On paper, the Boonville Lady Pirates and Hannibal Pirates were fairly even going into last night’s conference game at Fred Biesemeyer Court.
While Hannibal sported a record of 5-9, the Boonville Lady Pirates entered last night’s game with a record of 6-7. So something had to give. Unfortunately for Boonville, they waited too long to actually start playing while falling to Hannibal by a score of 43-36.
“We couldn’t get anything going tonight offensively,” said Boonville coach Jaryt Hunziker. “Hannibal did a good job of taking away our post game. Defensively, we didn’t look alive until the fourth quarter when we did force some needed turnovers. We had some chances to cut into the lead by getting to the free-throw line but couldn’t hit the front end of a couple of one and ones.”
Of course it didn’t help that Boonville finished the game shooting 26 percent from the field, or that they missed two front end of one and ones late in the fourth quarter that would have tied the game.
Nonetheless, the first quarter was all about a game of runs as Boonville opened the contest with back-to-back baskets by Addy Reardon and Morgan Edwards only to have Hannibal rally back with six straight points to go up 6-4 with 2:50 left.
Although the Lady Pirates had more turnovers than points (5 turnovers and only two points at the 4:39 mark), they more than made up for it with a late surge by knocking down five straight points to make it 9-6 with 1:38 remaining. From that point on, Boonville and Hannibal traded baskets with the Lady Pirates (Boonville) clinging to a four-point lead at 13-9.
Of course neither team scored much in the second quarter, with Hannibal holding a 11-6 advantage to lead at the half by one at 20-19.
Turnovers also proved costly in the second quarter as Boonville turned it over on two straight trips, which resulted in five unanswered points by Hannibal to lead by one at 14-13.
With 13 turnovers alone in the first half compared to just nine for Hannibal, the Lady Pirates also struggled at times to rebound the ball even though they were the taller team on the floor.
That’s the bad news.  The good news is that with everything that went wrong for Boonville in the first half, they were only down by one at the break.
It gets worse, though. That one point deficit turned into a eight-point difference as Hannibal again outscored Boonville 13-6 to extend the lead to 33-25. But here is the kicker. While hitting only 1 of 10 shots in the third quarter, the Lady Pirates didn’t score its first field goal of the second half until the 1:22 mark on a basket by junior Aly Wessing to cut the lead to five at 30-26. However, with 1:03 left, Hannibal pushed it back to eight on a three by junior Kylee Anderson.
Now the interesting part. After Hannibal upped its lead to 10 early in the fourth, Boonville came back and reeled off six straight points on two baskets by Reardon and another basket by Carley Esser to cut the lead to four at 35-31with 5:39 left.
The Lady Pirates also forced seven turnovers in the fourth. But what kept Boonville from making an even bigger dent in the score was the inability to score while missing two point blank shots and failing to connect on the front end of one and ones on two occasions.
Add it up and its no wonder Hannibal closed out the final five minutes with a 8-5 advantage to win by seven.
Lauren Holliday led all scorers for Hannibal with 15 points.
For Boonville, Morgan Edwards finished the game with a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds along with four steals and one assist. Addy Reardon had 10 points, five steals, three rebounds and two assists while Aly Wessing added six points, four rebounds, three steals and one assist, Olivia Imhoff with three points, five steals, four assists and three rebounds, Millie Moyer with two points, five rebounds, three steals and one assist and Carley Esser with two points.
As for the Boonville girls junior varsity basketball team, they also fell at home against Hannibal 28-25.
The Lady Pirates, who dropped to 1-7 on the season, actually led Hannibal 11-10 after first period’s end but then went in at the half tied at 19-all. Meanwhile, in the third quarter, Hannibal outscored Boonville 6-3 to lead by a score of 25-22. That turned out to be the difference as both games came out in the fourth quarter and put up three points.
Boonville JV coach Ashley Freese said this was another hard fought game on defense.  
“I am really pleased how the girls played on defense in this game,” Freese said.  “They had times they would try and shoot gaps for steals and leave spots open but would recover and help out and didn’t let them get anything out of it.  Our biggest issue right now is our rebounding.  Hannibal stayed in the game by getting two or three chances on the boards on several possessions and that really hurt us.  If we can get more aggressive and crash the boards instead of being timid at times I think there will be different outcomes to these close games.”
Lauren Wheelan, Anna Murphy, Olivia Strickland and Anasia Elder each had six points in the game for Hannibal.
For Boonville, Cali Jo McAreavy finished the game with six points, seven steals, two rebounds and two assists. Sydnee Poindexter also had six points, three rebounds, two steals and one assist while Anna Nelson added four points and eight rebounds, Jessica Nelson four points, four rebounds and three steals, Whitney Bush with three points and one steal and Kelsi Dillender with two points, one rebound and one assist.
Boonville’s JV also finished the game shooting 40 percent from the field and 23 percent from the line.