Tough losses to Hilltoppers don’t spoil Blazers’ week
By Chris Shields
While neither Boone squad could pull off the upset when the two schools met on Jan. 29, the Boone boys still finished the week sitting at third in the conference and the girls finished just a half game out of fourth place.
Prior to the Blazers meeting Science Hill, Boone began the week on Jan. 28 against Sullivan South in Colonial Heights.
The Lady Blazers opened the evening with an impressive offensive showing, outscoring the Lady Rebels 73-60.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Boone took off in the second to finish the quarter on a 16-0 run that gave them an 18-point advantage by the half.
South began slowly chipping into the lead in the third, eventually trimming it to just six points.
Refusing to allow the lead to slip away, the Lady Blazers finished out the third with a 10-point advantage.
They added to their advantage in the final quarter to capture the 13-point win.
Three Lady Blazers finished in double-figures, with Jenny Snyder leading the way with 20. Allison Littleton finished with 13 points and Autumn Bradshaw chipped in 11.
The Boone boys completed the sweep of South with a 52-49 win a game later.
After opening the contest with a strong first quarter, the Blazer lead evaporated in the second as the Rebels held Boone to just two points over 8 minutes.
Trailing by three in the third, Boone turned to senior Ryan Gaitor, who poured in 26 points in the game, single handedly making up half of Boone’s score total.
After tying the contest after three quarters, the Blazers overtook South in the fourth to win. Senior Jacob Littleton finished with 13 points in the win.
The Blazers and Lady Blazers returned to Gray on Jan. 29 to host Science Hill.
After falling behind 23-13 in the first quarter, the Lady Blazers bounced back in the second, outscoring the Lady Hilltoppers 22-19.
Maintaining only a seven point lead to open the second half, the Science Hill girls (23-3, 12-0) showed just how dominant they can be.
By quarter’s end, the Hilltoppers had pushed the small advantage to 20 points and only added to the lead in the fourth.
Boone fell 84-55 after the big Hilltopper second half.
Jaclyn Jenkins led the way for Boone, scoring 17 points, including five baskets from behind the arc. Bradshaw added 11 in the loss.
The boys’ contest featured the two hottest teams in the conference.
Science Hill, undefeated in the conference at 12-0, entered the game with a 28-2 overall record.
The Blazers of Boone have put together an 18-8 record, but entered the contest as winners of 12 out of their last 14 games.
Despite starting out as a huge underdog, Boone gave the Hilltoppers everything they had.
Trailing 17-12 after the first quarter, the Blazers elevated their game in the second, outscoring the Hilltoppers 20-15 and knotting the contest at 32 at the half.
Science Hill pushed back in the third quarter, and Gaitor picked up his fourth foul.
The result was the Hilltoppers building a double-digit lead by the fourth quarter.
Boone brought the contest to within eight in the fourth, but could not get any closer in their pursuit of an upset, falling 71-61.
Littleton guided the Blazers with 20 points, Dillon Reppart added 13 and Jordan Stout finished with 12. Despite being in foul trouble for most of the game, Gaitor finished with 10 points.
On Feb. 1, the Blazers traveled to Sullivan Central where the Lady Blazers returned to their winning ways, earning a 49-36 win over the Lady Cougars.
Boone put together three strong quarters of play after scoring just three points in the first eight minutes.
Snyder led Boone with 16 points.
The Boone boys completed the sweep of Central with a 74-51 victory.
The Boone win was once again spurred by Gaitor, who finished with 22 points on the night. Reppart added 13.
Boone hosts county rival David Crockett High School on Feb. 5.