Lady Dragons lose to Norborne, 70-46

The Bunceton boys basketball team knew if there was ever a time to snap its winless streak, the game was Friday night at home against the Norborne Pirates.
Although the Dragons have had their share of close games and blowouts this season, the game against Norborne was there for the taking. Unfortunately for Bunceton, the Pirates scored just one more point than the Dragons for a 60-59 victory.
As for the Bunceton girls, they fell to a good Norborne team 70-46.
The Bunceton boys and girls also took to the court Saturday in the W-K Holiday Shootout at State Fair Community College, with the Lady Dragons falling to Smithton 59-25 and Bunceton boys dropping a 76-43 score.
As for the doubleheader Friday night at Bunceton, the Lady Dragons couldn’t buy a basket early on as Norborne came out and scored the game’s first 11 points before giving up a three to senior Emily Clevenger with 5:28 left in the first.
Unfortunately for the Lady Dragons, the baskets were few and in-between as Norborne used its height and athleticism to lead Bunceton 24-14 after one and 40-23 at the half.
The Lady Pirates also matched Bunceton in the third quarter with 16 points, with both teams going on a 7-0 run in the period. Clevenger, who had her best game to date with 15 points, finished the quarter with seven points. But even then it wasn’t enough as Norborne closed out the period with a two from Olivia Dooley and a three by Kate Brown to push the lead to 17 at 56-39.
The Lady Pirates also dominated the fourth quarter by outscoring Bunceton 14-7, which included a 5-0 run to start the period. Norborne’s biggest lead of the ballgame came at the 1:47 mark in the fourth after a basket by Kennadie Crowe to make it 70-45.
Bunceton coach Brian Emde said Emily Clevenger and Taylor Burnett had good games despite the loss. “I thought both of those girls shot the ball well,” Emde said. “Chloe Moser also had a good rebounding game with nine rebounds. Turnovers continue to plague us with 22 tonight. It seems we get them at crucial times of the game.”
Emma Thoeni led four players in double figures for Norborne with 16 points. Olivia Dooley tossed in 15, Madison Brown 14 and Kennadie Crowe with 12.
For Bunceton, Clevenger finished the game with 15 points, three rebounds and one steal. Taylor Burnett added 11 points, five assists, one rebound and one steal while Chloe Moser chipped in eight points, nine rebounds and one steal, Lauren Wieland seven points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal, Skyler Shuffield two points, three rebounds and one assist, Jenna Kahle two points, one rebound, one assist and one steal and Cara Bishop with one point, four rebounds, one steal and one assist.
The Lady Dragons also finished the game hitting 17 of 53 shots from the field for 32 percent and 8 of 14 from the foul line for 57 percent.
As for the Bunceton boys basketball team, they went toe to toe with Norborne while leading by as much as five in the opening period at 5-0 and trailing by as much as six at 19-13 after Norborne went on a 7-0 run in a span of 34 seconds.
The Pirates also led Bunceton 21-17 after first period’s end.
Of course that all changed in the second quarter as the Dragons cut that lead to one on two different occasions at 25-24 with 2:44 left and 27-26 with 1:34 remaining. Bunceton also outscored Norborne 9-6 in the period, with six points coming from freshman Jason Burnett.
The second half was just as close as the first, with Norborne outscoring Bunceton 18-16 to go up by three at 45-42. Bunceton and Norborne also played to seven ties in the period, with the Pirates leading by as much as five at 35-30. The Dragons also reeled off seven straight at one point to lead Norborne by two at 37-35 with 3:27 left.
However if you thought the third quarter was close, all you had to do was hang around for the final period. Unfortunately for Bunceton, they dug themselves a hole early in the quarter while trailing by nine at 55-46 with 4:53 left to cut the lead to one at 60-59 after a free throw by freshman Hunter Shuffield. The Dragons, who outscored Norborne 17-15 in the fourth, also had a chance to win the game but missed a three at the buzzer.
Christian Coats led all scorers in the game for Norborne with 25 points.
For Bunceton, Shuffield dropped in 16 while Burnett had 15, Rylee Knapheide and Brayden Doyle each with nine, Dillon Alpers five, Landon Petree and Braxton Kempf each with two and Lane Maddex with one.
In the game Saturday against Smithton, the Bunceton boys trailed throughout as the Tigers led 49-22 at the half and 66-32 after three quarters of play. Meanwhile, in the final period, the Dragons outscored Smithton 11-10.
Bunceton coach Cass Keene said the Dragons lost a tough game against Norborne with a foul count of 26-13. “We had a good opportunity Friday night, but didn’t have quite enough to get over the hump,” Keene said. “Our disappointment from the previous night dragged over into our Smithton game in Sedalia. Smithton is a well coached squad that advantage of our turnovers.”
Trevor Townlain led three players in double figures for Smithton with 12 points. Will Tripp tossed in 11 while Eric Culp added 10.
For Bunceton, Jason Burnett had 14, Dillon Alpers 10, Rylee Knapheide eight, Brayden Doyle five and Hunter Shuffield and Landon Petree each with three.
As for the Lady Dragons, they trailed Smithton 38-13 at the break and then were outscored 21-12 in the final-two periods to suffer the loss.
Coach Emde said another tough shooting game for the Lady Dragons with too many turnovers with 28. “We will regroup over the break and get ready for Northwest in the Otterville Tournament on December 29th,” Emde said.
Madison Brown had 12 points and Haleigh Ferguson 10 for Smithton.
For Bunceton, Taylor Burnett finished the game with seven points, five rebounds and two assists. Lauren Wieland chipped in six points, seven rebounds and two steals while Skyler Shuffield added six points, six rebounds, one steal and one assist, Chloe Moser four points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal, Cara Bishop two points and one rebound and Madelynn Myers with six rebounds and one steal.