Frustrating.
That’s the word Boonville Pirates basketball coach Jesse Oswald used to describe Tuesday’s conference opener against the Mexico Bulldogs.
While dropping a 60-46 decision against Mexico, the Pirates were also outscored in three out of the four quarters of play.
“This was a frustrating game to open up conference play with,” Oswald said. “I felt the first-two minutes both teams played with a lot of fire and intensity, and somewhere early on, we lost that. They began to out-compete, out-tough, out-effort, on us and it allowed them to build a 10-15 point lead throughout the first half. Defensively I thought we had some good possessions on the front end of things, but we allowed too many offensive rebounds throughout the game.
“They had 17 offensive rebounds, while we only had 18 defensive rebounds. We have got to find a way to rebound better, especially against teams that are more athletic and more aggressive at attacking the offensive glass. If we can just cut that number in half, we are probably looking at a 1 or 2 possession ball game down the stretch. But instead it allowed them to separate themselves from us and make it harder for us to go on a run.”
The Pirates also struggled putting the the ball in the basket at times while shooting 37 percent from the field and 47 percent from the foul line.
Add it up and it’s no wonder Boonville trailed Mexico 13-9 after first period’s end, 30-16 at the half and 42-25 after three quarters of play. The only good quarter for the Pirates came in the fourth as Boonville outscored Mexico 21-18.
“Offensively, it really took us a while to get going, with many of our shots feeling forced and then it appeared we were frustrated with ourselves and it began effecting other areas of our game,” Oswald said. “The second half I felt we improved on the offensive end and made it a game, but it was too little too late. We’ve talked about doing little things to make ourselves better and giving us a better chance to compete night in and night out, but I didn’t feel like we did those things on a consistent basis tonight.”
Tyler Spargo had 23 points and JaMarquay McGruder 11 for Mexico.
For Boonville, who dropped to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the NCMC,  Ryan Beaver finished the game with 14 points, four rebounds and one assists.
Semaj Clark tallied eight points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists while Charlie Bronakowski added eight points, four rebounds and one assist, Avery Reardon seven points, five rebounds and one steal, Clayton Gochenour three points, three rebounds and one assist, Tramell Coleman two points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist, Ethan Waibel two points and one steal, Josh Chrisman one point, one rebound and one steal and Brandon Johnson with one point and one assist.
In the JV game, Boonville defeated Mexico 40-38.
The Pirates, 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference, led Mexico 23-8 at the half but was outscored 30-17 in the second half.
“We came out and played really well in the first half and jumped to a 23-8 advantage,” said Boonville JV coach Brock Hill. “I was really happy with the defensive effort in the first half.  In the second half Mexico fought back. They made a fourth quarter run and the game was tied with less than 10 seconds left.  After breaking Mexico’s press Tyler Schuster made a shot right in front of the basket with less than four seconds left to give us a two point lead and the win.  Credit to Mexico because the picked up the offensive intensity in the second half and fought their way back into this game.  I was proud of the way our team stayed poised late in the game when it got close.  Overall, I was happy with the way we played.”
Charlie Bronakowski led all scorers for Boonville with 13 points. Nick Ferrari added  seven, Gabe Lorenz and Tyler Schuster six each, Sam Esser and Nathan Platt each with three and Ethan Huntsperger with two.