Brownfield leads Lady Pirates to third place in Centralia Tournament

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team captured the third place trophy in the Centralia Tournament Friday night by beating the host school 42-29. The win was the fifth in six games for the Lady Pirates, who played the final-two games without three of its top six players. Boonville closes out the first half of the season at 5-1 overall.

The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team had two choices Friday night in the third place game of the Centralia Tournament.

After allowing Centralia to rally back from a 10 point deficit in the second quarter to tie the game at 22-all, the Lady Pirates could either lock it up defensively in the second half and rebound better or allow the Panthers to pull away in the second half for the win.

As it turned out, Boonville chose to play better defense and hit the boards harder while holding Centralia to just seven points in the final two periods for a 42-29 victory.

While improving to 5-1 on the season, head coach Jaryt Hunziker said after the game that he was so proud of the way the girls fought these last two games and truly deserved to end the week with a win.

“After letting Centralia back into the game going into halftime to tie it up 22-22, we focused the second half on taking care of the ball and rebounding effort,” Hunziker said. “With Addi (Brownfield) taking over the game and putting up 29 points for the game, it was Kennedy (Renfrow) and Brooke (Eichelberger) that did a great job of rebounding in the second half. 

“With much of our scoring out, the girls know that playing solid defense is what is going to keep us in ballgames and give us a chance to win for now. To keep Centralia to just seven points the second half says a lot about how we play and the effort given.”

It wasn’t easy that’s for sure, especially in the second quarter as Centralia erased a six point deficit after one by outscoring Boonville 15-9 to tie the game at 22-all.

As for the first period, the Lady Pirates looked to be in control after reeling off seven straight in a span of 49 seconds to lead Centralia 9-3. Of course Brownfield had a lot to do with that while scoring nine of the team’s 13 points in the quarter.

However, after taking a 13-7 lead after one, Boonville quit looking to shoot the ball for some reason. The Lady Pirates still held a healthy lead at 21-11 with 3:42 left after a three-point play by Brownfield. But what happened after that is anybodys guess as Centralia went on a 11-1 run to force a tie at the break.

Defensively, the Lady Pirates were fine while forcing 12 turnovers in the first half. But on the boards, Centralia was killing Boonville by a margin of 19-9.

That all changed in the second half as Boonville held Centralia to just two field goals in the third period while reeling off 11 straight to push the lead back up to seven at 33-26.

Brownfield again willed the Lady Pirates in the third quarter with 10 of the team’s 11 points. Senior Brook Eichelberger had the only other point by hitting 1 of 2 free throws.

The fourth quarter was pretty much a carbon copy of the third period as Boonville’s defense clamped down on Centralia by holding the Panthers to just three points. The Lady Pirates, meanwhile, put up nine in the final period to win the game by 13.

Brownfield, who was named to the Centralia All-Tournament Team, wound up finishing the game with 29 points on 12 of 22 shooting from the field for 55 percent and 3 of 4  from the foul line for 75 percent. Brownfield also had four rebounds and three steals. 

Kennedy Renfrow chipped in seven points, five steals, four assists and two rebounds while Faith Mesik added three points, three rebounds and two assists, and Brooke Eichelberger with three points, seven rebounds, two steals, two blocked shots and one assist. Abby Fuemmeler had three rebounds, two assists and one steal while Alison Eichelberger finished the game with one rebound and one assist.

For Centralia, Baylee Beard had six points while Jozelynn Bostick, Morgan Ross and Annie Robinson added five points each. 

Boonville junior Addi Brownfield (14) puts up a shot in the middle of the lane in the second half Friday night against Centralia in the third place game of the Centralia Tournament. Brownfield finished the game with 29 points in a 42-29 win over the Panthers.