It goes without question that the Tri-County Conference was loaded from top to bottom this season.
While the girls division boasted three teams with over 20 wins for the 2018-19 season and one with 18, the boys division was equally as tough with two teams with 20-plus wins and four of the seven with winning seasons.
In the final team standings for the girls, Osage captured first in both the conference tournament and regular season at 7-0. Boonville finished its first season in the TCC at 6-1, followed by Blair Oaks at 5-2, California at 4-3, Hallsville at 3-4, Southern Boone at 2-5, Eldon at 1-6 and Versailles at 0-7.
As for the final team standings for the boys, Blair Oaks captured first at 7-0. Southern Boone finished second at 6-1, followed by California at 5-2, Boonville at 4-3, Versailles and Osage at 2-5 and eldon and Hallsville at 1-6.
Osage coach Scott Rowland was selected as the Girls Coach of the Year while Ryan Fick of Blair Oaks was the Boys Coach of the Year.
The Tri-County Conference also announced the Most Outstanding Players for the boys and girls. Osage’s Carson Wood and Kerrigan Gamm were the co-Most Outstanding Players for the girls while Sam Stichnote of Southern Boone was the Most Outstanding Player for the boys.
As for the Boonville Pirates and Lady Pirates basketball teams, they had a total of six players named to either the first, second or honorable mention all-conference teams.
Clayton Gochenour, Jamie Lemmons and Addison Brownfield were all first team selections while Kourtney Kendrick and Jodie Bass were second team selections and Charlie Bronakowski honorable mention all-conference.
Boonville Lady Pirates basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker said as a whole the conference was very competitive and had a lot of talent both with veterans and newcomers.
“We knew going in teams like California, Osage and Blair Oaks had a lot of pieces returning with all three coming off 20-plus win seasons,” Hunziker said. “Also, you had teams like Southern Boone and Hallsville who struggled some last year but with many players returning along with some new faces would be much improved and would give teams problems later in the season after maybe starting off slow. So to go 6-1 and play Osage for the outright title on the last game of the regular season says a lot about what we accomplished and how much we grew as a team this season. The night after night of competitive games made us a better team which will benefit us for the future.”
Although just a freshman, Brownfield pretty much did it all for the Lady Pirates while leading the team in scoring, steals, assists, three-point percentage and free-throw percentage for the 2018-19 season. With 368 points for an average of 14.7 ppg, Brownfield also had 91 rebounds for 3.6 rpg, 100 steals for 4.0 spg and 80 assists for 3.2 apg. She also finished the season shooting 44 percent from the field, 34 percent from the three-point arc and 70 percent from the foul line.
“This season the team ran thru Addison since she was our point guard and top scorer,” Hunziker said. “She is also a tough defender as well since she can guard about any position on the court. Addi was by far one our vocal leaders on the court this season and we will need her to step up that role even more next year. In all my years of coaching I have never had a player dedicate herself to the game as much as Addi has and she is only a freshman. She puts in countless hours in the gym to make not only herself better but the team better overall.”
While Brownfield still has three more years as a member of the Lady Pirates basketball team, Lemmons had her career come to an end in the district tournament. As a four-year all-conference performer for Boonville, Lemmons definitely left her mark on the program not just in the North Central Missouri Conference but also in the TCC. In her final season at Boonville, Lemmons finished second in scoring with 302 points for an average of 13.1 ppg along with 144 rebounds for 6.3 rpg and 27 steals for 1.2 spg. She was also a 57 percent shooter from the field, which ranked first on the team.
“Jamie is a four time all-conference and all-district player for us and one of the best posts in the area,” Hunziker said. “She is constantly being double teamed but still finds a way to be productive by scoring herself, finding the open teammate on a cut or on the perimeter ready to shoot. She scored her 1,000 point at the end of her junior season and has received many post season honors over her four years. Jamie has played through many injuries over the year in order to help the Lady Pirates achieve the success they have.”
Bass also had plenty of success this season as a starter. While finishing with 296 points for an average of 11.8 ppg, Bass also had 53 rebounds for 2.1 rpg, 61 steals for 2.4 spg and 48 assists for 1.9 apg. She also finished the season shooting 47 percent from the field, which ranked second only to Lemmons.
