Will play Fulton in the third place game tonight at 4:45 p.m.
That’s all that separated the Boonville Pirates basketball team from winning Wednesday night’s game against Kansas City O’Hara.
In a game which saw runs, a 10-point lead and plenty of offense, Kansas City O’Hara turned out to have the final possession and made the most of it when junior Deron McDaniel buried a NBA three with 0.8 seconds left to lead the Celtics past Boonville 85-84.
Although the loss dropped Boonville to 10-3 on the season, this game may sting a little more only because the Pirates had a five point lead at 82-77 with 51 seconds left.
Boonville Pirates basketball coach Scott Floyd said this was a heartbreaking loss for the kids.
“We played a really good team and we played a really good game,” Floyd said. “To lose on a deep three with 6 seconds to play is really deflating. We left everything on the floor tonight. Our effort was outstanding both offensively and defensively. I thought this was our best game of the year offensively. We only turned the ball over a total of 10 times against constant full court pressure the entire night, plus we shot 64% from the floor.”
Of course this had all of the makings of a shootout early on with Boonville leading at one point 9-0 only to have O’Hara rally back to go up by 10 (30-20) after one.
However in the second quarter, the Pirates did a little better job defending while holding the Celtics to only 10 points while scoring 25 to lead by five at the break by a score of 45-40.
Senior Riley Lang also got hot in the second with four threes for 16 of his game-high 38 points.
But even then you just knew it was going to come down to who had the ball last in the fourth quarter.
The third quarter was just as close as the first half as O’Hara outscored Boonville 24-21. However after taking a two-point lead (66-64) after three, Boonville and the Celtics would play to four ties in the fourth at 68-68, 71-71, 75-75 and 77-77.
The Pirates then came back and reeled off four straight to go up by five at 82-77 with 51 seconds left. However a three by McDaniel with 7.6 seconds left pulled O’Hara to within one at 83-82. Then, after senior Alec Adair hit 1 of 2 foul shots to extend the lead to two at 84-82 with 6 seconds left, the Celtics came back with a chance to win the game but would have to do so while driving the length of the floor.
As it turned out, O’Hara had everything play into their hands as Boonville pulled all five starters back to the three-point line, which allowed the Celtics to throw in the ball uncontested and dribble down the floor for a three by McDaniel for the game winner.
Floyd said the kids kept movement in the offense consistent all night long.
“We were able to drive to the bucket and find outside shooters,” Floyd said. “We assisted on 14 out of our 30 buckets on the night. Defensively our post did a nice job defending the 6’5 O’Hara center. Though O’Hara kept pushing tempo, our kids responded and matched them basket for basket. We just came up short in the end. This was a good litmus test for what could lie ahead in the post-season. Our kids showed heart and determination against an outstanding opponent. Though the loss stings, it will pay dividends in the remaining games and hopefully into the postseason.”
Riley Lang had the game-high for Boonville with 38 points along with five rebounds. Alec Adair finished the game with 26 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds while Ryan Beaver added 13 points and two assists, Nick Zeitlow four points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals, Avery Reardon three points and six rebound and Brandon Johnson with three rebounds.
For KC O’Hara, Arinze Mgbemena had 31, Deron McDaniel 25 and Pedro Leverette 15.