The Boonville Pirates and Lady Pirates basketball teams know the burden that comes along with being the No. 1 seed in next week’s district tournament in Versailles.
Although the Lady Pirates will go for their fourth district title in as many years, head coach Jaryt Hunziker said this year’s tournament will be more competitive this season with the addition of rival school California in the field.
“When the district tournament begins every team has a 0-0 record and is fighting to stay alive,” Hunziker said. “I have always stressed the importance of respecting all programs by not overlooking anyone. Staying focused and execution on both ends of the floor will be the factors that allow us to make another deep postseason run again this season.”
At 19-2 on the season, the Lady Pirates will definitely have a leg up on their opponents. But not far behind Boonville is California as the No. 2 seed at 18-5 and Cole Camp as the No. 3 seed at 19-4.
As for the Boonville boys, they will open tournament play against eighth-seeded Holden on Tuesday but could have a stern test in the semifinal round on Thursday against either No. 4 California or No. 5 Knob Noster.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Scott Floyd said the Pirates will have to continue to get better and work on some tweaks both offensively and defensively for teams that they might see in the tournament. “At this time of the year a team needs to be healthy, be able to score the ball and have a little luck in winning a district title.”
If the Pirates succeed in beating Holden, California or Knob Noster, they could have a possible date with Versailles, the No. 2 seed, or Cole Camp, the No. 3 seed, in the championship on Saturday, Feb. 25th.
The New Franklin boys and girls will also find themselves in unchartered waters while playing in the Class 2 District 14 Tournament in Smithton.
The Lady Bulldogs, the No. 2 seed, will play seventh-seeded Stover in the opening round on Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.
The Tipton girls drew the No. 1 seed in the tournament while Sedalia Sacred Heart was seeded third.
New Franklin coach Morgan Vetter said the district tournament this year is something new for everybody. “We are placed in the Sedalia area, where most of the teams are pretty foreign to us,” Vetter said. “I think it is a good district and can be anybody’s game, any given night. It will be a tough contest for us, but we are ready for the challenge.”
As for the New Franklin boys, who are seeded fifth, they will play No. 4 Sweet Springs on Tuesday starting at 6 p.m.
Sedalia Sacred Heart drew the No. 1 seed while Lincoln is seeded No. 2 and Smithton third.
New Franklin coach Jim Schlotzhauer said he sees the district as a tournament that places a lot of pressure on the top two teams. “Lincoln and Sacred Heart were the top teams in the Kaysinger Conference and are clearly the best in the field,” Schlotzhauer said.
The Class 1 District 9 Tournament in Bunceton also features a loaded field this year.
The Glasgow boys and girls are both seeded one in their brackets but could draw fierce competition from any number of teams.
On the girls side, St. Elizabeth stands as the two seed, followed by Pilot Grove, Prairie Home and Higbee. Meanwhile, on the boys side, Jamestown picked up the two seed with St. Elizabeth third and Prairie Home fourth.
Tournament action will begin on Monday with the girls side of the bracket and Tuesday with the boys side of the bracket.
Pilot Grove coach Landon Daniel said when people ask him about who is in their district, he said he jokes that it is the “district of death” for Class 1 girls. “It is a very talented district and has very strong teams all the way through,” Daniel said.
Pilot Grove coach Derek Skaggs said he hopes to see their strength of schedule pay off for their district and allows them to make a run at some teams.
Prairie Home coach Dalton Armontrout said he believes the girls is wide open. “The girls side is tough,” Armontrout said. “Any team can win on any given night. “On the boys side, there are about five teams that could win it.”
Bunceton coach Mitch Hurt said it’s going to be very tough on the girls side.