If capturing their fifth straight NCMC title wasn’t enough this past season for the Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team, the Lady Pirates also extended their streak to 31 straight wins in league play.
As for the Boonville boys basketball team, they had an up and down season while finishing 11-17 overall and 3-9 in the NCMC.
Although both the boys and girls fell last weekend in the finals of the Class 3 District 13 Tournament at Cole Camp, the Lady Pirates still managed to put up a 23 win season against just four losses.
For their effort in the NCMC, the Lady Pirates also had three players selected all-conference while the Boonville boys placed one on the all-conference team. Ironically, all four players (Jamie Lemmons, Brynn Edwards, Camryn Monteer and Avery Reardon) were named to the first team in the NCMC.
In the final team standings for the girls, Moberly finished second at 10-2, followed by Mexico at 7-5, Marshall at 6-6, Hannibal at 3-9 and Kirksville and Fulton each at 2-10.
As for the final team standings for the boys, Fulton nabbed the top spot at 11-1. Hannibal finished second at 10-2, followed by Marshall at 7-5, Mexico at 6-6, Kirksville at 4-8, Boonville at 3-9 and Moberly at 1-11.
Boonville Lady Pirates basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker said compared to the past few years, he felt this season the competition amongst NCMC teams was at its strongest as teams like Moberly, Marshall and Mexico were very solid and Kirksville, Fulton and Hannibal had improved from last year.
“We knew that these teams would be tough due to the fact that they returned many key parts from last year,” Hunziker said. “Overall, we had another great year by going 2-3 overall, including winning both the Centralia and California Tournaments along with playing for a fifth consecutive district title.
“I couldn’t ask for a more hardworking group that came to practice every day focused on getting better. We will definitely miss our three seniors (Brynn-Camryn and Kate) but are very excited for what the future holds. The challenge of our new Tri-County Conference will only make us better since we know many of their athletes are dedicated to making themselves better in the off-season. We need to as well or we will be left behind.”
Lemmons, a three-year starter for the Lady Pirates, also returns as a three-time repeater on the NCMC team. Although Lemmons was third on the team in scoring with 284 points, the junior standout led the team with a 12.3 average along with 174 rebounds for an average of 7.6 rpg. Lemmons was also tops in field goal shooting while hitting 119 of 233 shots for 51 percent.
Hunziker said Lemmons is one of the most skilled post players not only in the NCMC but around mid-Missouri.
“Even though she isn’t as tall as many other posts, she has the ability to work inside and outside-something that she has constantly worked on,” Hunziker said. “she is constantly demanding double teams inside and still finds a way to average 13 ppg. She is a very unselfish player that will find her open teammates when needed. We are excited for what is in-store for her senior year as she will help lead the Lady Pirates in to a new conference.”
For Edwards and Monteer, they played their final game in a Lady Pirate uniform last weekend in the district tournament.
While leading the team in scoring with 309 points for an average of 11.4 ppg, Edwards also finished tops on the team with 73 assists for an average of 2.7 apg while shooting a team-leading 43 percent from the three-point arc  (25-58) and 75 percent from the foul line (60-80).
A two-time all-conference selection, Hunziker said Edwards has been a key player for the Lady Pirates on both ends of the floor the past three years.
“Brynn averaged around 11.5 ppg for the second straight season,” Hunziker said. “She does a great job of attacking defenses for us with her mid range and penetration game. Brynn uses her length well on offense by having the ability to go inside and out. Her ability to shoot the three-point shot this year at over 40 percent was key in certain games for us this year along with hitting 75 percent from the charity stripe. On defense, she has the ability to get many deflections and steals which causes problems for opposing teams and takes them out of their offensive flow.”
Monteer, who has already signed a letter of intent in softball at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, closed out the season with 304 points for an average of 11.7 ppg along with a team-leading 89 steals for 3.4 spg. She also shot 75 percent from the foul line and dished out 41 assists for an average of 1.6 apg.
Hunziker said Monteer, who went from second team all-conference as a junior to first team this season, also knocked down 50-plus three-point field goals again this year.
“Camryn is a vocal leader that expects a lot from her teammates and is one we can count on each game to bring the energy needed to compete,” Hunziker said. “Her defensive intensity and outside shooting will be missed next season.”
Reardon also excelled on the court this season as the go-to guy for the Pirates. While leading the team in scoring with 382 points for an average of 13.6 ppg, Reardon also finished tops on the team in rebounding with 270 boards for 9.6 rpg.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Jesse Oswald said Reardon is a hard worker who does not take plays off.
“Avery controlled the boards in every game, almost always leading us in rebounds,” Oswald said. “He finished the year averaging close to a double-double at just under 14 points and 9.6 rebounds per game. He also took the most charges on our team at 38, which ranks him nationally in the top 50 according to MaxPreps. Avery was also one of our best help side defenders. Last but not least, Avery has improved more than any player over the course of four years, more than anyone who I have ever coached. Avery would also want me to remind everyone that he led our team in three-point percentage, shooting a perfect 1 for 1 while knocking down a three against Moberly.”
As for conference this past season, Oswald said the Pirates competed in every game outside of when they played Hannibal.
“Obviously we wanted to win more games than we did, but we had ourselves in position to win a lot of them. We lost to Marshall at Marshall after holding a lead late. We lost to Fulton twice, but were leading in the fourth quarter at some point in both of them. Mexico was a battle for us on Courtwarming and we only lost by two. Also split with Kirksville and swept Moberly.
“Our conference is extremely competitive and if you don’t do your homework, you’re going to get turbo-clocked. Fulton won the conference going 11-1, but many teams were right there with them every night. Us, Moberly and Kirksville were at the bottom but we battled with the teams above us, playing many of them to one or two possession games.”
As for the season as a whole, Oswald said the Pirates had a lot of ups and downs, which was to be expected.
“We had a coaching staff that brought a different style of play to this team, and a lot of inexperience and youth, so there was a big learning curve,” Oswald said. “Avery Reardon was the only player returning with significant varsity experience. I thought we came a long way from where we started and where we ended up. I asked the guys to play a different style of defense from what we have in the past and they embraced that.
“Even though we were young, we competed in just about every game. There were ten games decided by single digits that we lost. I believe our inexperience is what cost us a lot of those games, because we held a lead late in a lot of them, or were within striking distance of taking the lead. I can say this, from about mid-January and on, we never lost a game because we were outworked or had a lack of effort. The family we formed at that point really came together and found a way to compete night in and night out.”