Lady Pirates win district opener against Fulton, 73-26

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville senior Brooke Eichelberger looks to pass the ball to a teammate in the third quarter Monday night against Fulton in the semifinal round of the Class 4 District 8 Tournament in Boonville.

The Boonville girls basketball team checked off the Fulton Hornets from the list of teams wanting to knock off the Lady Pirates.

As the No. 1 seed in the tournament, the Lady Pirates knew they were going to get Fulton’s best Monday night in the semifinal round of the Class 4 District 8 Tournament.

As it turned out, Boonville left little doubt against the No. 4 seed while crusing to a 73-26 victory.

The Lady Pirates, 22-2 on the season, will play Southern Boone for the championship on Wednesday at the Windsor gymnasium starting at 7 p.m. The Lady Eagles, the No. 2 seed, won in overtime against No. 3 California 48-39.

Although the Lady Pirates have beaten Southern Boone three times this season by 20, 20 and 11 points-two of which were on the Eagles’ home floor-the fourth meeting is for all the marbles to see who moves on to the sectional round of the state playoffs on Wednesday, March 10. 

As for the game Monday against Fulton, Boonville girls coach Jaryt Hunziker said the girls came out ready to play and you could definitely see that from start to finish with their defense.

“Offensively, the ball kept moving until we got a good look and I thought we played great team ball tonight,” Hunziker said. “I’ve got to give Brooke Eichelberger a quick shoutout on the way she played on both ends tonight. She had a career night.”

Not only was it a career night for Eichelberger, who finished the game with 18 points, Boonville also had two other players in double figures with Addi Brownfield chipping in 23 and Jodie Bass with 12. Kennedy Renfrow and Kourtney Kendrick each had seven points while Alison Eichelberger and Emma West added three points each.

For Fulton, Kayanna Gaines was the only player in double figures with 11 points. Sydney Hedgpath chipped in eight.

In a game decided by 45 points with a running clock in the fourth quarter, Boonville also played one of its most complete games of the season both offensively and defensively while shooting 57 percent from the field and forcing 35 turnovers.

Of course it didn’t hurt that Boonville started the game on a 7-0 run or that they reeled off eight straight to closeout the period to lead 24-6.

The Lady Pirates also scored the first 15 points in the second quarter to lead Fulton 39-6 with 3:31 left in the half.

While holding the Hornets to just two points in the second period, Boonville once again put up 21 to lead Fulton 45-8 at the break.

Brownfield led all scorers after one half with 13 while Bass netted 10 and Eichelberger with eight.

The Lady Pirates also hit four threes in the first half, which has been a sore spot lately and will have to improve if the team hopes to move on in the playoffs.

Nonetheless, Boonville dominated this game the way they should’ve by attacking Fulton early and often. The second half was no different as the Lady Pirates came out and scored the first 11 points to extend the lead to 56-8.

Boonville also held a 19-11 scoring edge in the third to up the lead to 45 at 64-19.

Brownfield had 12 of the team’s 19 points in the third period. 

The final period was short and sweet with Boonville hitting two threes to start the quarter-one by junior Emma West and one by Eichelberger to make it 70-19.

The JV team took over after that with Fulton holding a 7-3 advantage to cut the lead back to 47.

To go along with her 23 points, Brownfield also had two rebounds, two assists and two steals. Eichelberger finished the game with five rebounds, two assists and two steals while Bass added six steals and three assists, Kendrick six steals, five assists and four rebounds, Renfrow eight rebounds, seven assists and five steals, West two rebounds, two steals and one assist, Abby Fuemmeler two rebounds and Zoey Lang with one assist.