News from Bunceton: Basketball teams on a roll
School is back in session for 2021 and the high school basketball teams are on a roll.
Bunceton won first place at Pilot Grove, second at Otterville, and second place at New Franklin recently. Prairie Home came away with the consolation trophy in the Otterville Tournament. The fifth- and sixth-grade and third- and fourth-grade basketball teams started their Sunday games Jan. 3.
Fifth and seventh grade students participated in a spelling bee in Prairie Home on Jan. 7. Representing Bunceton were Gus Fennewald and Brenton Williams for fifth grade, Addison Ray and Kaiyia Paquin for seventh grade. There were twenty-two students from the conference that participated in the spelling bee. Addison Ray earned fourth place.
Due to COVID, the Bunceton Christmas Concert was postponed until to Jan. 8. The program was recorded during the school day.
Prairie Home basketball
The Panthers played for the consolation trophy Jan. 2 in the Otterville Holiday Classic. The boys led from the start with the first quarter ending with a score of 20-4 against LaMonte The team came out and controlled the game right from the start, Coach Trever Huth said.
"We have gotten better over the last few games overall but can still improve going into the New Franklin tournament, he said.
Blane Petsel was high scorer with 20 points while getting one rebound, eight steals, and seven assists. Jason Burnett was not far behind scoring 17 points, two rebounds, one steal, and one assist. Hunter Shuffield put nine points on the board along with one rebound, two steals, and one assist. Ryan Small connected with eight points, swiped four balls, and gave two assists.
The next week put them in the New Franklin Tournament on Jan. 5 facing the No. 2 seed Sturgeon.
"We had a really good game against a good team in Sturgeon," Huth said "We came out and won the turnover battle but just came up short in the third quarter."
Three Panthers scored in double figures. Blane Petsel was high scorer for Prairie Home with 18 points, five rebounds, four steals, and seven assists. Jason Burnett connected with 15 points, four rebounds, six steals, and two assists. Hunter Shuffield put in 12 points, came away with seven rebounds, four steals, and one assist. Tripp Kendrick made five points and stole one ball.
The third-seeded Lady Dragons faced Fayette on Jan. 4 in the opening round of the New Franklin Tournament.
It ended up being a very rough and physical game, coach Dustin Ray said. The team had issues with fouling throughout that night, but still came out on top.
"The girls made an adjustment and just plain and simple out-played the other team," Ray said.
Madison Brown's 23 points and 12 rebounds helped make the win possible. She also had two steals and three assists. Maddie Brandes also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards along with her one steal. Kelsey Watson scored eight points along with three rebounds, one steal and two assists. Maggie Wood put six points on the scoreboard while also getting three rebounds and giving three assists. Madelynn Myers made four points and got four rebounds, two steals, and three assists. Kylee Myers followed with three points, three rebounds, and one assist.
This 57-32 win took them to the next round in the tournament against Sweet Springs.
The Sweet Springs game was a nail biter, but Bunceton came out on top 53-52.
They battled hard for four quarters," Ray said. "I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of this game."
Wood was on fire scoring 19 points, making five rebounds, four steals, and one assist. Brown also scored in double figures with 13, grabbing eight rebounds, four steals, and two assists. Madelynn Myers connected with eight points, took away three rebounds, four steals and gave two assists. Watson also put in eight points along with her one rebound, one steal, and two assists. Brandes made five points, led with nine rebounds, and had one assist. Kylee Myers grabbed two rebounds in the game.
Bunceton is now nine and two on the year going into the championship round for the third time in as many tournaments.
In the championship game, Bunceton faced the No. 1 seed, Community R-6.
The team is a force to reckon with coach Chris Herriman, said.
"They battled admirably tonight and walked away with another second place," he said. "They faced a talented Community R-6 team in the championship. ... The thing I like most about this team is they continue to outperform expectations."
The team continues to improve and sharpen their skills at practice, but also continue to excel in academics and work part-time jobs, Herriman added.
"That kind of work ethic is rare and worth mentioning," he said.
Making the Girls All-Tournament Team for the Otterville Holiday Classic for the Lady Dragons were Watson, Brandes, and Brown. The boys also had two that made the All-Tournament Team: Petsel and Burnett.