Johnson, Byrum key Booneville sweep of Paris

Chuck Hayes
Booneville’s Austin Hill (1) launches a three-pointer over Paris’ Jesse Wells (24) during the  Jan. 15 game at Paris. Hill led the Bearcats with 15 points in Booneville’s 56-45 win.
Booneville’s Layla Byrum guards Paris’ Jadyn Hart (24) during the Jan. 15 game at Paris. Byrum would later make a critical steal and layup to help the LadyCats gain a 50-45 win.

It was a very nice start on Jan. 15 to a lengthy run of road games for Booneville basketball, as both the Bearcats and LadyCats picked up wins at county rival Paris.

Austin Hill led three Bearcats in double figures by scoring 15 points while C.J. Johnson beat the buzzer in both the second and third quarters in a 56-45 win, while Karmen Kent scored 12 and Layla Byrum had a key steal and layup as the LadyCats came from behind to win 50-45.

However, the teams could not maintain the momentum at Charleston last Tuesday, with both squads taking it on the chin at the hands of the Tigers.

After five straight away games for the Bearcats and four for the girls, Booneville returns to Bearcat Gym on Friday for a rematch with Charleston.

Bearcats 56, Paris 45

Paris took the early lead behind four straight baskets by Sam Muldrow. Austin Hill countered with a three, a two and a pair of free throws but a Mikael Ellingburg putback left the Eagles ahead 17-12 after one. C.J. Johnson then hit a two and a three to draw the Cats closer and after three points each from Evan Escobedo and Jacob Herrera, Hill scored inside to give the Cats the lead and Herrera followed with two free throws. Paris tied it at 30 but Johnson drove the lane and scored just before halftime.

After taking a charge to start the third quarter, Herrera hit from eight and countered an Eagle three-ball with one of his own. Jesse Wells replied for Paris but the Cats outscored the Eagles 8-1 the rest of the period with Johnson hitting a fall-away three-pointer as time expired to make it 45-37. A Mason Goers three further extended the lead with baskets by Johnson and Herrera and two Blake Jones free throws sealing the win.

Hill led the Cats with 15 points, followed by Herrera with 14 and Johnson with 12. Herrera also handed out four assists and led in rebounds with five.

LadyCats 50, Paris 45

Karmen Kent gave Booneville an early 6-5 lead but Paris’ Jadyn Hart beat the defense back for a layup and younger sister Jacee followed with a three-pointer to start a 9-2 run. This gave the Lady Eagles a six-point lead but Hayley Roberts cut that in half with a three-pointer as time expired in the first quarter. Heaven Sanchez tied it up with a three-point play and the score remained tight throughout the second period. Kent and Layla Byrum had consecutive steals and layups and Leigh Swint tied it at 21. But Jadyn Hart returned the favor with a swipe and score and after Kent replied, the Paris senior converted a three-point play to put her team up 26-23 at the break.

With Jayden Wells getting inside and Brailey Forst hitting a three, Paris went up by eight. But Byrum and Swint took consecutive charges, leading to baskets by Kent, Joleigh Tate and finally Swint to get within two. But the Hart sisters then took over again with two layups by Jadyn sandwiching a three-ball from Jacee. This made it 38-29 but Brooke Turner, just in off the bench, fired in a bonus ball to blunt the Lady Eagle momentum. Tate added two free throws and a Swint layup cut the lead to two after three.

Swint tied it when she pulled up at the free-throw line and hit a jumper, but Jacee Hart put in her third three of the game in reply. Kent’s putback and a Swint steal and layup gave BHS the lead, only for Jadyn Hart to immediately reply. Swint, though, after a Paris miss, launched a 40-foot pass directly in front of Kent, who converted the layup. Swint followed with two from the line, but Jadyn Hart replied in kind. The LadyCats turned it over on their next possession but then Byrum anticipated a pass, made the steal and scored with 32 seconds left. The Lady Eagles missed at the other end and Sanchez was fouled. She missed the one-and-one but Tate was there to collect the rebound and her free throws were true.

