Warriors return winless from first appearance in So. Boone Tournament

By: 
Scott Butler
Record Correspondent

The Warrenton boys basketball team had different plans when making the long trip to Southern Boone High School for their annual basketball tournament.

This is the first time the Warriors had played in this tournament and Head Coach Mark Thomas knew it was going to be a battle, no matter who they played. 

“It was a good tournament with lots of good teams that we don’t see on our schedule,” Thomas said. “We look forward to continuing to go there.”

After receiving the sixth seed, the Warriors faced off against No. 3 seed Boonville. The Pirates are known for their size and strength, throughout their roster. However, the Warriors held a lead late only to surrender it on a last second shot, falling 63-62.

“It was a very back and forth game throughout,” Thomas said. “We played very well and had opportunities to close it out late but unfortunately, they hit a shot to win the game.”

Brett Smith led Warrenton with 19 points. Travis Toebben and Sam Toenges followed with 18 and 17 points, respectively.

Now entering the loser’s bracket, Warrenton drew No. 7 seed Fulton in last Thursday’s contest. In what started as a back and forth game early on, the Hornets held and maintained the lead for the entirety of the second half. The Warriors were only trailing by seven when the players headed to the locker room. However, they could not overcome the deficit in the second half. 

“We did not shoot the ball well at all,” Thomas said. “And everything looks and works better when shots go in.”

The Warriors were able to cut the deficit to one several times in the second half, but were not able to get the necessary stops and scores needed to take the lead before falling 69-60.

Smith had a game-high 26 points and Toenges followed with 20. As a team, Warrenton shot 35 percent from the field.

“With every game, win or lose, we try to find what we did best and on the flip side, what needs to be addressed, in the film room and at practice,” Thomas said. “We work to get better, no matter the outcome of the last game.”

The Southern Boone Tournament did not field a seventh-place game, so the Warriors saw their record fall to 7-11. They were led by their top three scorers -- Smith, Toenges and Toebben. These seniors set the pace by combining for 105 points in the two games. 

With districts looming, the coach isn't focusing his efforts on that quite yet.

“I don't look to the future; I look at the next game and that’s my focus,” Thomas said. “You have to focus one game at a time.” 

The Warriors have six games remaining on the schedule until districts.

They have four conference games sandwiched between a game at Clopton and senior night contest against Washington on Feb. 24.

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