“As a freshman last year Jodie started a handful of games for us,” Hunziker said. “This season she has consistently been one of our best offensive threats, especially out in the open floor. She has the ability to shoot from the perimeter but can also take you off the dribble and by doing so resulted in her leading us in scoring in many games this season . On defense she is in our top three in steals and deflections and causes opponents problem by using her athleticism and quickness. We are expecting her to raise her game up another level not only next season but the following one as well.”
Kendrick also emerged as a inside-outside threat this season for the Lady Pirates. While starting in her first season after transferring from Prairie Home, Kendrick finished with 236 points for an average of 9.4 ppg along with a team-leading 172 rebounds for 6.9 rpg, 75 steals for 3.0 spg and 58 assists for 2.3 apg. She also finished the season shooting 41 percent from the field and 61 percent from the foul line.
“Kourtney is one of our best overall athletes that can play any position on offense and defend any position on the floor as well,” Hunziker said. “Kourtney is a beast on defense as she steps up every game getting deflections, steals, rebounds or just making big plays when we need them. She does a lot of the little things that you don’t see in the box scores that are huge for us. Offensively she gets to the basket when needed, can post up when called to do so or knock down the perimeter shot if available. We are excited to have Kourtney for two more years as she is only a sophomore and to see where her game takes us since she too puts in countless hours in the gym.”
As for the Boonville Pirates basketball team, head coach Jesse Oswald said the TCC was an extremely tough conference from top to bottom.
“Southern Boone and Blair Oaks were at the top, with Blair Oaks winning it,” Oswald said. “Both of those teams had extremely tough players and were well coached. California fell next and they had some key senior players and played a different style that kept teams on their toes. After that was us. I felt we let the California game slip away from us and felt we could have competed better against Blair Oaks. We came out flat and they made us pay early and often.
“After that fell Versailles, Osage, Eldon, and Hallsville. All four of those teams had different pieces that made them tough. Hallsville lost one of the best players in our conference to injury right before conference play started, but they were well coached and had some big time players step up and have big games. Osage and Eldon both had new coaches, but they are well respected and had their teams playing at a high level. Versailles has the best 1-2 guard combo in the conference and they were extremely tough. Bottom line was you couldn’t take a night off in the conference or you would get blasted or play catchup all night and with the caliber of players and coaches, it was extremely tough.”
Senior Clayton Gochenour didn’t seem to miss a beat from the North Central Missouri Conference to the TCC.
While leading the team in scoring with 349 points, Gochenour was second only to teammate Charlie Bronakowski in average at 14.0 ppg. He also finished the season with 133 rebounds for an average of 5.3 rpg along with 22 steals and 14 assists. But where Gochenour excelled for the Pirates was shooting the ball. He was 42 percent from the field, 27 percent from the three point arc and 68 percent from the foul line.
“Clayton Gochenour started slow this year, but part of that reason is he was so respected by opposing teams and coaching staffs,” Oswald said. “Clayton is a true gym rat and although about halfway through the year was only averaging about 10 points, he ended up averaging close to 15, and had some big games late in the season scoring between 20 and 30 points, touching 30 two games in a row. Clayton is a senior and came into high school as only a kid who could shoot the three, but by the end of his high school career, he found ways to score both inside and out, and stepped up his aggressiveness in getting big rebounds. Clayton will be missed but his mark has been left on the Boonville Pirates.”
As for Bronakowski, he still has two more years left as a member of the Boonville Pirates basketball team. While finishing with 343 points for an average of 14.9 ppg, Bronakowski also had a team-leading 246 rebounds for 10.7 rpg along with 27 steals for 1.2 spg and 26 assists for 1.1 apg. He also finished the season shooting 57 percent from the field, which led the team, and was a 34 percent shooter from the three-point arc.
“Charlie Bronakowski averaged a double-double on the year averaging around 15 points and 11 rebounds a game,” Oswald said. “He was a force on both ends of the floor. Defensively he often had to guard the other team’s best post player, but sometimes had to guard some quicker guards because I knew his length and athleticism would slow them down and cause some matchup problems. He was on the front of our press a lot of times and our zone, but still found a way to get inside and rebound for us. He hit some big shots for us throughout the season and kept us in or ahead in a lot of games. As only a sophomore, he will have a big career ahead of him.”