A state championship might not save Boynton’s school. But it certainly couldn’t hurt. The Lady Cardinals finished an improbable run through the Class B state tournament, beating No. 1 Cyril 54-48 Saturday afternoon at State Fair Arena.
Boynton’s players and coaches believed winning a state title could help save the beleaguered school. Alleged misappropriation of funds and budget problems have made the school’s status a day-to-day concern. Monday, the district’s school board will meet and one of the topics of discussion is likely to be the school’s fate. Recent private donations have kept the district’s utility bills paid. Saturday, none of those troubles mattered, even though they were never far from the minds of Boynton’s players, coaches and fans. "Maybe it’ll help things,” senior Breanna Hutchinson said. "There was a lot of pressure on us this week and I hope it helps. We don’t want our school to close.” Boynton was able to shake off any pressure on its biggest stage of the season. Hutchinson came through with another big game, scoring a game-high 23 a day after scoring 33 in the Lady Cardinals’ semifinal win over Frontier. She also led Boynton with 13 rebounds. Boynton (30-4) led for most of the game but never put much distance between itself and Cyril until early in the fourth quarter, when the Lady Cardinals scored seven consecutive points to go up 40-30. Sherri Lang, whose sister Shartese McHenry coaches Boynton, hit a 3-pointer in the stretch. Lang finished with 10 points. "This is tremendously big for Boynton,” Lang said. "I couldn’t ever imagine this happening.” McHenry’s attire matched the trophy her sister carried from the court.