Kent had 12 points and seven rebounds, while Swint added 10 points, five assists and five steals. Tate scored eight and pulled down 10 rebounds. The Hart sisters combined for 31 points with Jadyn getting 22 of them.

Charleston 64, Bearcats 58

After the Bearcats took an early lead on a Jordan Sanchez layup and a Blake Jones three, The Tigers scored the next seven points. They maintained the lead through the rest of the quarter, though Evan Escobedo cut into it with a three-point play toward the end of the period. C.J. Johnson tied it early in the second quarter on a steal and layup and it appeared that the Cats were building momentum when they subsequently had a 9-2 run. Jacob Herrera started it with a basket and Mason Goers followed with a three, then Sanchez and Austin Hill got baskets and Booneville enjoyed a five-point lead. But the Tigers struck back with an 11-2 run to end the half with Brandon Scott scoring seven of those points and the host team led 28-24 at the break.

Scott would also score 8 of the first 10 Charleston points of the second half as they stretched the lead to nine. A layup and three by Herrera narrowed the lead to four but CHS pushed it back to six by the end of the quarter. Five straight points by Goers made the score 47-43 and then the two teams exchanged three-pointers twice, with Herrera and Johnson connecting for the Cats. Johnson then converted a steal into an easy two points to make it 54-51, but a subsequent 8-2 Tiger run iced it. Hill hit a very long three as time expired, which may prove important for seeding purposes later.

Herrera stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Johnson scored 11 with Goers and Hill adding 10 each. Scott and Braden Ketter scored 19 each for the Tigers, who shot 14 free throws to Booneville’s one.

Charleston 50, LadyCats 27

Leigh Swint’s layup counted a Gracie Koch basket, but after that Charleston scored the next 10 points. Joleigh Tate halted the run with a three-pointer and she and Hayley Roberts each had a free throw toward the end of the quarter to narrow the lead to 15–7. but the roof fell in in the second quarter as a Swint free throw was the only point for the LadyCats in the second eight minutes. Charleston hit three bonus shots in the quarter and led 30-8 at the half.

Booneville started out the third quarter on a 6-0 run with Roberts getting two baskets and Heaven Sanchez the other. But that only served to cut the lead to 16 points and a Lady Tiger three-ball made it 35-16 after three. BHS then went cold again and the hosts stretched the lead to 27 before Swint sank a three-pointer. Sanchez, Karmen Kent and Carah Miller would also score for Booneville before the game ended. Swint had six points, while Sanchez had six steals and dealt out four assists. 

Junior Cats take two of three, girls split two

Booneville’s Colter Fisher (11) scrambles after a loose ball with a Waldron player late in their game at Waldron last Monday. Booneville eeked out a 42-40 win.

After handily beating Paris at home on Jan. 14, the Booneville junior boys had another close call when they visited Waldron last Monday, hanging on for a 42-40 win.

However, the law of averages finally caught up with them the next night in Charleston. After a competitive first half, the Tigers blew the game wide open in the second half, dealing the Junior Bearcats their first loss of the season.

They will have an opportunity to avenge that loss tomorrow night back in Charleston.

The Junior LadyCats found themselves in a tight game against Paris. Ryleigh Love forced overtime with an inside basket, but Paris came away with a 37-34 win in overtime as a Lexi Franklin three-pointer at the buzzer came up short. They bounced back against Waldron, breaking open a close game in the fourth quarter to win by 10.

Junior Bearcats 41, Paris 25

Booneville shut out the Eagles in the first quarter, as Colter Fisher scored six of the team’s 10 points in the period. Paris made a come back in the second quarter, going on a 7-2 run to close within five on a Matthew Mainer basket. But Dax Goff scored the last four points of the quarter and BJH led 16-7 at the break. 

