VEEDERSBURG – Western Boone hung around for most of the first three quarters on Friday night against No. 11 Carroll.
But after getting within six at the start of the fourth quarter, the Cougars showed why they now have 21 wins on the year. Carroll used a 17-2 run to put the game away and ended the the Stars’ season 63-48.
“I thought we executed really well defensively for most of the game,” Western Boone head coach Josh Burkett said. “But we gave up that run, and lost the game by 15. We missed too many free throws and some inside shots we don’t normally miss, and we just couldn’t stop the bleeding.”
Western Boone led 11-9 at the quarter and led 15-11 early in the second quarter.
A 6-0 spurt gave the Cougars the lead, and after Western Boone got within 21-20, Carroll hit a volleyball-line 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer to go up 24-20.
Western Boone started the third quarter out well, taking a 27-26 lead on a 3-pointer by Seth McClaskey with 5:55 left in the quarter, but once again the Cougars had the answer.
Carroll pushed the lead to 32-27, and although the Stars got as close as three in the final minutes of the third, they trailed 41-33 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Stars got off to the start they wanted in the quarter, getting a basket by Garrett Morton to make it 41-35, but Carroll countered with a 17-2 run to go up 58-37.
“They ran the floor really well and were getting out in transition,” Burkett said. “They made some big time 3-pointers that were huge for them. We were struggling to score, and they just capitalized on all that.”
The Stars finished the season 4-14.
While it wasn’t the record they had hoped four, there were a lot of things for the Stars to build on in what was a crazy year.
“Our of our 14 losses, nine of them were a one-possession game in the fourth quarter and we were right there,” Burkett said. “This group is not defined by the record we finished with. They were really resilient. Football winning a state title pushed us back a little bit, we dealt with COVID three times and started 0-11. The guys kept coming to fight for us. We never had any issues, the guys played hard and cared. That’s a testament to the great parents we have and the program and coaching staff. This group helped set the tone that basketball matters here and we were going to put in the work. Losing is frustrating, but this was a special group to be around.”
Jonathan McAtee led the Stars with 27 points in his final game for the school.
McAtee, Connor Garrity and Jeremiah Williams were the Stars’ three seniors.
“From start to finish in my time with them, I have seen Connor Garrity and Jonathan McAtee grow into huge pieces of our team,” Burkett said. “They are both really smart and could think on the fly on the court. We are going to miss that. We added Jeremiah this year and he added some value in the time he was given. Jonathan was really our only returning player this year and he approached that the right way. He brought the young guys along with him and it’s been a fun ride. I know the results aren’t what we hoped for, but it’s been fun to see him grown. I have grown as a person being around them. They are a special group of guys and we appreciate their contributions on and off the court.”
Article Courtesy of Will Willems