By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Kenny Paul Geno provided two rim-rattling slams for Booneville in a 61-49 win against Shannon Friday in the Doc Vandiver Classic at Baldwyn.
Geno had 20 points. Daryl Barefield had 14 for the Blue Devils, who have now knocked off two larger contenders in the past. Booneville (6-3) beat Tupelo Tuesday.
“I thought we passed it really well and were unselfish,” Booneville coach Michael Smith said. “Teams are going to try and take Kenny away every night. Everybody is getting more comfortable and getting a little bit better.”
Geno hit the game’s first shot, a 3-pointer from the corner. He scored another bucket as Booneville jumped out to a 12-2 lead. He had a three blocks in the opening quarter.
The Devils led 37-26 at the half. Shannon played without freshman point guard Rocquis Coleman. Coleman was third on the team with nearly 13 points per game but his status on the team is unclear.
Isaiah Wiltherspoon to Barefield gave Booneville its biggest lead, 29-15 with 3:56 left in the first half.
Geno’s loudest two points came off an intense putback slam in the third, as Shannon (6-2) crept back into the game. Booneville led 43-28 after the crowd-pleasing dunk but the second of Lakee Westbrook’s two 3s in the quarter pulled the Red Raiders within 43-40.
“They shot it extremely well,” Smith said. “ I thought we did a poor job of getting control of their offense. If you ever let them get out of control, they’re going to blow you out of the gym.”
Westbrook had 18 for Shannon. Booneville made another run and Geno’s score off an inbound made it 49-40. In the fourth, Jordan Miller went inside for 53-43 lead and Shannon never got within eight.
Witherspoon’s alley-oop off the glass to Geno was an emphatic icing for a 59-47 lead.
“Booneville’s got a great team. They ran their offense well,” Shannon coach Cedric Brim said. “They hit some shots and executed some opportunities.”