Will play No. 5 So. Boone in the semifinals Wednesday night starting at 6 p.m.
The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team have lived and died by its defense for most of the season while putting up 22 wins entering Monday night’s Class 3 District 8 Tournament at Blair Oaks High School.
As the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Lady Pirates forced a season-high 32 turnovers and had four players in double figures en route to a 70-31 victory.
Of course the Lady Pirates weren’t the only winners last night. The No. 2 California girls beat seventh-seeded Eugene 59-32 while No. 3 Blair Oaks toppled No. 6 Hallsville 55-27. The No. 5 Southern Boone girls also rallied in the second half to beat fourth-seeded Centralia 57-43.
Tournament action for the girls will continue on Wednesday, with the Boonville girls playing Southern Boone at 6 p.m. and California battling Blair Oaks at 7:30 p.m.
On the boys side of the bracket tonight, the No. 1 Eugene boys will play No. 8 Boonville at 4:30 p.m., followed by No. 4 California versus No. 5 Hallsville at 6, No. 2 Versailles versus No. 7 Southern Boone at 7:30 and No. 3 Blair Oaks vs. No. 6 Centralia at 9.
Boonville Lady Pirates basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker said the girls did what they had to do come first round by getting a lead early and putting it away by the first quarter.
“Our defense got it going at the beginning, forcing many turnovers,” Hunziker said. “It was great getting all 11 players some playing time so we could rest legs and avoid injury for Wednesday. Even though we took care of business I was disappointed with our half court defense at times in the second half. Come post-season our half court defense needs to get the job done and I thought we let Versailles get some easy shots off that should have been contested better. We have to come ready to play on Wednesday.”
The Lady Pirates were more than willing last night while scoring the game’s first 17 points and forcing Versailles into five turnovers on its first-five possessions to lead 21-7 after one.
While dominating the boards and limiting Versailles to just one shot each trip down the floor, Boonville continued to pound the paint while reeling off another 17 in a row during a five-minute stretch in the second period to increase the lead to 40-9 with 1:36 left.
The Lady Pirates also equaled their point total in the first quarter with 21 points to lead Versailles by a score of 42-16 at the half.
With eight different players scoring in the first half, Boonville also forced 20 turnovers.
As for Versailles, the highlight of the first half came at the end of the second quarter when sophomore Duanna Frerking hit a shot at the buzzer behind the three-point arc.
The second half was a carbon copy of the first as Boonville outscored Versailles 11-2 in the first-four minutes to extend the lead to 35 at 53-18 with 3:40 left.
The Lady Pirates also outscored Versailles 18-8 in the period to go ahead by a score of 60-24.
With a running clock to start the fourth quarter, Coach Hunziker interchanged his players frequently but got the same result as Boonville held a 10-7 advantage to win by 39.
As for the scoring in the game for Boonville, Paige Renfrow had 11 points, one rebound and one steal.
Olivia Imhoff finished the game with 10 points, six rebounds, three steals and two assists while Paige Peterson added 10 points, seven steals and two rebounds, Aly Wessing with 10 points, four rebounds and three steals, Morgan Edwards with nine points, nine rebounds and six steals, Millie Moyer with seven points, five steals, three assists and two rebounds, Cassidy Renfrow with six points and four rebounds, Hannah Fuemmeler with three points and one rebound, Anna Nelson with two points and two rebounds and Jessica Luscombe with two steals and one rebound.
The Lady Pirates also shot the ball well against Versailles by hitting on 27 of 47 shots from the field for 57 percent and 12 of 18 from the foul line for 67 percent.
For Versailles, Kristen Nachbar had 12 points and Duanna Frerking with nine points.