GRAY — The seniors shined bright on senior night and Daniel Boone completed a sweep of Volunteer in Big 9 Conference basketball action Friday.
After Holly Nickels and Megan Caldwell combined for 30 points to power the Lady Trailblazers to a 55-30 victory, Blake Moncier scored 27 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the Boone boys’ 67-61 win.
Moncier’s second-half scoring outburst sparked a 22-7 Trailblazers run that turned a five-point deficit in the early moments of the third quarter into a 54-44 lead with 5:49 remaining in the game.
The senior was struggling with his shot early, so he started driving to the hoop and was rewarded for his efforts.
“When my shot’s not on, I go inside and try to draw fouls,” Moncier said. “I used to be a post, so I go in there when I need to get my shot going.”
The Falcons fought back, eventually closing the gap to three points in the final minute, but Boone went 4-for-5 from the foul line in the last 60 seconds to keep Volunteer at bay.
“I knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle,” Boone coach Ryan Arnold said. “I would have liked to have been a fan and watched it because I didn’t get to enjoy it too much.”
While the back-and-forth battle kept the opposing coaches tied in knots, Arnold eventually was able to breathe a sigh of relief because his team went 17-of-22 from the foul line.
The importance of foul shooting wasn’t lost on Volunteer coach Todd Whittemore after his team hit just 56 percent of its free throw attempts.
“I’ve got no problem with the way we played or how we handled ourselves,” Whittemore said. “But we went 14-of-26 from the foul line and lost by six — I think that says a lot.”
While Boone’s seniors stole the show in their final home game, Falcons senior guard Keith Cradic quietly etched his name in Volunteer’s record book.
Cradic scored 22 points, giving him a total of 1,754 for his career — good enough to eclipse the previous school record of 1,751.
Aaron Bennett had 20 points and eight assists for the Falcons (9-13, 6-7). Thomas Karczmarczyk chipped in 16 points for Boone (15-11, 4-10), knocking down all four of his attempts from the foul line.
The Lady Trailblazers and the Lady Falcons combined for 41 turnovers in their sloppy contest, but Boone’s fast start was provided all the cushion Tim Campbell’s squad would need.
The Lady Trailblazers opened with a 12-0 run and led 17-4 after the opening quarter.
Volunteer pulled to within eight points early in the third quarter, but Boone outscored the Lady Falcons 20-7 in the fourth quarter and cruised to the win.
Brooke Barnard’s 3-pointer with 5:50 to go in the game put Boone up by 21 points and finally allowed Campbell to empty his bench.
“Tonight was a struggle for both teams,” Campbell said. “There were a lot of distractions with it being homecoming and senior night, but we’re tickled to win.”
Boone looked dominant in the first and fourth quarters, but the Lady Trailblazers (16-7, 9-5) were outscored 19-18 in the middle two periods.
Nickels finished with 17 points and Caldwell added 13 in the final home game for both players.
Laiken Gilliam led Volunteer (2-16, 1-13) with 10 points.