The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team had plenty on its shoulders Tuesday night against the Sedalia Smith-Cotton Tigers.
While honoring players from 45 years ago to the present during a ceremony at halftime, the Lady Pirates knew they could ill afford to drop the ball in this game.
As it turned out, Boonville not only won the game but they won big by a score of 72-54 to improve to 11-1 overall.
Boonville coach Jaryt Hunziker thanked all the former Lady Pirate players and coaches who attended the recognition.
“Tradition filled the gym tonight and this year’s Lady Pirate team is excited to do their part in continuing it on,” Hunziker said. “Smith-Cotton did a great job attacking our zone with the dribble and early on thru the high post area. We continued to push the pace with our aggressive defense and by putting pressure on their defense to get back by passing ahead in transition.
“Offensively we did the bulk of our scoring in the second and third quarters, scoring 25 and 24, respectively, and increasing a 19 point halftime lead to 33 going into the fourth. As a team we didn’t finish the game the way we would have liked by getting outscored 20-5 in the final quarter but I was proud of our efforts overall on this special evening in front of a great crowd.”
Eight different players scored in the game for Boonville-three of which finished in double figures.
Addison Brownfield led all scorers in the game for Boonville with 22 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the field for 54 percent, 4 of 7 from the arc for 57 percent and 1 of 2 from the foul line for 50 percent. Brownfield also had 10 rebounds, four steals and three assists.
Jodie Bass, who has been on fire lately, tossed in 20 points along with five rebounds, two steals and one assist. Kourtney Kendrick chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals while Kennedy Renfrow added six points, three rebounds, three steals and three assists, Sophi Waibel six points, three assists, one rebound and one steal, Daylynn Baker three points and one rebound, Emma West two points, two rebounds and one steal, Abby Fuemmeler two points and one rebound, Brooke Eichelberger three rebounds, two assists and two steals and Faith Mesik with one rebound and one assist.
Smith-Cotton had two players in double figures, with Haley Wiskur pouring in 21 points and Sophie Martin with 14.
The Lady Tigers also kept the game close, at least for the first eight minutes, with two ties at 2-2 and 8-8. But even then Smith-Cotton was no match for Boonville while trailing 18-14 after first period’s end-which included a 7-0 run by the Lady Pirates during a minute stretch.
Although the lead was four after one by Boonville, it might as well been 50 after a huge second and third quarter. The Lady Pirates outscored Smith-Cotton 49-20 in those periods to lead 43-24 at the break and 67-34 at the end of three.
Kendrick also went off in the second quarter with nine of her 11 points coming in that period.
Bass had nine in the third quarter while Brownfield tossed in eight.
Of course Smith-Cotton showed no quit despite trailing by 33 (67-34) going into the final period. With a running clock to start the quarter, the Lady Tigers came out and reeled off 11 straight points to cut the lead back to 22 at 67-45 with 4:34 left.
Smith-Cotton also held a 20-5 scoring edge in the fourth with most of Boonville’s starters on the bench. But even then it wasn’t enough as the Lady Pirates held on to win the game by 18.
In the JV game, Boonville defeated Smith-Cotton 37-16.
The Lady Pirates, 3-2 on the season, led Smith-Cotton 20-2 at the half and then outscored the Tigers 17-14 in the second half.
Boonville JV coach Paul Moore said the girls did a great job of coming out with more energy and intensity, and it showed in their defensive aggressiveness.  
“We had more steals and deflections tonight than we had in any other game previously, which allowed us to create more offensive possessions and transition opportunities,” Moore said. “We also attacked rebounds better than we have in the past.  Offensively, we had better tempo and ball movement, which allowed us to hit shots from outside.  We still had a few too many unforced turnovers, but we did cut back on them significantly.”
Abby Fuemmeler had the game-high for Boonville with 15 points. Zoey Lang chipped in 14 while Josie Widel added four and Payton Luscombe and Abby Pulliam each with two.
After Thursday’s game at Versailles, the Lady Pirates will play at Blair Oaks on Jan. 23, at Hallsville at Jan. 30 and at Skyline on Feb. 1.
Boonville will then compete in the Southern Boone Tournament on Feb. 3-8.