Boonville will play top-seeded California for the title on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
When Boonville Lady Pirates basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker said Wednesday night’s 61-28 win over No. 2 Blair Oaks was a total team effort, he meant it.
As the No. 3 seed, the Lady Pirates relied on 10 different players for scoring and led by as much as 30 early in the third quarter. But more importantly, Boonville found a seat at the big table with top-seeded California for the championship Friday night starting at 7:30 p.m.
“Total team effort,” Hunziker said. “We knew going into tonight’s game that Blair Oaks loved to shoot from outside, including Missouri state signee LeeAnn Polowy,” Hunziker said. “We really focused in practice on Tuesday on making sure to closeout on their shooters and being in position on the catch. We really took away their strengths tonight. After falling behind 7-2 early in the game we relaxed and went on a 33-8 run to finish out the half. We focused on being more patient on offense along with good shot selection. Since Blair Oaks has a great program I reminded the girls at halftime not to read too much into the score. We needed to play the second half as if the game was tied.
“The girls responded and increased the lead from 20 to 32 going into the fourth quarter. Our defensive intensity really stepped it up tonight, limiting Blair Oaks from pushing the ball and getting easy transition points like they love to do. The girls did a great job of getting back on defense and getting our 1-2-2 ball press set up. It was rewarding seeing all 10 girls get into the scoring column.”
The Lady Pirates definitely made a lasting impressing on Blair Oaks while leading 35-15 at the half and 52-21 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, Boonville outscored Blair Oaks 9-7 to win by 33.
Junior Morgan Edwards had her second straight double figure game Wednesday night with 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Freshman Paige Renfrow, meanwhile, finished the game with 13 points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist while Millie Moyer added seven points and five rebounds, Olivia Imhoff with six points, five assists, two steals and one rebound, Paige Peterson with six points, six rebounds, three assists and one steal, Aly Wessing with three points, two rebounds, one steal and one assist, Cassidy Renfrow with two points, one rebound and one steal, Hannah Fuemmeler with two points, one rebound, one steal and one assist, Cali Jo McAreavy with two points and one rebound and Whitney Bush with two points.
As for the Boonville girls junior varsity basketball team, they also prevailed against Blair Oaks 50-36.
The Lady Pirates, 2-1 on the season, led Blair Oaks 23-15 at the half and 39-29 after three quarters of play before outscoring the Falcons 11-7 in the final period.
Boonville JV coach Ashley Freese said this was a different game for the girls.
“This was probably the most physical game that they have played so far this season,” Freese said. “They responded very well to it. We got off a little slow but they picked it up on defense and that is what allowed them to have the game they did. They forced turnovers that allowed for some easy layups to put us up. Their defense is looking more and more solid every game. Blair Oaks came out after half time knocking down some shots and we stayed right with them and didn’t let that get them down. Very impressed how they handled the pressure of this game.”
Jessica Luscombe had 15 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two assists to lead the Lady Pirates.
Whitney Bush finished the game with 13 points, four steals, two rebounds and two assists while Cali Jo McAreavy added nine points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals, Kelsi Dillender with five points, two rebounds and one steal, Courtney Timm with four points, three steals, two rebounds and one assist and Anna Nelson with four points, four rebounds and one steal.
The Lady Pirates also finished the game shooting 54 percent from the field and 55 percent from the foul line.
For Blair Oaks, Sarah Wolken tossed in 14 points.