Boonville places 8 on Tri-County All-Conference Basketball Team
The Boonville Pirates and Lady Pirates basketball teams had its fair share of players selected to the Tri-County All-Conference team for the 2020-21 season.
Although it didn’t come as a surprise that the Lady Pirates had four players selected after winning the TCC title at 7-0, the Boonville boys basketball team also had four players picked among the three teams while finishing third at 5-2.
What’s surprising is that both Blair Oaks and Southern Boone boys, who finished 1-2 in the TCC at 7-0 and 6-1, respectively, only had three selections.
In the final team standings behind Blair Oaks, SBC and Boonville, Hallsville finished fourth at 4-3, followed by Osage at 3-4, California at 2-5, Versailles at 1-6 and Eldon at 0-7.
As for the girls final team standings in the TCC, Blair Oaks finished second at 6-1, followed by SBC at 5-2, California at 4-3, Hallsville at 3-4, Osage at 2-5, Eldon at 1-6 and Versailles at 0-7.
Boonville junior Addi Brownfield and Blair Oaks junior Luke Northweather were both MVPs in the TCC, while Boonville girls basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker and Blair Oaks boys basketball coach Ryan Fick were the Head Coaches of the Year.
Other first-team selections for the Lady Pirates were seniors Kourtney Kendrick and Jodie Bass. Senior Kennedy Renfrow was a second team pick.
As for the Boonville boys, Charlie Bronakowski and Luke Green were both first team selections while Lane West and D.J. Wesolak were named to the honorable-mention team.
Hunziker said it was another competitive year in the TCC as six of the eight schools played in a district championship game this season.
“To finish the second straight season as undefeated (7-0) TCC Champions says a lot about our team, the work they put in to remain on top and what we have accomplished along the way,” Hunziker said. “Blair Oaks made a push at the end to finish at 6-1 after beating both Southern Boone and California in the last week. Blair Oaks, Eldon and the Lady Pirates are still playing into March by making it to the round of 16 in Class 4.
“Next year's Conference race already looks to be tough again as many teams bring back key pieces from this year's teams. The TCC is also saying goodbye to a really outstanding group of seniors, as there were many that made the all-conference team throughout their careers.”
Voted by the coaches as the Most Outstanding Player for the second year in a row, Brownfield also led the Lady Pirates in a number of categories while averaging 19.2 ppg and 3.3 apg while shooting 73 percent from the free throw line. She also average 3.7 spg and shot 45 percent from the field and 36 percent from three point range.
Hunziker said even after an All-State season last year, Brownfield has continued to improve her skills this season to take her game to another level. “Addi could take over games, especially on the offensive end when a big basket or play was needed,” Hunziker said. “She found multiple ways to score the ball even when teams designed their defensive game plan to limit her touches or shots. As a junior, she scored her 1,000 point this season and will have a chance next season to pass Morgan Edwards (2015 grad) as Boonville's all-time leading scorer.”
While Brownfield returns next season for Boonville, seniors Jodie Bass, Kourtney Kendrick and Kennedy Renfrow all played their final conference game in the regular season finale against Eldon back on February 25.
Like Brownfield, Bass had a great season while average 13.6 ppg along with 3.0 spg, 2.5 rpg and 2.0 apg. Bass also finished the season shooting 43 percent from the field, 25 percent from the three and 65 percent from the foul line.
Hunziker said as a senior, Bass was honored as a first team TCC after being on the second team last year.
“Jodie is always fun to watch on the court as she uses her quickness and athleticism to cause the opposition problems,” Hunziker said. “Like in the past, Jodie finds ways to get to the basket in transition, off the dribble but also has those games where she can knock down multiple outside shots. Jodie scored her 1,000 point this year versus Sedalia Smith Cotton in January.”
As for Kendrick, the senior standout finished the season average 10.5 ppg along with 6.5 rpg, 3.2 spg and 3.1 apg. Kendrick also shot 38 percent from the field, 13 percent from the three and 64 percent from the foul line.
Hunziker said this is the second year in a row that Kendrick has been honored on TCC first team and her fourth year to be nominated as all-conference overall. “I have always compared Kourtney to a swiss army knife since she is able to do multiple things to help us be as successful as we are,” Hunziker said. “The TCC coaches all respect her game and the ability she has to make big plays on both ends of the court against them. Kourtney will have much success as she continues to play basketball at the next level come next winter. Kourtney also scored her 1,000 point during the middle of this senior season.”
