By Mike Myers
BOONVILLE - The Washington Hatchets’ long trek to Boonville on a cold Friday night went for naught as the Black and Gold fell 50-34 to the Pioneers in a Big 8 Conference game.
Washington (6-9, 1-3) started poorly against Boonville (4-11, 2-4). The Hatchets opened the first quarter with three straight turnovers and a missed shot as the Pioneers led 8-0 before players on either team had barely broken a sweat. Boonville went on to lead 13-5 after one quarter and 27-9 at halftime.
Washington couldn’t get anything going offensively in the first half as the Hatchets committed eight turnovers and shot just 20 percent (4-20) from the field in the half, including an scoring drought of over 6:00 from late in the first quarter through much of the second quarter. Though Boonville committed eight turnovers, the Pioneers did shoot a blistering 77 percent (10-13) from the field in building an 18-point margin heading into the locker room.
For Washington coach Gene Miiller’s, Friday’s performance bore little resemblance to the team which brought a three-game winning streak into Boonville against a three-win team.
“This is not the team that I’ve seen over the last couple of weeks. We just were not ready to play, whatever that means. We didn’t come out and put out the effort or concentration to play this game,” said Miiller. “As I told the kids, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing, if you’re playing no better than we did tonight, you’re not going to beat anyone.
“We didn’t have the passion tonight, we didn’t have the work ethic, we didn’t have the execution,” said Miiller. “We were just out of it. I don’t know what it was.”
The Hatchets fared little better in the second half. Boonville built as much as a 26-point late in the third quarter. Washington did win the final quarter 15-7, with Cullen Arnold scoring eight of team high 16 points in the final eight minutes. After Arnold, Cody Milligan netted five points, followed by four from Colton Garland and three from Andy Garland. Jake Brashear, Tyler Stoll, and Carson Smith rounded out the scoring with two points apiece.
Evan Hendrickson led Boonville with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Jason Stevens was next with 15 points.
The Hatchets dominated the JV game 67-37 for their third win in a row. Carson Smith led WHS with 17 points, followed by 16 apiece from Connor Brown and Jake Bedwell. Matthew Sparks also reached double figures with 10 points.
Washington hosts Vincennes on Friday.