Two unbeatens in the Tri-County Conference squared off Thursday night at the Windsor gymnasium.
On one side you had the Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team at 17-3 overall and 4-0 in the TCC.
On the other side you had the visiting California Pintos at 18-3 overall and 4-0 in league play.
With a packed house to see two of the best in the conference, the fans got their monies worth and then some as the Lady Pirates put on a clinic for 32 minutes to hand the Pintos their worst loss of the season 56-35.
Boonville girls coach Jaryt Hunziker said it was nice to be back in front of the home crowd after a month on the road.
“The key tonight was getting out to a great start against California,” Hunziker said. “Addi Brownfield set the tone by knocking down three three-point field goals and a total of 13 first-quarter points and we never looked back. The defense was very solid tonight, doing a great job not only containing their perimeter threats but shutting down their inside game with the height they have. I felt we rebounded the ball well and handled their pressure most of the game. It was also nice to see shots fall for us as well.”
Now at 18-3 overall and 5-0 in the conference, Boonville still has two hurdles to overcome in the TCC. The Lady Pirates will host Southern Boone on Courtwarming on Friday, Feb. 21 and then closeout the regular season at home against School of the Osage on Senior Parents Night on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
The Lady Eagles have beaten Boonville twice this season-once by one in the TCC Tournament and by seven in the championship in the Southern Boone Tournament.
Boonville will also host Marshall-a team that knocked them out in the semifinals of the district tournament last year-on Monday, Feb. 17.
Needless to say the game against the Pintos had overtime written all over it, or at least that’s what many thought.
Ranked No. 3 in the latest high school basketball polls in Class 3, California definitely had something to play for against Boonville.
But that was clearly thrown out the window in the first quarter due to Boonville’s fast start and Brownfield’s outside shooting-which netted 13 of the team’s 20 points.
The Lady Pirates also wrecked havoc defensively by forcing seven turnovers alone in the first quarter to jump out to a 20-12 advantage.
The second quarter was no different as Boonville outscored California 15-3 to lead by 20 (35-15) at the half.
Although the Pintos somewhat slowed Brownfield down in the second period, holding her to two points, the sophomore standout still managed to lead the team in scoring for a half with 15 points.
Boonville also reeled off 10 straight during a four minute stretch in the second period to go from leading 20-14 to 30-14 after a layup by Sophi Waibel with 3:34 left.
As for California, they scored just three points in the second quarter, with one field goal and one free throw, but also went almost five minutes without a point.
Hunziker said you could tell his team was playing at home because they seem to play more relaxed and confident when they are at home.
“I felt we bounced back after losing to Southern Boone by winning big at Eldon on Monday, playing the way we know we can,” Hunziker said. “Getting out to a fast start is something we always want to do because it helps build confidence and sets the tone for the first half. We fed off the energy from each other and our crowd during that time.”
With a 20 point lead at the break, the Lady Pirates had a little fall off in the third quarter with only nine points. But even then Boonville led California by 17 (44-27) after three.
Brownfield had six of the team’s nine points in the third but also picked up her foul with 33 seconds left.
Barring a collapse in the final eight minutes, the Lady Pirates just had to match California in the final period to come away with the win.
But Boonville went above and beyond in the fourth and actually outscored California 12-8.
The Lady Pirates held their biggest lead of the game with 1:15 left after junior Jodie Bass hit 2 of 2 free throws to make it 56-33.
Hunziker said the win over California was a continuation from Monday but also knowing the importance it would have on the conference race if they were to win.
Brownfield finished the game with 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting from the field, 5 of 6 from the three-point arc and 2 of 2 from the foul line. She also had six steals, three assists and three rebounds.
Jodie Bass finished the game with 11 points along with three assists, one rebound and one assist. Kourtney Kendrick added seven points, four assists, three rebounds and one steal while Kennedy Renfrow chipped in seven points, two steals, one rebound and one assist, Sophi Waibel five points, seven rebounds, four steals and one assist, Emma West two points and one rebound and Brooke Eichelberger with one point, three rebounds, two steals and one assist.
The Lady Pirates also knocked down 20 of 49 shots from the field for 41 percent while hitting 7 of 13 from the arc for 54 percent. From the foul line, Boonville was 9 of 12 for 75 percent.
For California, Trishelle Porter had 14 and Tristan Porter with nine.
In the JV game, California defeated Boonville 46-15.
The Lady Pirates, dropping to 3-8 overall and 0-5 in the TCC, trailed California 32-7 at the half and 38-15 after three quarters of play.
“California was a really solid team that shot the ball well, and we struggled to keep up with their pressure and their shooting percentages,” said Boonville JV coach Paul Moore. “Our effort and intensity was much better than our last outing and we moved the ball better offensively, but we just couldn’t finish around the rim.  We also had a bad second quarter defensively and that played a big impact in our offensive game, but I’m proud of the way the girls battled back in the second half to give themselves a chance.  We just ran into a team that played extremely well and we couldn’t get ourselves within striking distance.”
Abby Fuemmeler led all scorers for Boonville with five points. Kyleigh Thacker and Payton Luscombe chipped in four points while Carlie Bishop added two points.
Lauren Fredrich had the game high for California with 21 points.