The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team did the little things last night against Eugene in the opening round of the Sixth Annual Eugene Tournament.
While forcing 29 turnovers in the ballgame against Eugene, the Lady Pirates also hit the boards for 33 rebounds to beat Eagles by a score of 46-29.
Boonville, 1-0 on the season, will now play top-seeded Blair Oaks in the opening round on Thursday, Nov. 29 starting at 4:30 p.m.
In other games last night in the tournament, No. 2 Russellville beat seventh-seeded Versailles 68-45 while third-seeded California turned back sixth-seeded Camdenton 52-46.
Boonville coach Jaryt Hunziker said for being their first game out against Eugene at their place he saw a lot of great things out of the girls but there are many things they need to improve on early in the season.
“The girls intensity on defense tonight was a key factor in the game along with knocking down free throws when needed,” Hunziker said. “As a whole we still need to work on becoming better shooters on a daily basis.”
The Lady Pirates were definitely connecting at the free-throw line. While hitting only 16 of 52 shots from the field for 31 percent, Boonville fared much better at the foul line while knocking down 13 of 17 shots for 76 percent.
Nonetheless, the first quarter was back and forth with Boonville and Eugene playing to three ties alone at 2-2, 6-6 and 8-8. Meanwhile, with 4.1 seconds left, Eugene’s Kayla Adrian hit 1 of 2 free throws to give the Lady Eagles the lead after one at 9-8.
While forcing nine turnovers in the opening period, the Lady Pirates struggled from the field while hitting only 4 of 14 shots for 29 percent.
But even then the Lady Pirates were clearly in the ballgame while trailing Eugene 11-10 at the 7:13 mark in the second quarter. However from the six-minute mark to the 2:45 left in the half, Boonville took the lead for good by reeling off 10 straight points to go up by six at 20-11. Meanwhile, after Eugene came back and hit a three to cut the lead to six, sophomore Morgan Edwards hit two free throws to give the Lady Pirates the lead at the half by a score of 22-14.
Ball pressure also caused Eugene fits in the first half. While forcing 18 turnovers in the first-two quarters, Hunziker said ball pressure and traps are the things they work on daily in practice.
“We know that there will be nights that our offense might not be clicking and shots falling so we have to create our offense through our defense,” Hunziker said.
Of course Coach Hunziker wasn’t counting on another slow start in the third quarter. But that’s exactly what happened as Eugene came out and outscored the Lady Pirates 6-3 to cut the lead to five at 25-20 with 3:05 left. However from the 1:33 mark on, Boonville controlled the paint by outscoring the Lady Eagles 5-1 to extend the lead to nine at 30-21.
Hunziker said offensively he emphasized getting the ball inside to Morgan and playing an inside outside game.
“I knew they didn't have the weapons to defend her,” Hunziker said. “I also emphasized getting stops on defense and not to allow second or third chance opportunities. Putting Morgan on top of the press helped us get a couple steals and layups cause she could knock down some passes. It was a great TEAM effort all around.”
If Coach Hunziker was happy with ball movement in the third quarter, he was probably estatic in the final period as Boonville came out and outscored Eugene 6-2 for the first-three minutes to extend the lead to 13 at 36-23.
The Lady Eagles never got any closer than 11 after that while Boonville closed out the final two minutes with a 5-0 run to win by 17.
After the game, Hunziker said it felt real good to get his first win. “I also know that we have a lot of work to do to get to where we want to be,” Hunziker said. “I was very proud of the girls effort, especially on defense.”
Morgan Edwards led the Lady Pirates with 18 points and seven rebounds along with four steals and two assists.
Millie Moyer had nine points, six steals, five assists and four rebounds while Olivia Imhoff added six points, seven rebounds and one assist, Aly Wessing with five points and six rebounds, Cassidy Renfrow with four points, six rebounds and one assist, Addy Reardon with two points, four assists, one rebound and one steal, Cali Jo McAreavy with two points, two steals and one assist and Carley Esser with one rebound, one steal and one assist.
For Eugene, Kayla Adrian had 13, Kassie Morrow five and Kayla Schulte with four.
The Boonville girls junior varsity basketball team also played Eugene last night in the opening round and fell by a score of 25-17.
The Lady Pirates, 0-1 on the season, trailed Eugene 15-8 at the half and 21-15 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Eugene outscored Boonville 4-2 for the victory.
Boonville JV coach Ashley Freese said the girls played well for the first game and show promise for the season. “I think we had some of those first-game jitters that showed pretty early but they fought through it,” Freese said. “At times I really liked the hustle by having two to three on the floor going after or trying to save any loose balls. We have some areas that need work but I think the girls have the mind-set that they will take their weakness and improve.”
Freshman Whitney Bush led the Lady Pirates with eight points along with two rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Anna Nelson, another freshman, added four points, eight rebounds and four steals while Kelsi Dillender had two points, two rebounds and one steal, Courtney Timm with two points and one rebound, Jessica Luscombe with three rebounds, one steal and one assist, Cali Jo McAreavy with three steals, one rebound and one assist, Rashelle Bush with one steal and one assist and Makenzie Ficken with one rebound and one assist.
For Eugene, Tori Adrian had 10 points, Allison Isenberg seven and Staci Wilbers six.