Lady Pirates win TCC title, beat Eldon in regular season finale 62-44

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team captured its second straight Tri-County Conference title Thursday night after beating the Eldon Mustangs in the regular season finale 62-44. The Lady Pirates closed out the regular and conference season at 21-2 overall and 7-0 in the TCC.
Boonville senior Brooke Eichelberger puts up a shot in the second half Thursday night against Eldon in the season and conference finale at the Windsor gymnasium. Boonville won the game 62-44.

The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team knew the stakes going into Thursday’s regular season and conference finale against the Eldon Mustangs.

Win the game and secure its second straight TCC title in three years. Lose and share the title with Blair Oaks with one loss each.

As it turned out, the Lady Pirates left little doubt after a rough first quarter by leading the Mustangs by as much as 28 points for a 62-44 victory.

While improving to 21-2 overall and 7-0 in the TCC, head coach Jaryt Hunziker said winning back to back TCC championships at 14-0 is a great accomplishment due to the competition level within the conference. 

“I’m just so proud of our teams and what they accomplish on and off the court,” Hunziker said. “I’m so blessed to work on a daily basis with these 16 girls and watch them develop along the way. Eldon is going to be a load over the next few years due to having two outstanding young talents in Henderson and Halderman. 

“We need to tighten up our quarter defense going into districts and not let teams, like Eldon did tonight, get some easy looks around the basket.”

As the No. 1 seed in the Class 4 District 8 Tournament, which begins on Monday, the Lady Pirates will host fourth-seeded Fulton at the Windsor gymnasium starting at 7 p.m. In the other district semifinal matchup, No. 2 Southern Boone will host No. 3 California at 7. 

Although the Lady Pirates wound up winning by 18, the game was anything but crisp in the first quarter as Eldon came out hitting everything they threw up while Boonville struggled.

As a result, the Lady Mustangs led Boonville 7-5 with 5:40 left in the opening period.

Of course the Lady Pirates would go on to outscore Eldon 13-6 for the rest of the period to lead 18-13 after one.

Boonville also improved on its shooting from the field in the first quarter by hitting 8 of 19 shots for 42 percent.

The Lady Pirates then did what they do best by clamping down on Eldon defensively in the second quarter by holding the Mustangs to just two field goals and one free throw for a total of six points.

With six different players scoring in the first half, Boonville also led by as much as 17 points (31-14) after reeling off 13 in a row. Eldon, meanwhile, went almost three minutes without a basket and trailed Boonville 35-19 at the break.

The third quarter was pretty much a carbon copy of the first-two periods as Boonville outscored Eldon 19-8 while reeling off nine straight during a three and a half minute stretch to go up 48-25 with 1:47 left. 

Senior Kourtney Kendrick and junior Addi Brownfield also had the hot hand in the third quarter for Boonville. While Kendrick scored the first six points of the second half for the Lady Pirates, Brownfield had seven during a two and a half minute stretch.

Boonville also led Eldon 54-27 after three and then pushed the lead to 28 after a basket by senior Kennedy Renfrow to make it 56-28 with 7:16 left.

Three minutes later after leading by 27, Hunziker emptied the bench for the rest of the game with Eldon outscoring Boonville 10-1 to cut it back to 18.

Addi Brownfield led the scoring attack in the game for Boonville with 17 points and seven rebounds along with seven steals and five assists.

Jodie Bass finished the game with 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals while Kourtney Kendrick added 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals, Kennedy Renfrow eight points, four assists, four steals and one rebound, Brooke Eichelberger seven points, seven rebounds and one steal, Emma West six points, four rebounds and one assist and Faith Mesik with one rebound.

The Lady Pirates also finished the game, shooting 41 percent from the field, 20 percent from the three and 33 percent from the foul line. 

For Eldon, Haley Henderson had 18 points and Sydney Halderman 16.

Boonville also won the JV game against Eldon 28-20.

The Lady Pirates, 6-5 overall and 1-5 in the TCC, opened the first half with a 21-12 lead against Eldon  but was outscored 8-7 in the second half. 

“We got off to a great start on both sides of the court, but we cooled off pretty quick in the second half,” said JV coach Paul Moore. “We were able to move the ball and get good shots, but we just couldn’t make those shots that we were getting.  Eldon did a nice job of attacking the rim, and they were able to make a run to pull the game close.  However, we were able to clamp down on the defensive end in the fourth quarter, and we also hit some key shots in the end.  The girls stepped up in big situations, and it was a great all-around team win.”

Abby Fuemmeler and Abby Pulliam each had nine points in the game for Boonville. Zoey Lang and Alison Eichelberger chipped in three points each while Payten Black and Molly Schuster added two points each. 

Jaci Muller led all scorers for Eldon with seven.