The third time was a charm for the Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team.
After two unsuccessful attempts to beat the Southern Boone Eagles, the Lady Pirates finally got it done during Courtwarming in front of a standing room only crowd in Boonville for a 66-55 victory.
The win improved Boonville’s record to 19-3 overall and 6-0 in the Tri-County Conference. Southern Boone dropped to 20-4 overall and 5-2 in league play.
While capturing their first Tri-County Conference title in only its second year, head coach Jaryt Hunziker said the girls wanted this game so bad for many reasons, including avenging two prior losses to Southern Boone and to help with district seed position. But mostly, he said, this win sealed a conference title for Boonville.
“We knew the last time we played there, we had a number of things that needed to be corrected before tonight along with just being able to put the ball through the basket,” Hunziker said. “The girls were focused tonight even when Southern Boone would make a run. We came right back with one of our own.”
Of course the Lady Pirates and Eagles were playing for more than just a conference title. With one team ranked No. 6 in Class 3 and the other team receiving votes in Class 4, it came as no surprise that the first quarter ended in a 11-11 tie.
However, in the second period, Boonville began to find its place among the elite by outscoring Southern Boone 21-12 to lead at the break by a score of 32-23.
Boonville’s biggest lead of the half came after a Southern Boone technical with 43 seconds left. Sophomore Addison Brownfield hit 2 of 2 foul shots to make it 30-21, and then junior Sophi Waibel followed it up with a basket to extend the lead to 11 (32-21).
No player for the Lady Eagles had more than nine points in the first half, which is a far cry from the last meeting. Junior Mia Crow tossed in nine.
For Boonville, Brownfield had 10 in the first half while junior Jodie Bass chipped in nine.
Both teams were just getting warmed up, though. In the third quarter, Southern Boone matched Boonville point for point with 12 and had it down to three (34-31) after a three-point play by sophomore Mariah Prince.
But that was as close as the Lady Eagles would get as Boonville closed out the period on a 10-4 run to lead by a score of 44-35.
Both teams lit it up from the three-point line in the fourth quarter. Boonville scored nine of its 22 points from the arc, while Southern Boone made two threes.
The Lady Pirates were also 7 of 14 from the foul line in the final period while Southern Boone was 4 of 6 from the line.
That alone was enough for Boonville to extend the lead back to 13 (59-46) with 3:07 left. From that point, the Lady Pirates went to the free throw line seven times in the final two minutes and 37 seconds.
Boonville also outscored Southern Boone 22-20 in the final period.
Brownfield led four players in double figures for Boonville with 24 points on 4 of 7 shooting from the field, 3 of 6 from the three point arc and 13 of 19 from the foul line. She also had eight rebounds.
Bass chipped in 17 points along with two assists while Kourtney Kendrick add 13 points, five rebounds, five assists and one steal and Sophi Waibel with 10 points, three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Brooke Eichelberger had two points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals while  Kennedy Renfrow contributed four rebounds and one steal off the bench.
The Lady Pirates shot 51 percent from the field and 50 percent from the arc. However at the foul line, Boonville made just 17 of 30 shots for 57 percent.
For Southern Boone, Crow and Jersee Wren tied for the team-high with 12.
In the JV game, Boonville fell to Southern Boone 45-15.
The Lady Pirates, dropping to 4-9 overall and 0-6 in the TCC, trailed Southern Boone 22-9 at the half and 36-11 after three quarters of play.
“We ran into another tough conference opponent that was very skilled on both ends of the floor, but I’m proud of the way our girls fought hard on defense,” said Boonville JV coach Paul Moore.  “Effort was definitely not lacking, but we simply struggled shooting the basketball. I’m proud of the way the girls battled throughout the game, and we would have given ourselves a chance in the end if some of our shots would have fallen.”
Payton Luscombe had the team high for Boonville with four points. Abby Pulliam and Josie Widel chipped in three points each while Molly Schuster and Kyleigh Thacker added two and Carlie Bishop with one.
Emily Dehass had 10 points to lead all scorers for SBC.