and nine steals. Love scored seven and Garrett five, as the Junior LadyCats forced 29 turnovers.
Junior Bearcats 46, WYC 23
Dax Goff scored the first six points for Booneville and a Colter Fisher layup after a WYC three-pointer put Booneville in front 8-5 after one. Fisher hit a three-pointer before Jace Washburn scored the next six for a 12-point lead. Goff added the next six and Booneville led 23-11 at the break.
Goff scored three times in the third period to counter a pair of WYC threes, and Fisher ended the period with one of his own to make it 32-17 after three. Noah Stewart opened the fourth quarter by hitting one from bonus land and Fisher followed with a steal and layup for a 20-point lead. Macolen Tillery also scored and after Goff had hit a layup and a three, his night was done. Farris Danes put the finishing touches on the game with a layup at the buzzer. Goff, Fisher and Washburn accounted for all but seven of Booneville's points with 23, 10 and six respectively.