Lady Pirates head to Final Four after knocking off Westminster Christian Academy, 65-50

Chris Bowie
Boonville Daily News
Boonville junior Addi Brownfield attempts a left-handed layup in the second half Saturday against Westminster Christian Academy.
The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team celebrates after beating Westminster Christian Academy 65-50 to move on to the Final Four this coming Friday in Springfield.
The Boonville Lady Pirates basketball team poses for a picture after winning 65-50 over Westminster Christian Academy in a Class 4 quarterfinal game Saturday in Boonville.

Boonville girls basketball coach Jaryt Hunziker said the Lady Pirates were destined to play in the Final Four after beating Westminster Christian Academy 65-50 in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament Saturday at the Windsor gymnasium in Boonville.

The Lady Pirates, 25-2 on the season, will play Benton, 15-9, in the semifinal round on Friday, March 19 at JQH Arena in Springfield, starting at 8 p.m. In the other semifinal game, Vashon will play Mt. Vernon at 6 p.m.

Benton advanced by beating El Dorado Springs in overtime 41-38, while Vashon upended Central (Park Hills) 70-44. Mt. Veron won 46-45 over Blair Oaks.

Hunziker said the last time Boonville made the Final Four was back in 2015 and finished third by beating Buffalo 63-54.

But that was in Columbia while this year’s Final Four is in Springfield. “It’s a little different,” Hunziker said. “I’m just excited about the way this team has played in the last week and a half. “The girls are just focused right now. I call them road warriors because we have beaten some really good teams on the road such as Helias, South Callaway, California, Southern Boone twice and Macon. These girls just play hard for each other and they share the ball. It’s a total team effort.”

Senior Kennedy Renfrow, who had 19 in the game Saturday against Westminster, said it’s unbelievable that her team is moving on to the Final Four. “We’ve all dreamed about this and I remember watching my sister, Paige, play in the last Final Four. I definitely feel like we can beat anybody. We’re at our peak right now, and we’re going to keep on climbing that peak.”

Jodie Bass, another senior on the team, said she has wanted this since fourth grade. “We knew this was the seniors last year, so we had to give it all we had,” Bass said of the quarterfinal game against Westminster. “It’s just a dream come true. We wanted this. We watched the Final Four girls before us play and we were little girls watching them, and we all knew we wanted this just as bad.”

To get to the Final Four, the Lady Pirates have now won every postseason game by double figures and hold a 12 game winning streak going into the game against Benton. Boonville’s last loss was back on January 23 against Skyline at home 44-41.

As for Benton, the Lady Cardinals have now won four in a row and absorbed their last loss back on February 25 against the Macon Tigers 51-50.

In the top half of the bracket, Vashon (15-9) is currently on a nine-game winning streak with its last loss against Incarnate Word back on January 26 75-72. Mt. Vernon, meanwhile, has won 14 in a row and suffered its last loss to Ozark 53-48 back on January 20. Mt. Vernon is currently 27-3 on the season.

The winners of Friday’s games will advance to the championship on Saturday, March 20 at JQH Arena. Tip off for the game is 4 p.m. The third place game will be held at Hammons Student Center on Saturday at 10 a.m.

Note: Digital tickets are now available for purchase for the Friday, March 19 game vs. Benton at JQH Arena in Springfield, MO.  Tip off is scheduled for 8:00 pm.  You do NOT need a pre-sale code to purchase tickets because there is no limit on ticket sales for next weekend's Show-Me Showdown.  Tickets for the Saturday game will be released following Friday night's game. Please follow the instructions below to purchase tickets for Friday night: 

-Navigate to www.mshsaa.org

-Click on the Ticket icon at the top of the home page (on mobile please scroll down)

-Select Girls Basketball

-Select Class 4

-Choose the matchup from the list of events:  Boonville vs. Benton

-Enter the number of tickets and click Checkout (there is an online transaction fee)

-Name, email, and phone are required in case contact tracing is necessary

-Enter card information to purchase the ticket

-Ticket will be sent to you electronically for presentation at the gate for admission, which may be printed or remain on the device for scanning

Email fansupport@hometownticketing.com for purchase support, or call 866.488.4849 option 3