As for Renfrow, she was within one point of averaging double figures for the season at 9.0 ppg. But while finishing with 4.0 rpg and 2.9 apg, Renfrow was definitely tops in steals per game at 3.9. She also led the team at the three-point line while averaging 41 percent and finished the season shooting 47 percent from the field and 70 percent from the line.
Hunziker said many nights this season Renfrow was the X Factor on the court and due to this the TCC Coaches voted her second team. “Kennedy's ability to make a big shot, have a key assist or get a huge steal on defense during important parts of the game helped us finish off many games this year,” Hunziker said. “Her teammates knew she would always be ready when we needed her to make those huge plays throughout a game. Kennedy has a high basketball IQ, which helps her make the right decisions when needed to benefit her or her teammates.”
Boonville boys basketball coach Mark Anderson said the Tri-County Conference was once again dominated by Blair Oaks.
“We felt like we had a chance to unseat them at the top spot this year, but lost a pretty close game in early January at their place,” Anderson said. “It was a little disappointing to play that game so early in the season because we felt like there were few if any other teams in the league that could defeat them, so it almost felt like the conference race was over in early January for us.
“Southern Boone ended up giving Blair Oaks a close game later in the season (when Northweather was quarantined). After defeating Southern Boone twice earlier in the season, we lost a close, hard-fought game at their place late in the season to finish third in the conference this year at 5-2, behind Blair Oaks (7-0) and Southern Boone (6-1).”
The Pirates also had a shot at advancing to the championship game in the district tournament but lost to a good Fulton squad in the final minutes of the fourth quarter in the semifinals.
The Pirates finished the season at 16-8 overall and will lose two key starters in seniors Charlie Bronakowski and Lane West.
While finishing the season averaging 21.4 ppg, Bronakowski also pulled down a team-leading 7.8 rpg along with dishing out 2.2 apg. He also shot 47.7 percent from the field, 32.7 percent from the three and 72.7 percent from the foul line.
Anderson said Bronakowski was once again kind of the team’s Mr. Everything. “He scored inside and outside, he handled the ball, he gobbled up rebounds, and he guarded multiple positions,” Anderson said. “He was remarkably consistent throughout the season, and it felt like we could just pencil him in for between 15-25 points every game. He also improved his ballhandling this season, and he often brought the ball up the floor for us. He was able to stretch the floor for us by being a big threat from the three-point line. Charlie will play somewhere next year at the collegiate level. Charlie was also named to the Class 4, District 8 All-District team. I feel really blessed to have had the chance to coach Charlie for two years, and we’re definitely going to miss him next year. Charlie also scored his 1000th point this season early in the season.”
As a first-team selection along with Bronakowski, Green also had a banner year while averaging 12.0 ppg along with 2.8 rpg and 1.8 apg. Green also finished the season, shooting 38.2 percent from the field, 29.6 percent from the three and 54.8 percent from the foul line.
Anderson said Green improved his game this year, especially with his ballhandling and his ability to drive the ball and finish around the rim. “Luke went through a little mid-season slump from the three-point line, and he took good shots but just couldn’t get many of them to go down; however, to his credit, he found other ways to score for us,” Anderson said. “He’s an incredibly hard worker, and he’s often getting up shots on his own on the weekends.
“Luke had a game-winning three-pointer early in the season in the conference tournament to defeat Southern Boone in the conference semifinals. He also hit some big shots at other crucial times for us throughout the year. Charlie was definitely our best player and probably our MVP, but we often felt that Luke was our most important player because of the many things that he can do for us. We’re really looking forward to having him back next year for his senior season.”
As for West, he also played an important role for the Pirates. While averaging 8.8 ppg along with 7.9 rpg and 3.0 apg, West also finished the season shooting 47.1 percent from the field.
Anderson said he was so happy to see West get some recognition for his efforts and play from the conference coaches.
“It may surprise some people to hear that Lane led us in rebounds per game and also in assists per game,” Anderson said. “Lane plays with reckless abandon sometimes and he’s kind of the emotional heart of our team, but he also improved his ballhandling and passing ability this year. Lane banged inside for us, and he often guarded our opponent’s best big player. Lane is going to play football next year at the University of Central Missouri.”
As for Wesolak, he too, will be playing football on Saturday’s but not until after the 2021-22 season.
Just a junior, Wesolak averaged 10.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 2.7 apg while shooting 55.2 from the field.
“As we started playing really well down the stretch in the last month or so of the season, a lot of it had to do with D.J. stepping up his game,” Anderson said. D.J. was our third-leading scorer and the third player on our team who averaged double-figures. He also led us in field goal percentage, and with his strength he was able to finish inside for us. For his size, he’s also able to guard multiple positions on the floor.”