After closing out the season series against the Fulton Lady Hornets with two straight losses in the NCMC, the picture looked bleak at best for the Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team in hopes of defending their title.
However after sweeping Kirksville, Moberly, Hannibal, Marshall and Mexico, the Lady Pirates caught a break when Kirksville knocked off Fulton twice to end the season as co-champs with the Hornets at 10-2.
Kirksville wound up finishing third overall at 9-3, followed by Marshall at 5-7, Mexico and Moberly each at 3-9 and Hannibal at 2-10.
As for the Boonville Pirates basketball team, they finished in a two-way tie for second at 6-6. Kirksville and Moberly, meanwhile, shared the conference title at 11-1. Mexico finished fifth at 4-8 and Hannibal and Marshall tied for sixth at 2-10.
The Boonville boys and girls basketball team also had five members selected to the all-conference team for the 2015-16 season.
Players selected to the first team for Boonville were juniors Paige Renfrow and Riley Lang and freshman Jamie Lemmons. Seniors Tavious Brazil and Millie Moyer, meanwhile, were selected to the second team in the NCMC.
Boonville Lady Pirates coach Jaryt Hunziker said this was the third consecutive NCMC Championship, which was a nice honor to have.
“Going into the season most figured that Fulton and Kirksville would be in contention for the title since both had many returnees,” Hunziker said. “Many believed with us having a lot of new pieces and Paige (Renfrow) coming off a serious injury that we would be down. The girls stepped it up to prove many people wrong and let them know that we were back to claim another NCMC title. This year most teams were senior dominated including Kirksville, Fulton, Moberly, and Hannibal. It had been a few years that the All-Conference Team had been made up of many senior nominations. The Conference included many talented players including Sloane Totta/Brandt (Fulton), Sarah Lamp (Kville), Gannaway/Davis (Moberly), Costley (Mexico), Crawford/Heying (Marshall) along with our own Lady Pirates. With many schools graduating key players the title should be up for grabs again next season with us heavily in contention again.”
Renfrow, a three-time all-conference selection for the Lady Pirates, is currently averaging 11.5 ppg along with 3.2 rpg, 2.9 spg and 2.0 apg. She is also the leader at the three-point line and foul line while shooting 37 and 77 percent, respectively.
Hunziker said for Paige to bounce back from ACL surgery in May and to play at the level she has this year says a lot about her resiliency.
“Paige finished the regular season as one of our leading scorers, playmakers and defenders,” Hunziker said. “She will be back again next season looking to help lead the program to another successful season as a senior. Paige is also closing in on scoring 1,000 points for her career.”
The future is also bright for Lemmons, who is currently the lead for the Lady Pirates in both scoring at 11.7 ppg and rebounds at 7.2 rpg. Lemmons also leads the team in shooting this season at 47 percent.
Hunziker said Lemmons came in this year having to help fill the post position that Boonville’s all-time scorer/rebounder Morgan Edwards dominated at the last four years.
“From day one Jamie stepped in and played more like an upperclassmen compared to that of just a freshman,” Hunziker said. “Her game improved/evolved throughout the season and I know with hard work in the offseason, she will only get better for next season. She developed into one of the top posts in the conference.”
After missing seven games due to an ankle injury, Moyer has also stepped up her game this season for the Lady Pirates while averaging 8.4 ppg along with 3.0 spg, 2.7 rpg and 1.7 apg.
Hunziker said Moyer is the energizer on defense and one of the key reasons why they have been one of the top defensive teams in the area. “Millie brings a high intensity to practice and games, which makes us improve daily,” Hunziker said.
The Boonville Pirates basketball team also returned three starters back from last year’s team under coach Floyd.
Although the Pirates struggled early in the NCMC by dropping their first-three games, they rebounded nicely by winning six of their last nine to finish third overall.
Floyd said Kirksville was a senior dominated team and Moberly had probably the best player in the conference so it was no surprise that both teams had success.
“I am extremely happy with the way we finished our conference season,” Floyd said. “After an 0-3 start, we were able to finish strong in the league going 6-3 over the last nine games. Along the way we beat Mexico and Fulton and swept Marshall and Hannibal. Our league is tough, and to finish at 6-6 is very satisfying to me as a coach. Our difficult conference schedule allows us to compete in tournaments and district tournaments, where we see a lot of Class 3 teams.”
Floyd also had two words to describe the play of Lang for the 2015-16 season: well deserved.
While playing in all 27 games this season, Lang finished the season averaging 17.3 ppg along with 6.1 rpg and 2.4 apg. He also led the Pirates in both two-point field goals while shooting 58 percent and three-point field goals at 35 percent.
Floyd said this is quite an honor for Lang as the NCMC is regarded as one of the best conferences in the state of Missouri.
“Riley was able to increase his scoring average by four points this season and also added rebounding to his game as averaged six on the season, an increase of over four rebounds from last year,” Floyd said. “Riley works hard on his game. Often times he will go home after practice and shoot baskets trying to improve his game. It is a kid like Riley who works hard and is coachable that deserves the awards he receives. As a coach that is very rewarding.”
Brazil also improved twofold this season for the Pirates while averaging 15.4 ppg along with 9.6 rpg and 2.4 apg. Brazil also finished the season as the teams leading field goal shooter while hitting 186 of 337 shots for 55 percent.
Floyd said Brazil has been a very consistent performer over the last three years.
“Tavious is good for a double-double on almost any night while averaging around 13-14 points a game and grabbing almost 10 rebounds per contest,” Floyd said. “Tavi is one of the most athletic centers in our league. He is tough to guard for most teams as he can post up and can also hit a jumper from about 15 feet. The conference coaches recognized his abilities and contributions to the program over the last four years and he was rewarded justly.”