Boonville Lady Pirates basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker knew Blair Oaks would be a TALL task heading into Wednesday night’s semifinal matchup at Ashland.
But he didn’t expect three players 5’-11” or better.
Unfortunately for Boonville, they had to learn the hard way and almost pulled off the upset versus the No. 2 seed before bowing out 62-58.
The loss dropped Boonville to 2-1 on the season. The Lady Pirates will now play California in the third place game on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
In other games on Wednesday, No. 4 Osage knocked off California 58-54 while No. 5 Southern Boone defeated Versailles 60-13. Hallsville also upended Eldon 64-49.
“We knew Blair Oaks was literally going to be a TALL task,” Hunziker said. “One thing they have is size and length which can give teams problems on both ends of the court. They used their height well for rebounding and getting some easy baskets inside against us. Overall it was a game of runs. We came out hot behind two 3s from Jodie Bass with Kourtney and Jamie contributing a handful of points as well. Blair Oaks then made a run of their own tying the game at 17 after one. We started to play passively in the second quarter which lead to Blair Oaks taking a 14 point lead at half.
“At halftime we made adjustments defensively by changing up defenses but also discussed staying aggressive on the offensive end. We reacted by erasing the 14 point deficit and taking a two point lead into the fourth. Offensively we struggled in the fourth quarter by forcing and not getting the best of shots and not making the smartest of decisions. We also need to focus on getting stops and rebounds when we need to. These are the games teams need to have early because you can learn from them to make yourself better down the road. This young team needs that in order to keep improving.”
With two seniors, two sophomores and one freshman on the floor to start the game, the Lady Pirates looked nothing like a young team early on while jumping out to a eight point lead at 13-5 and 15-7 in the first quarter. But then again the final two minutes and 38 seconds proved Hunziker’s point as Blair Oaks went on a 10-2 run to tie the game at 17-all.
Boonville also made Blair Oaks’ height a non-factor in the first quarter as the Lady Falcons’ three bigs combined for just four points. But that all changed in the second quarter as Blair Oaks went more inside with the bigs combining for seven of the team’s 27 points. Senior Claire Heckman also got hot in the second period with three threes, all from the baseline, to extend Blair Oaks’ lead at the break to 14 at 44-30.
But that wasn’t the problem. The problem in the second quarter stemmed from a rash of turnovers-six-and cold shooting by Boonville. The Lady Falcons also reeled off nine straight at one point to go up 44-28 with 23 seconds left in the half. However a basket by freshman Addison Brownfield with 14 seconds remaining kept the Lady Pirates within striking distance.
The third quarter was just the opposite of the second quarter for Boonville, as they outscored Blair Oaks 20-4 to lead by two at 50-48. Boonville also closed out the third period on a 13-0 run to go from trailing 46-34 to lead by two-all due to rebounding and keeping the Lady Falcons off the boards.
The Lady Pirates also led by as much as four points in the final period at 52-48 and 54-50 before Blair Oaks began taking the ball inside again to their bigs to go up by one at 56-55 with 2:17 left. Sophomore Jodie Bass then hit a big three to give Boonville the lead back at 58-56. Boonville never led again as Blair Oaks senior Brooke Boessen scored on a easy basket inside to tie the game at 58-all and then picked up a rebound off a missed free throw to give the Lady Falcons the lead at 59-58 with 1:20 left.
Needless to say the game was still in doubt with Blair Oaks up by one. However after senior Halie Rackers hit 1 of 2 free throws to extend the lead to 60-58, the Lady Falcons pulled it off again by rebounding the ball on the missed shot. Boonville quickly fouled after that but it was to no avail as Rackers buried 2 of 2 shots for the game’s final points.
Boessen finished the game with 22 points while Heckman added 11 and Rackers nine.
For Boonville, Brownfield led four players in double figures with 21 points. Jodie Bass chipped in 11 while Kourtney Kendrick and Jamie Lemmons added 10 points each and Sophi Waibel with six points.
The Lady Pirates also fared better from the foul line, hitting 10 of 14 shots for 71 percent.