The BJH boys blew it open in the third quarter, outscoring Paris 17-6. Goff (8), Fisher (4) and Noah Stewart (5) accounted for all the points in the period, which ended with a 20-point lead for the home team. After Stewart hit a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter, the starters were finished for the night. The JV players got two moments of glory late in the game, as Osvaldo Gonzalez blocked an Eagle shot and Colt Cobb buried a three at the other end as time expired. Goff had 16 points and 11 rebounds with Fisher and Stewart scoring 12 and 10 respectively.

Paris 37, Junior LadyCats 34 (OT)

Back-to-back threes by Linley Garrett and Lexi Franklin staked Booneville to a 7-3 lead after one quarter. each of them scored another basket to maintain the lead, but the Lady Eagles grabbed a two point lead late in the period. Garrett scored once again but Annabelle Perry countered with a three-pointer and Paris led 16-13 at halftime.

The visitors scored the first four points of the third quarter; Garrett, Franklin and Ryleigh Love pulled BJH within one. Paris then hit a three-pointer but Angie Brown countered with two of her own, both off the glass, and Booneville led 25-23 after three. Paris ran off the next five but Love scored twice, giving BJH the lead back. Three free throws, the last two by Perry, gave the Lady Eagles the lead but Love hit from short range with 4 seconds left to force overtime.

The visitors scored first in the extra period but Franklin buried a three for 34-33. However, Paris countered with a three-point play and then hit a free throw, forcing Booneville to look for a bonus shot. The Junior LadyCats got what they wanted when they found Franklin alone in the corner, but her shot came up short. Franklin led BJH with 11 with Garrett scoring nine and Love eight.

Junior LadyCats 28, Waldron 18

Angie Brown scored the only point for Booneville in the first quarter and Waldron enjoyed a four-point lead after the first six minutes. Lexi Franklin, Ryleigh Love and Linley Garrett helped close the gap with baskets in the second quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs still had a one point lead at that point.

Ellie Smith gave BJH their first lead with a layup; Waldron scored the next three but Love tied it at 11 after three. Brown opened the fourth quarter with a bonus ball and after Waldron retook the lead, Garrett put Booneville ahead to stay with another three-pointer, which she followed with a layup. after the teams traded baskets and Waldron hit a free throw, the Junior LadyCats scored the last seven points of the game, effectively clinching it when Franklin turned a steal into an easy two points. Garrett led BJH with 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks while Love blocked five shots, four of them in the first quarter.

Junior Bearcats 42, Waldron 40

Dax Goff scored first but Waldron’s Chris Lopez followed with the next five and the Bulldogs eventually took a six point lead. However, the Cats scored the next seven, including a three by Noah Stewart, which put Booneville ahead. Another three pointer by Waldron and a Jace Washburn layup tied it at 11 after one. Washburn followed with a steal and basket to start the second quarter, then Colter Fisher got a putback and Macolen Tillery hit from 15. Booneville led 19-14 at halftime.

Goff tallied six points in the third quarter, but Waldron refused to go away and in fact trimmed one point off the lead after three. But Washburn started the fourth period with a steal and easy basket followed by a three-pointer after Waldron had answered. Goff hit consecutive shots to boost the lead to 8 and Fisher replied to a Bulldog basket with one of his own for 39-31. Goff rebounded his own miss and put it back after Waldron had hit a three, and Tillery followed with a free throw. Those points proved to be important because Lopez, who finished with 19, buried two three-balls in the last five seconds. Goff led Booneville with 16 and Washburn added 10.

Charleston 43, Junior Bearcats 20

The first quarter showed signs of an ounce standing game to come because after Charleston had taken a six-point lead, Boonville stormed back with three Colter Fisher baskets and one by Jace Washburn to leave it tied at 10 after one. Washburn scored twice in the second quarter, but the Tigers racked up 14 points in the period and led by 10 at halftime.

The Junior Cats, with Washburn hitting from 10 and Goff getting a putback off a Jonah Nguyen miss, stayed within relative striking distance after three quarters as they held Charleston to five points. But after Goff cut the lead to nine, Booneville would not score again as Charleston picked up the last 14 points of the game. Washburn led in scoring with eight points.