It didn't take the Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team long to get its point across Monday night in the opening round of the 20th annual California Invitational Tournament.
While facing the Moberly Spartans for the second time this season, the first resulting in a 61-31 triumph, the Lady Pirates came out last night and shot a blistering 53 percent from the field while forcing 19 turnovers en route to a 69-36 victory.
Of course Boonville wasn't the only winner last night. In other games, No. 2 California held off seventh-seeded Southern Boone 51-49 while third-seeded Jeff City upended No. 6 Harrisonville 56-26. Battle, the No. 4 seed, also beat up on No. 5 Fulton 51-32.
Tournament action will continue on the girls side of the bracket on Wednesday, with Moberly playing Fulton at 4:30 p.m., followed by Boonville versus Battle in the first meeting between the two schools at 6, California versus Jeff City at 7:30 and Southern Boone vs. Harrisonville at 9.
Winners of five straight since their only loss of the season against North Callaway in the championship in the Centralia Tournament, head coach Jaryt Hunziker said after winning big the first time they faced Moberly a few weeks ago he didn't know if they could duplicate the same performance.
"We did by having balanced scoring and great team effort on defense," Hunziker said. "The weaknesses of the night was our effort on the defensive boards and missing free throws."
It also helped that eight different players scored in the ballgame for Boonville, four of which finished in double figures.
Junior Morgan Edwards led the effort with 15 points along with six rebounds, one steal and one assist.
Aly Wessing, meanwhile, finished the game with 11 points, three rebounds and one steal. Paige Peterson added 10 points, five rebounds, two steals and one assist while Olivia Imhoff chipped in 10 points, three steals, three assists and one rebound, Paige Renfrow with nine points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists, Millie Moyer with seven points, four rebounds, two steals and two assists, Whitney Bush with five points and one rebound, Cassidy Renfrow with two points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist and Hannah Fuemmeler with three rebounds and one assist.
As for the scoring in the game for Moberly, Lexy Ganaway and Brittany Kroner each had seven points while Taylor Godwin added five.
The Lady Pirates also had little trouble moving the ball up and down the floor in the first half. While playing uptempo against Moberly, the Lady Pirates came out and reeled off six straight during a minute stretch to extend the lead to 8-2. Then, after Moberly cut the lead to two at 8-6 at the 4:16 mark, Boonville came back and reeled off another 12 in a row to expand the lead to 14 at 20-6 with 2:28 remaining.
While leading 24-8 after first period's end, the Lady Pirates also shot a blistering 64 percent from the field by hitting 9 of 14 shots.
Needless to say, Moberly didn't go down without a fight. Although Boonville went on to outscore the Lady Spartans 19-13 in the period, Moberly won the battle on the boards in the first half 15-11.
Boonville also cooled off somewhat in the second quarter by hitting only 8 of 18 shots for 44 percent.
However over the final three minutes of the half, the Lady Pirates extended its lead to 24 at 43-19 after reeling off nine straight. Moberly then closed out the half with a basket by Molly Burke to make it 43-21.
Paige Renfrow led the scoring attack after two quarters for Boonville with nine while Morgan Edwards chipped in eight.
While shooting 53 percent from the field in the first half, the Lady Pirates came out in the third quarter and picked up where they left off by scoring the first-three points on a basket by Wessing and 1 of 2 free throws by Edwards to make it 46-21.
Boonville also outscored Moberly 14-7 in the third quarter to push the lead to 29 at 57-28.
The Lady Pirates never let the lead get below 29 in the fourth quarter while outscoring Moberly 12-8 to win by 33. However the biggest lead in the ballgame for Boonville came with 22 seconds left when junior Olivia Imhoff scored off of a turnover to make it 69-34.
Note: The boys side of the bracket will continue tonight, with No. 3 Mexico battling No. 6 Lebanon at 4:30 p.m., followed No. 4 Fulton versus No. 5 Marshall at 6, No. 2 California versus Southern Boone at 7:30 and No. 1 Fatima versus No. 8 Boonville at 9.