The Moberly Spartans basketball team took advantage of the right moment Tuesday night in a NCMC contest against the Boonville Pirates at Fred Biesemeyer Court.
Although the Spartans led from start to finish, Boonville still managed to put up a good fight while trailing by two (13-11) after  first period’s end and 16-15 at the 5:54 mark in the second quarter. Now what happened after that is anybodys guess as the Pirates turned the ball over on four out of their next five possessions, which resulted in a 11-0 run by Moberly to extend the lead to 12 at 27-15.
The Pirates never got any closer than seven points for the rest of the ballgame while losing to the Spartans 57-39.
While the loss dropped Boonville to 6-5 overall and 1-2 in the NCMC, head coach Scott Floyd said his team was physically and mentally drained after playing three games in four days.
“Although we were able to cut the lead to three in the third quarter, we were not able to hit shots while Moberly continued to get easy looks at the bucket and score,” Floyd said. “I thought the effort was there, but we just ran out of gas after the comeback.  The kids still continue to struggle at perimeter shooting and when you are tired, it makes that aspect of the game that more of a struggle.  Tavious was able to keep us in the game with his post play in the first half.  But the Moberly zone kept us from getting good post looks in the second half.  At times Damario and Gauge were able to penetrate the zone but it was just too little on this night.  Defensively we played well again tonight.  But the offense was lacking. I think a good night of rest and a productive practice on Wednesday night will help us tremendously.”
While the Spartans entered the game state-ranked and undefeated, the Pirates showed no quit early on while erasing a 10-4 deficit at the 4:45 mark in the first quarter to tie the game at 10-all with 1:59 left.
Of course nobody really knows how Boonville got the six points to tie the game. After a basket by senior Gus Kemp pulled the Pirates to within four at 10-6, Moberly was issued a technical at the 2:09 mark. Meanwhile, after senior Damario Walker drained both shots to make it 10-8, Kemp came back again with a tip in to knot the game at 10-10.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, they never got any closer in the ballgame as Moberly came back with a two from senior Daniel Collier and a free throw by sophomore Tanner Wetrich to go up 13-11.
The Spartans also opened the game by hitting their first-five shots not to mention that six different players scored in the first period.
Nonetheless, after battling Moberly to a one-point ballgame at 16-15 with 5:54 remaining in the half, the Pirates couldn’t seem to hold on to the ball for some reason. The Spartans, meanwhile, reeled off 11 straight points during that span to go up by 12. But even then Boonville kept the score below double figures by outscoring Moberly 7-3 for the rest of the period to cut the lead to 30-22 at the half.
Although it could have been worse, the Pirates still had two quarters to battle back and battle back they did with the help of senior Jay Barnhart, who scored eight of the team’s 10 points in the third period. Although Moberly held a 13-10 advantage in the third quarter, Boonville had the lead down to three at 35-32 with 2:01 left after a basket by Barnhart. However over the next-two minutes, the Spartans went on a 8-0 run to extend the lead back to 11 at 43-32.
The Pirates never got any closer than nine points for the rest of the ballgame as Moberly came out and held a 14-7 advantage in the final period to win by 16.
J’Van Spiller had 15 points, nine in the second half, to lead all scorers for Moberly while Rashaun Smith added 11.
For Boonville, Gauge Sharp was the only player in double figures with 10 points along with four rebounds.
Barnhart had eight points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal while Damario Walker added seven points, four rebounds, three steals and one assist, Tavious Brazil with six points, five rebounds and one assist and Tyler Peterson and Gus Kemp each with four points and three rebounds.
The Pirates also finished the game hitting 16 of 52 shots from the field for 31 percent and 6 of 9 from the foul line for 67 percent. Moberly, meanwhile, converted on 9 of 15 shots from the line for 60 percent.
In the junior varsity game, which was actually the better of two games, the Pirates wound up winning in four overtimes against Moberly 58-54.
The Pirates, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the NCMC, led Moberly 9-5 after one, 20-14 at the half and 33-30 after three quarters of play. However, in the final period, Moberly rallied back with a 13-10 advantage to tie the game at 43-all. Then, after playing to a 48-48 tie after the first overtime, Boonville and Moberly couldn’t seem to buy a basket in the second and third overtime with the game knotted again at 48-all. Meanwhile, in the fourth overtime, the Pirates came back and outscored Moberly 10-6 for the victory.
Boonville JV Coach Kent Peterson said he was was proud of the kids fighting through and preserving to get the win.
“Dre Lewis made an amazing play at the end of the first overtime to rebound our last second shot and put it back in at the buzzer to tie the game and send it to the second overtime,” Peterson said.  “Dre Lewis played extremely well offensively and rebounding the ball.  He played all 36-minutes and had a double double tonight.  Clayton Lang made some big shots as well to keep us in the game and also had 21-points and 10-rebounds to go along with Dre Lewis who had 21-points and 13 rebounds along with four steals and  three blocks.  Bryce Fuemmeler struggled shooting tonight but made some huge free throws in the fourth overtime to preserve the win.  We didn’t have our best night tonight but had a lot of excitement and both teams competed hard and did not want to lose.  Give Moberly credit for their fight as well.  I am really proud of our kids for finding a way to get the win.”
Clayton Lang and DeAundre Lewis both finished the game for Boonville with a double-double. Lang had 21 points, 10 rebounds, two steals and one assist while Lewis had 21 points, 13 rebounds, four steals and one assist.
Bryce Fuemmeler finished the game with eight points, four rebounds and one assist while Alec Viertel added five points and one assist, Dalton Hodge with three points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal and Christian Burns with one steal.
The Pirates JV also finished the game hitting 18 of 51 shots from the field for 35 percent and 19 of 30 from the line for 63 percent.
For Moberly, Rashawn Oliver had 14 and Alshaun Oliver 12.