The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team would just as soon forget the first half last night against the state-ranked Kirksville Lady Tigers.
While trailing 33-13 at the break, the Lady Pirates had a more memorable showing in the second half while playing Kirksville to a 22-22 tie. Unfortunately for Boonville, they had to include the first-two quarters while dropping a 20-point decision against the Lady Tigers 55-35.
Of course Boonville girls basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker is a believer in the Lady Tigers. He said they did a great job of attacking the interior defense by being physical all night.
“We have to do a better job of fighting for position inside and not letting them get those easy looks,” Hunziker said. “Offensively, we looked to attack them as much as we could but shots did not fall throughout the evening. I loved to see the girls scrap and claw up until the final buzzer, especially during the fourth quarter. Olivia Imhoff did a great job on defense all night and at times frustrated their point guard. Her intensity gets us going. Cassidy Renfrow had a great game coming off the bench with 11 points by knocking down four field goals and going 3-for-3 from the free-throw line.”
The Lady Tigers also had several players step up last night. Nichole Cook and McKenzie Russell tied for the game-high with 12 points while Kendyl Blanke and Ashton Vorkink added 11 points each.
As for the scoring in the game for Boonville, who dropped to 6-12 overall and 1-6 in the NCMC, junior Cassidy Renfrow had 11 points, four rebounds and three steals while coming off the bench.
Morgan Edwards finished the game with seven points, four rebounds and two steals while Addy Reardon added six points, three steals and one rebound, Olivia Imhoff with four points, six steals, four assists and one rebound, Aly Wessing with four points, three rebounds and three assists, Millie Moyer with three points, two rebounds and two assists and Carley Esser with two rebounds.
The Lady Tigers also led from start to finish while outscoring Boonville 19-5 in the first period, which included a 7-0 run during a three-minute stretch to go up 13-3 and a 6-0 run to closeout the quarter.
As for Boonville, they struggled from the start offensively while hitting just 2 of 9 shots from the field. Morgan Edwards also had four of the team’s five points in the opening period.
Needless to say the second quarter was pretty much like the first as Kirksville dominated the paint while outscoring Boonville 14-8 to lead by 20 (33-13) at the break. While finishing the first half just 5 of 21 from the field, Boonville also allowed the Lady Tigers to go on another 7-0 run to push the lead to 18 at 29-11 with 2:53 remaining.
Page 2 of 2 - That lead swelled to 26 at 39-13 after Kirksville came out in the third quarter and reeled off six straight points, all on baskets by senior Nichole Cook.
Boonville, meanwhile, went three minutes without scoring to start the second half and didn’t get its first basket until the 3:26 mark when Cassidy Renfrow drained a two from the baseline.
Kirksville also outscored the Lady Pirates 19-8 in the third to go up by 31 at 52-21.
With a running clock in place to start the fourth quarter, Boonville rallied back with a 10-2 scoring edge to cut the lead back to 22 at 54-32 with 3:04 left. However it was too little too late as Kirksville went on to win the game by 20.
The Lady Pirates also finished the game hitting 13 of 49 shots from the field for 27 percent and 7 of 12 from the foul line for 58 percent.
Kirksville also won the JV game against Boonville 48-33.
The Lady Pirates, dropping to 3-9 on the season, trailed Kirksville by just two (13-11) after first period’s end. However, in the second quarter, the Lady Tigers outscored Boonville 15-4 to lead at the break by a score of 28-15. Kirksville never looked back from that point on in the ballgame while outscoring Boonville 20-18 in the second half for the victory.
Boonville JV coach Ashley Freese said Kirksville is a team that you have to play good defense and get things to work on offense.
“I felt our defense last night looked really good and we stayed active and we showed intensity,” Freese said. “We did struggle against their full-court man pressure getting the ball in and down the floor but we had a couple of girls in spots they weren’t used to so I thought with the changes they adjusted well. When we would get in our offense I seen some Good ball movement and the girls are starting to really see the floor and finish on their offense.”
Jessica Fleshman had the high game for Kirksville with 11 points.
For Boonville, Jessica Luscombe had eight points and five rebounds while Anna Nelson added eight points, four rebounds and one steal. Cali McAreavy added six points, four steals and four assists while Whitney Bush had five points, one rebound, one steal and one assist, Sydnee Poindexter with four points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist and Kelsi Dillender with two points, three rebounds, two steals and two assists.
Boonville’s JV also finished the game shooting 38 percent from the field and 40 percent from the foul line.
The Boonville girls varsity basketball team will join the boys varsity basketball team in a doubleheader on Friday, Feb. 1 at Fulton starting at 6 p.m.