After finishing 4-8 in the North Central Missouri Conference in 2011-12, you can imagine how estatic Boonville Pirates basketball coach Scott Floyd was upon learning that the Pirates had finished only behind Mexico and Moberly this season.
Of course the Pirates are still not where they want to be after closing out the 2012-13 campaign at 12-13 overall and 6-6 in the NCMC.
As for the Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team, they still have some work to do after finishing this past season at 7-18 overall and 2-10 in the NCMC under first-year coach Jaryt Hunsiker.
As for all-conference selections this season, senior Damario Walker and sophomore Morgan Edwards were both first-team selections while senior Jay Barnhart and junior Aly Wessing were both selected to the second team.
Commenting on the conference this season, Floyd said Mexico dominated the conference this year due to the fact that they really two good perimter shooters and two big inside threats.
“Mexico made it exremely difficult to defend on the outside while at the same time defend two very cabable post,” Floyd said. “Moberly was very athletic at guard and also had two good shooters that complimented a rugged post player. Moberly should be good next year as they return three starters. Marshall was hit by the injury bug and struggled in conference play once Alex Maupin, an all-conference performer, was lost to a leg injury. Kirksville played hard and was able to compete with most teams in the conference. Hannibal lost four starters from a 22-6 team and were regrouping this year. Fulton, with a new coach, spent the season trying to find consistency in a new scheme."
“I was extremely happy with our third place finish in conference. We bounced back from a 4-8 finish last year to go 6-6 this year. As we move forward with this program, I would hope that we continue to improve in conference play and move up to become one of the top two teams in the NCMC."
Walker definitely lived up to all the hype from his junior year. As the team’s leading scorer with 308 points for an average of 12.3 ppg, Walker also closed out the season with 89 assists for 3.6 apg, 83 rebounds for 3.3 rpg and 41 steals for 1.6 spg.
Floyd said Walker incresased his scoring output this year by two points per game along with collecting higher numbers in rebounds, assists and steals.
“Aside from everything he does on the court, Damario will be missed most of all for his leadership abilities,” Floyd said. “From the point guard position Damario has learned to lead over the last three years. His experience, personality and leadership will be sorely missed."
Page 2 of 3 - Of course not far behind Walker this season was Barnhart, who finished the 2012-13 campaign with 296 points for an average of 11.8 ppg along with 165 rebounds for 6.6 rpg, 30 steals for 1.2 spg and 25 assists for 1.0 apg.
Floyd said Barnhart was definitely one of the best 14 players in the conference and deserves this honor.
“He increased his scoring output this year while also taking on the responsibility of guarding the opponents best post player,” Floyd said. “Jay has been starting since his sophomore year and over those 3 years he has grown into a fine basketball player. It will be odd to start next year and not to be able to see Jay battling inside for rebounds and scoring points.”
Edwards also made her presence felt on the inside this past season for the Lady Pirates while finishing with 171 points for an average of 14.2 ppg along with 180 rebounds for 7.2 rpg nd 62 steals for 2.5 spg. She also finished the season shooting 49 percent from the field and 67 percent from the foul line.
Coach Hunziker said this is the second straight season that Edwards has received postseason honors.
“This season our team was centered around Morgan in the post and her ability to score and pass from there,” Hunziker said. “She averaged over 14 ppg and 7 rpg while constantly being doubled teamed by the opposing teams. Morgan is a hard working individual who can become one of the best posts in our area as long as she keeps working to improve her game.”
Wessing also stepped her game this season while finishing with 210 points for an average of 8.4 ppg along with 128 rebounds for 5.1 rpg, 66 assists for 2.6 apg and 42 steals for 1.7 spg.
Hunziker said Wessing is the type of player that doesn’t get all the headlines, but does some of the little things that give you a chance to win.
“She is constantly coming up with a big basket, rebound, steal, or assist when one is needed,” Hunziker said. “She has a great love for the game and is constantly making herself a better player. Aly got off to a slow start this season but after break she started to settle in and do what we needed from her. We expect big things from her next season.”
While finishing in last place in the NCMC at 2-10, Hunziker said he feels like the conference is a very challenging conference especially when you have a young team and are the smallest school in it.
“We had many opportunities to win a few more of those games but just couldn't put together all four quarters,” Hunziker said. “I believe the loses this year will help us benefit when it comes to those situations next year. Kirksville came out on top with a 12-0 finish but will lose all five starters to graduation. Mexico will be losing some key players but should be very competitive next year since returning some of their perimeter threats. Moberly will lose their point guard, Fussellman, but has a great core of their players back to make a push for the NCMC title.
Page 3 of 3 - “Fulton had some youth this year but by Mitchell and Hughes graduating their perimeter play will take somewhat of a hit. They will return their best two players in Totta and Brandt. Marshall came out strong at the beginning but seemed to taper off at the end of the conference season. They will return alot of their scoring threats but will graduate key defensive players. Hannibal girls are starting to win some games in the NCMC after years of being at the very bottom. They will return Holliday, Blase along with some other contributers. Next year’s NCMC title should be up for grabs since I feel that the conference will be more evened out then it has lately.”